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Contested Minorities in the 'New Europe': National Identity from the Baltics to the Balkans, 1918-1939

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Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, 532

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Speaker: Professor Cathie Carmichael (UEA)

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In 1918, Habsburg rule in the Western Balkans came to a dramatic end after four years of military mobilization, privation and war. The new authorities introduced new rules and created a state apparatus replacing a state edifice that had been built up during the previous forty years.  Individuals moved out of the country and 'returned' to Austria, Hungary or Czechoslovakia.  Many never went back to their old homes, except to visit, but some of the structures that had been built up endured. After just a few years, frequent and meaningful contact between the new South Slav State and Central Europe resumed. Old friends corresponded in German and visited each other, students went to Central Europe to train and professionals shared their technical expertise. In this paper, I will look at individuals from ethnic minorities who chose to remain in Hercegovina after the end of the First World War. This included individuals in vital professions such as medicine and education. In particular, I will analyze the question of affiliations, language and cultural integration in the city of Trebinje.

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