Ambivalences of the Soviet

Diaspora Nationalities between Collective Experiences of Discrimination and Individual Normalization, 1953-2023

Research Network 2020-2023 funded by the Niedersächsische Vorab/Volkswagen Foundation

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The Search for the “Good Life” in Germany (Osnabrück)

Dr. Nino Aivazishvili-Gehne
Advised by Prof. Dr. Jannis Panagiotidis

The project focuses on people from the former USSR in the city of Osnabrueck, Germany. This group is diverse and includes people from all former Soviet republics who are now experiencing life in a different political, socio-economic and cultural system. I examine the societal perceptions of migrants from the former USSR in Germany in Osnabrueck and its consequences as well as their own agendas and proactive practices.

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Everyday Life and Memory. Russian-German and Jewish “Soviet baggage” after the Emigration

Daniel Gebel
Advised by Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Petersen
How do Russian-Germans and Jewish contingent refugees in Germany remember their Soviet everyday life, and what significance does this period have for their current self-image? These questions are the focus of the subproject “Everyday Life and Memory”. With the help of biographical interviews and corresponding archival studies, the everyday history of the late Soviet Union and the “Soviet baggage” associated with it will be examined.
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The Rural-Urban Migration of Russian-Germans and other National Minorities between 1953 and 1982

Helene Henze
Advised by Prof. Dr. Joachim Tauber
Against the backdrop of the decades under the Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, my thesis examines the response of ethnic minority groups to the rural-urban relocation process. My particular interest lies with the Russian-Germans and the complex interplay of bereavement, normalization and absorption within the social and cultural framework of a newly emerging Soviet society.
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Alienations in Soviet Jewish History 1953-1991

Dr. Ulrike Huhn
The project examines the self-perception, everyday academic life, working conditions, networks, possibilities for action, and the academic topics of the (few) scholars at the state research institutions, museums, and libraries who were able to work on Jewish topics on a selective basis after 1953. Thus, the project is concerned with the ever-changing research margins of (mostly Jewish) scholars.
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Aus dem Familien-Archiv von Lidia Schulz. 1962, Schulausflug nach selo Burkai, Baumanskii sovhos, Kostanaiskaja oblast, Kasachische SSR.

The Ordinary Rural Worlds: German Minorities and their Lives in the late Soviet Union

Dr. Alina Jašina-Schäfer
Advised by Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Petersen
Life in Soviet villages transformed drastically after Stalin’s death. The changes occurred, among others, under the weight of mutating communist ideals, standards, and objectives, the emergence of new consumption culture, agrarian reforms, technological advances, urbanisation and migration, bringing many challenges but also opportunities and promises to the local populations.
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