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Institute for Eastern European History

Ever since its establishment in 1956, the Section for Eastern European History covered all three major epochs of Eastern European History from the Middle Ages, Early Modern Era and the 19th and 20th century – a rare range for a German institution dealing with the region even during the Cold War when funding for Eastern European area studies was at its heights.

In terms of geographical scope, Eastern Europe was studied not only as the history of the Imperial Russian State, but as a history of peoples, states and empires which existed in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe, in the Caucasus, in Siberia and Central Asia. Traditionally, the histories of the Ukraine, of the Jewish communities and the Austro-Hungarian Empire constituted a particular focus for research. In recent years, the experience of space, migration and violence has enhanced this focus as much as the analysis of memory politics, imperial epistemologies as well as the connections and interactions between ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ Europe.