ZOOM Link> https://huji.zoom.us/j/3110022624
Robert Gerwarth, “An Age of Civil Wars? Europe 1912-1949”
This paper will explore some of the similarities and differences between a range of civil wars that haunted Europe between 1912 (the year the Balkan Wars began) and 1949 (the year the Greek Civil War ended).
Between 1912 and 1949, Europe witnessed some 30 civil wars with an estimated minimum of six million people killed. From Finland in the North to Ireland and Spain in the West, Ukraine in the East and Greece and Italy in the South, Europe experienced a remarkable spike of internal wars, often under the cover of inter-state wars. Yet, despite the scale and geographical breadth of the phenomenon of 'internal wars', comparative histories of civil wars remain a remarkably impoverished area of historical enquiry. Historians have tended to study particular cases of internal conflict (i.e. in Ireland, Spain, or Russia) without analyzing potential connections between them beyond the fairly obvious ideological dimension in the form of international Communism and Fascism. It could be argued that our (understandable) obsession with the two world wars as the seemingly dominant conflicts of the first half of the twentieth century have blinded us to what made wars in this period 'total': the inter-connectedness of inter-state wars and civil wars.
Bio: Robert Gerwarth is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Centre for War Studies at University College Dublin. After studying history and political science in Berlin, he completed his DPhil and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Oxford University.
He is the author of The Bismarck Myth (Oxford UP, 2005) and a biography of Reinhard Heydrich (Yale UP, 2011). His third monograph, The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End was published by Penguin (UK) and FSG (US) in the autumn of 2016. He has authored several articles in leading international journals such as Past & Present, The Journal of Modern History, Geschichte & Gesellschaft, and Vingtième Siècle.