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A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central EuropeVolume II: Negotiating Modernity in the 'Short Twentieth Century' and Beyond, Part I: 1918-1968$
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Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopeček, Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, Maria Falina, Mónika Baár, and Maciej Janowski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737155.001.0001

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The Second World War

The Second World War

Collaboration, Resistance, and Visions of the Postwar Order

Chapter:
(p.242) 7 The Second World War
Source:
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe
Author(s):

Balázs Trencsényi

Michal Kopeček

Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič

Maria Falina

Mónika Baár

Maciej Janowski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198737155.003.0007

The Second World War catalyzed a profound reconfiguration of the political discourse in East Central Europe. A considerable part of the region experienced consecutive occupation regimes, which triggered strategies of playing out the occupiers against each other. A central tenet of any legitimization of collaboration was the idea that the liberal democratic world order had disintegrated and a new totalitarian Zeitgeist had emerged in its stead. In turn, the resistance movements were organized either by communists or by members of the prewar elites. The former had a hard time coping with the Nazi–Soviet friendship in 1939–41, and later had to show their relative independence from the Soviet Union in order to gain legitimacy in their societies. The resistance led by the members of the old elites, in turn, had to prove that they were able to modify their old ideas for a new situation. The chapter also reviews the first reactions to the genocidal policies during the war.

Keywords:   Second World War, resistance, collaboration, exile, totalitarianism, genocide, Holocaust

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