• Ambiguous activists. Estonia's model of cultural autonomy as interpreted by two of its founders: Werner Hasselblatt and Ewald Ammende.

      Housden, Martyn (2009-07-08)
      Baltic Germans who were active on behalf of especially German minorities throughout Europe during the 1920s have already found some recognition in especially German-language studies. Now they are receiving a wider coverage. Two of these men, Werner Hasselblatt and Ewald Ammende, came from Estonia and played a part in the development of the cultural autonomy legislation enacted in 1925. Traditionally this has been counted a positive contribution to the management of Europe's minorities during the inter-war period. During the 1930s at the latest, however, both Hasselblatt and Ammende drifted towards German National Socialism. Through an investigation of the ideas of these men, this paper attempts to interpret lives which helped to create apparently progressive legislation in the 1920s, but which compromised with a dreadful political movement soon afterwards. What were the motives behind their actions?
    • Diaspora Communities and Civil Conflict Transformation.

      Zunzer, Wolfram (Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management., 2004)
      This working paper deals with the nexus of diaspora communities living in European host countries, specifically in Germany, and the transformation of protracted violent conflicts in a number of home countries, including Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Somalia and Afghanistan. Firstly, the political and social role and importance of diaspora communities vis-à-vis their home and host countries is discussed, given the fact that the majority of immigrants to Germany, as well as to many other European countries, over the last ten years have come from countries with protracted civil wars and have thus had to apply for refugee or asylum status. One guiding question, then, is to what extent these groups can contribute politically and economically to supporting conflict transformation in their countries of origin. Secondly, the role and potentials of diaspora communities originating from countries with protracted violent conflicts for fostering conflict transformation activities are outlined. Thirdly, the current conflict situation in Sri Lanka is analyzed and a detailed overview of the structures and key organizations of the Tamil and Sinhalese diaspora worldwide is given. The structural potentials and levels for constructive intervention for working on conflict in Sri Lanka through the diasporas are then described. Fourthly, the socio-political roles of diaspora communities originating from Cyprus, Palestine, Somalia and Afghanistan for peacebuilding and rehabilitation in their home countries are discussed. The article finishes by drawing two conclusions. Firstly, it recommends the further development of domestic migration policies in Europe in light of current global challenges. Secondly, it points out that changes in foreign and development policies are crucial to make better use of the immense potential of diaspora communities for conflict transformation initiatives and development activities in their home countries. How this can best be achieved in practice should be clarified further through intensified action research and the launch of more pilot projects.
    • Hans Frank: Lebensraum and the Holocaust.

      Housden, Martyn (2009-09-09)
      On the outbreak of WWII Hans Frank was appointed governor general of Poland. Heinrich Himmler was responsible for the extermination camps and Frank claimed he did not become aware of the mass killings until late in the war. Frank was captured in May 1945 and was accused of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. He said at his trial: "I myself have never installed an extermination camp for Jews, or promoted the existence of such camps; but if Adolf Hitler personally has laid that dreadful responsibility on his people, then it is mine too, for we have fought against Jewry for years; and we have indulged in the most horrible utterances." Hans Frank was found guilty and executed on October 1, 1946. This scholarly study from Martyn Housden examines Frank's career and complex character to shed light upon the Lebensraum project in the East and the carrying out of the Final Solution.
    • Intellectual Resistance: Paul Schiemanns Rejection of "the New Nationalist Wave"

      Housden, Martyn (Groniek, 2020)
      Paul Schiemann’s name is well-known only in relatively small academic circles, for example among historians interested in Latvia, the Baltic states and German national minorities. He had formidable intellectual strength, clear moral vision and substantial personal courage, all of which enabled him to resist the rise of Nazism among German national minorities. This paper explains Schiemann’s world view, together with his attempts to promote values of tolerance and justice in the face of destructive nationalism.