Lecture 20 - Successor States of Eastern Europe

author: John Merriman, Department of History, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 16, 2010,   recorded: November 2008,   views: 2689
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Description

Contrary to the "Great Illusion" that the end of World War I heralded a new era of peace, the interwar period can be considered to form part of a Thirty Years' War, spanning the period from 1914 to 1945. In the wake of the Treaty of Versailles, Europe was divided both literally and figuratively, with the so-called revisionist powers frustrated over their new borders. One of the most significant and ultimately most pernicious debates at Versailles concerned the identity of states with ethnic majorities. For those nations that resented the new partition of Europe, ethnic minorities, and Jews in particular, furnished convenient scapegoats. The persecution of minority groups in Central and Eastern Europe following the First World War thus set the stage for the atrocities of World War II.

Reading assignment:

Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, pp. 1056-1093

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