International Conference of the Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris and the Research Centre of Excellence “Ecrire une histoire nouvelle de l’Europe” (EHNE)
The academic gathering focuses on European processes of convergence during war time, on the information flow, on transfers of ideas and opinions between different theatres of war, on their agents and vectors inside and outside of conflict zones, as well as on their influence on politics and society. What effects does information from elsewhere have on the attitude and behaviour of populations in war? In World War II press coverage of incidents in Poland from September 1939 onwards undoubtedly influences the mass exodus of the Belgian and (Northern) French population during the German invasion of May and June 1940. In the same way, the continuous success of the Yugoslavian insurrection in September 1941 encouraged support for resistance movements throughout occupied Europe. By which means does information circulate, and how can restrictions and censorship be bypassed? Other examples from World War 1 might be the immigrants in Western Europe: how are they considered during war time, occupying as they often do a space between exile, military engagement, forced labour or internment? These observations are not limited to world war, but are relevant also to other wars of the European continent from 1900 to 1950: the Balkan wars, the post-1918 conflicts in Central Europe, or the Spanish Civil War. The purpose of this conference is to broaden the representation of societies in war, relying traditionally on national parameters, by pointing out transnational – European – connections and perspectives.