The Making of Modern Central Europe. Film and History HST

Instructor:  Dr. Andrea PETŐ

Required Text:
Richard J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the 20th century and After. Routledge, 1994
Dan Sipe, “The Future of Oral History and Moving Images” in The Oral History Reader eds. Robert Perks, Alistair Thomson, Routledge, 1998. pp. 381-388.

Recommended text:
Laszlo Kontler, Millenium in Central Europe. History of Hungary, Budapest, Atlantisz, 1999.

Scope: This course is designed as a general survey of history of Central Europe in the 20th century to understand current events and their historical background. The focus will be primarily, although not exclusively on Central Europe and special attention will be paid to events and trends of Hungarian history in the 20th century. Special attention will be paid to visual representation and to understand moving images while connecting them to historical events, trends and personalities.


1. Introduction and Definitions: Eastern Europe and Central Europe (Crampton ch.1.)
2. First World War: The End of the Nineteenth Centrury. How did the Twentieth Century Begin? (ch.2.) Film: My Twentieth Century (Ildiko Enyedi)
3. Interwar Eastern Europe (Crampton  ch. 2., 11., recomended one country from 3-10)
4. Social and Cultural History of Jewry in Central Europe (168-176)   Film: Photographer (Dariusz Jablonski)
5. Totalitarianism in Europe: Italy, Germany (ch. 11. 159-168)  Film: Mephisto  (Isván Szabó)
6. Russia and the Making of the Soviet Union  (ch. 11. 152-159)  Film: Commissar (Askoldov)
7. Second World War and the Holocaust (Crampton ch. 12.)   Film: The Eastern Front (Documentary)
8. Making the Communism in Eastern Europe (Crampton ch. 13, 14)   Film: I am an Ox, I am a Horse, I am a Man (Sally Porter)
9. Stalinism in Eastern Europe (ch.15.)    Film: Angi Vera
10. Resistence to Communism. (Cramton ch. 16. 17. 18) 1956 in Hungary     Film: Life Stands Still (Peter Gothar)
11. The Building of the State Socialism and Collapse of Communism (Crampton ch. 19. 20. 21)      Film: The Anna Akhmatova File (Semeon Aronovich)
12. The Revolutions of 1989-1991 and After (Crampton ch. 22. 23. )   Film: The Exiled Body (International Organisation for Migration


Choose one historical personality who personally matters to you. (Discuss your choice with the instructor). Write an essay (min. 1000 words) on his or her life following the structure below:

1. Introduction
Point out why did you choose exactly that personality and what do you think his or her greatest contribution was to History which caught your attention.
2. Main text
Explore the family background, the historical and cultural conetxt. Try to find examples that person may have read or seen, and analyse its importance. Who were his or her friends and foes? Choose one year and one event which has a decisive impact on the personality’s life and analyse that in details!
3. Conclusion
How does the historiography, the books you have used for the essay write about him or her? Was history “just” to him or her? Has she received enough acknowledgement according to your own judgement?  Have you seen changes depending on time and space in his or her evaluation by the contemporaries or successors?
4. Sources:
During the text use references (Crampton 34.) and compile a full bibliography at the end of the text with full publication information. (Richard J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the 20th century and After. Routledge, 1994.) If you are using sources on the internet gave a full reference.