Shatterzone of Empires

Shatterzone of Empires

Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands
Edited by Omer Bartov and Eric D Weitz
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/15/2013
Format: Paperback 2 b&w illus., 9 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-00635-6
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Shatterzone of Empires is a comprehensive analysis of interethnic relations, coexistence, and violence in Europe's eastern borderlands over the past two centuries. In this vast territory, extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea, four major empires with ethnically and religiously diverse populations encountered each other along often changing and contested borders. Examining this geographically widespread, multicultural region at several levels—local, national, transnational, and empire—and through multiple approaches—social, cultural, political, and economic—this volume offers informed and dispassionate analyses of how the many populations of these borderlands managed to coexist in a previous era and how and why the areas eventually descended into violence. An understanding of this specific region will help readers grasp the preconditions of interethnic coexistence and the causes of ethnic violence and war in many of the world's other borderlands both past and present.

Author Bio

Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University. His books include Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine and Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide, and Modern Identity.

Eric D. Weitz is Dean of Humanities and the Arts and Professor of History at City College, City University of New York. His books include A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation and Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy.


“An understanding of the four major empires from the Baltic to the Black Sea, will help readers grasp the preconditions of interethnic coexistence and the causes of ethnic violence and war in many of the world's other borderlands both past and present.”

“Cutting-edge scholarship on important issues of borderlands and violence that many people—and the educated public as a whole—think about. . . . A compendium of first-rate research and scholarship . . . truly impressive.”
 — Norman M. Naimark, author of Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in 20th-Century Europe

“It is hard to imagine that anyone in the field of central/eastern Europe will not buy this book. It will also be interesting to anyone working on the First or Second World War, or the history of violence, genocide, Judeocide. It's a big book . . . that will have a big impact.”
 — Alison Frank, author of Oil Empire: Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia

“In general, the collection is of great interest not only for historians of specific regions and countries (first of the Russian, Habsburg and Othman Islamic Empires), but also for many other representatives of the [history] profession who are interested in the newest methodological approaches.March 2015”
 — Ab Imperio

“Omer Bartov’s and Eric Weitz’s edited volume is an excellent introduction to the themes and arguments, as well as some of the significant scholars, that have made borderland history a growing field and have opened rich new lines of inquiry in existing national, imperial and regional historiographies.”
 — European History Quarterly

“[A] fine collection . . . Omer Bartov and Eric D. Weitz, both historians of Germany and genocidal violence, have put together a collection that demonstrates that although much of the bloodshed was initiated by state actors, much was generated by ordinary people settling ethnic, social, and ideological scores.April 2015”
 — Austrian History Yearbook

“Anyone who studies nationalism, genocide, mass violence, or war in these regions, from the Enlightenment through the mid-twentieth century, needs to read 'Shatterzone of Empires'. The book is also highly recommended to specialists in any field of central and eastern European, Jewish, and Ottoman history during those periods. Advanced undergraduates . . .would also benefit greatly from this collection. The book’s breadth, its theoretical exploration of borderlands, and its overall quality mean that the editors and authors have produced something of lasting scholarly value.”
 — Central European History

“[This] book’s quality ultimately rests with the individual contributions . . . which represent cutting-edge scholarship and interpretations.May 2014”
 — German Studies Review

“Shatterzone is an important contribution to an exciting conversation about mass violence and terror in the twentieth century . . . This volume is a rich contribution to several literatures: the histories of the empires and nations of eastern and southeastern Europe and the Middle East; the scholarship on nationalism and identity politics; Holocaust and genocide studies; and studies of violence and atrocities.”
 — Slavic Review

“A valuable resource for scholars of central and eastern Europe and of the historical depth and character of nationalism. . . . Highly recommended.”
 — Choice

“All in all, the volume testifies to the important advances that have been made over the past decade in the inter-related fields of ethnic group identification, evolving intergroup relations, and the origins of ethnic violence. By including examples of peaceful inter-ethnic coexistence before and between the two world wars, the volume offers a more nuanced picture of the European borderlands than is all too often the case.”
 — HSozuKult

“[A]ll the essays in this collection meet the highest academic standards and levels of scholarship. Each essay includes detailed notes, and each was written by leading scholars in the area being examined. . . . . In total, Shatterzone of Empires, provides readers, of every ilk, with a deep understanding of the region and the underlaying conflicts that help mold the various empires throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.”
 — The Jewish Eye

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands \ Omer Bartov and Eric D. Weitz

Part 1. Imagining the Borderlands
1. The Traveler's View of Central Europe: Gradual Transitions and Degrees of Difference in European Borderlands \ Larry Wolff
2. Megalomania and Angst: The Nineteenth-Century Mythicization of Germany's Eastern Borderlands \ Gregor Thum
3. Between Empire and Nation State: An Outline for a European Contemporary History of the Jews, 1750–1950 \ Dan Diner
4. Jews and Others in Vilna-Wino-Vilnius: Invisible Neighbors, 1831–1948 \ Theodore R. Weeks

Part 2. Imperial Borderlands
5. Our Laws, Our Taxes, and Our Administration: Citizenship in Imperial Austria \ Gary B. Cohen
6. Marking National Space on the Habsburg Austrian Borderlands, 1880–1918 \ Pieter M. Judson
7. Travel, Railroads, and Identity Formation in the Russian Empire \ Frithjof Benjamin Schenk
8. Germany and the Ottoman Borderlands: The Entwining of Imperial Aspirations, Revolution, and Ethnic Violence \ Eric D. Weitz
9. The Central State in the Borderlands: Ottoman Eastern Anatolia in the Late Nineteenth Century \ Elke Hartmann

Part 3. Nationalizing the Borderlands
10. Borderland Encounters in the Carpathian Mountains and Their Impact on Identity Formation \ Patrice M. Dabrowski
11. Mapping the Hungarian Borderlands \ Robert Nemes
12. A Strange Case of Antisemitism: Ivan Franko and the Jewish Issue \ Yaroslav Hrytsak
13. Nation State, Ethnic Conflict, and Refugees in Lithuania, 1939–1940 \ Tomas Balkelis
14. The Young Turks and the Plans for the Ethnic Homogenization of Anatolia \ Taner Akçam

Part 4. Violence on the Borderlands
15. Paving the Way for Ethnic Cleansing: Eastern Thrace during the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and Their Aftermath \ Eyal Ginio
16. "Wiping out the Bulgar Race": Hatred, Duty, and National Self-Fashioning in the Second

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