CfP: Guilt and punishment

The Institute of National Remembrance (IPN)Guilt and punishment. Societies towards settlement of the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes in the years 1939-1956

Warsaw, Poland
October 2-3, 2014
Deadline for submitting abstracts: August 31, 2013

The Institute of National Remembrance’s Public Education Office and Branch Public Education Office in Warsaw launched a Call for Papers for its 2014 International Scientific Conference titled “Guilt and punishment. Societies towards settlement of the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes in the years 1939-1956”.

Can totalitarian system undergo historical judgment? The crimes committed by the Nazis and Communists cannot be undone or erased. At the moment there are various attitudes in the public awareness around the world towards the heritage of totalitarianism, experienced directly or indirectly. To this day, many countries are also struggling, despite the increasing distance in time, with the settlement of the past, which influences sometimes very clearly the current political and social life. Attempts of similar settlements were taken both immediately after the war, as well as to a limited extent after 1956.

The concept of the conference was created on the basis of two time orders. The first is the time of the crimes committed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II and the communist authorities from the period after the war until 1956, when there was a partial departure from Stalinist oppression. The second and more important time order covers the entire post-war period of the European and world history until the present day. During that period settlement with these crimes took place and the social consciousness of the totalitarian heritage developed.
The duality of the time orders is reflected in the theme structure of the conference. Therefore, it would be desirable that the consideration and analysis planned for each module, starting from the chronological and geographical logic, are routed to the present situation.

The main aim of the conference is to establish the characteristics of the settlement of crimes committed by the Nazi Reich and the Soviet Union. However, those two countries will not become the only object of analysis. For obvious reasons, the crimes committed by them affected other countries from the Baltic States to France. In comparison, it would be tempting to signal the settlement of the military past of the regimes, which were closer to authoritarianism than totalitarianism like Japan and Italy.
Implementation of the abovementioned issues will require an interdisciplinary approach, possible by the completion of an international team of researchers of various specialties: historians, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists.
Eligible topics for the conference

The conference will include four modules:

Shadow of the war: The Reich

proposed issues: settlement with the Nazi past: the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, post 1990 Germany; the international context (Nuremberg trials); the settlement of the German occupation (various countries); the settlement of collaboration (various countries); the settlement of neutrality (Sweden).

Shadow of the war: the USSR

proposed issues: the settlement of the Communist war crimes: Russian and international dimension; actions of the communist guerrillas (Yugoslavia, Italy, France).

Shadow of the war: dictatorships

proposed issues: the settlement of Italian fascism, Japanese militarism.

The shadow of communism (1945-1956)

proposed issues: settlement with Stalinism (the USSR, state occupied or controlled by the USSR), the relations of Western intellectuals with Communism.
Guidelines for submission

Applications for participation in the conference (application form downloadable from the bottom of this page) from persons willing to contribute with a paper will be accepted until 31 August 2013. Together with the application form, please send an abstract of the paper (500-700 words) in Polish or English and a copy of one published scientific text (up to 6000 words with footnotes), or a website address if the article is available online.
The conference program will be announced by the end of September 2013.
Submissions should be sent by e-mail to:
or by regular mail to:

Patryk Pleskot
IPN Branch Public Education Office in Warsaw
ul. Stawki 2, 00-193 Warszawa, POLAND
„Konferencja 2014”
fax: +48.22.860.70.34

All interested persons are welcome to attend the conference – both as speakers or participants. The organizers will cover accommodation costs (hotel and meals) of the authors of the papers and will refund to the cost of their trip.

There will be no conference fee.

The Institute of National Remembrance (IPN)
Information & contacts

Mr Patryk Pleskot
IPN Branch Public Education Office in Warsaw
address: ul. Stawki 2, 00-193 Warszawa, POLAND
fax: +48.22.860.70.34

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