Cover Osteuropa 10-11/2020

In Osteuropa 10-11/2020

More than war and Chernobyl
Belarus in European contemporary history

Thomas Bohn

Deutsche Fassung


For a long time, Belarus was a “blank spot” in public perception and in eastern European research. It was not until support was given to the country after Chernobyl, and when reparations were paid to forced labourers, that “White Russia” began to attract attention in Germany. Eastern European history as a discipline must allow the country to emerge from the shadow of the Soviet Union. The particular features of Belarus include its late territorialisation during the inter-war years and the process of urbanisation after the war. Historians have the task of explaining why, and how, the transformation of Belarus from an agricultural country to an industrial state led to a loss of national identity, and the cult surrounding the victory of the Soviet Union in the Second World War is still of constitutive importance for the regime today.

(Osteuropa 10-11/2020, pp. 369–384)