“The girl tossed me Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage”. Numbers, statistics, and facts about the Szabadka ghetto (27 April 1944 – 16 June 1944)
Based on previously unknown sources, the article presents the history of the Szabadka (today: Subotica) ghetto, which was established on April 27, 1944 and operated until June 16, 1944. It places great emphasis on the detailed reconstruction of the area and extent of the ghetto. The study also analyses the religious and social structure of the 2,740 people forced into the ghetto based on hitherto unknown documents. The study shows that numerically the largest social mass in the ghetto were homemakers, followed by students and (presumably small) traders. It is striking that employment sectors traditionally associated with Jews, such as journalism, newspaper publishing and printing, are barely even show up in this source. Also noteworthy are the minimal number of factory and plant owners, and the almost complete lack of bankers and bank officials. The almost total absence of teaching staff of any kind is particularly striking from the remaining data.
The Moral Economy of Home Construction in the Late Socialist Yugoslavia
Housing shortages in Yugoslav cities were a perennial concern for authorities and citizens alike. They disproportionately affected Yugoslav workers who as a consequence were the demographic most likely to independently construct a family home. This article explores how informal builders justified home construction in moral terms, legitimizing it on the basis of physical labour that was invested in home construction. This was couched in both the language register of Yugoslav socialism and patriarchal custom (according to which a male-headed household should enjoy the right to a family home). Construction was also conditioned by the opportunities and constraints of late socialist temporalities.
Dilemmas and Choices of the Croatian and Slovenian Catholic Church during the Late Yugoslav Socialism
The paper focusses on Slovenia and Croatia as two predominantly Catholic religious milieus within multi-confessional Yugoslavia, which nevertheless exhibited notable differences in the period of late socialism, differences that are partly attributable to distinct historical circumstances and partly to a different state of relations between the Catholic Church and the Communist Party in either country. Although the choices of the leaderships of the Roman Catholic Church in the two republics in the late 1980s may seem obvious from today’s point of view, the paper highlights various dilemmas encountered by this religious community in social as well as political contexts. The latter was largely the result of diverging Party religious policies in the two republics. By analysing a vast array of public and archival documents, the paper illustrates the cautious positioning and choices of the Roman Catholic Church in Slovenia, which up to the early 1990s had always avoided politicisation. Through a comparative analysis of diplomatic documents of the Yugoslav embassy to the Holy See, the paper traces the pronounced process of ethnicization of religion in Croatia, which left increasingly less space for dialogue. Although warnings about the danger of such choices came even from the Vatican, the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church as well as their Party counterparts insisted on their positions and with their rigidity paved each other’s ways to (problematic) decisions the consequences of which became patent during post-socialism.
Reform Efforts in Slovenia (1966–1971)
The reform period of Yugoslavia beginning in the second half of the 1960s has a special place in the 20th century history of the Slovenian nation, bringing about significant economic, and later political, and social changes. The members of the pro-reform Slovenian communist leadership defended the interest of the most economically developed constituent republic and became the proponents of decentralization, and the opponents of the centralists, who were vary of the social and political effects of these processes. It was Stane Kavčič, the leader of the Slovenian reform communists later labelled as “liberals”, who first took a stance in opposition to the federal government in Yugoslavia. The delay in the approval of the international loan requested for the development of the road network integral to the country’s economic development plan and the disregard for Slovenian economic interest caused widespread dissatisfaction in Slovenia. This was the first time a larger coalition was formed against a decision of the federal government in Yugoslavia. However, after the so-called Road Scandal the Slovenian reform communists lost their positions on both local and federal levels, as President Tito removed the pro-reform leadership, just as he did in the other constituent republics. Still, with the changes in the rules of foreign exchange and the adoption of the Federal Constitution of 1974, their demands were partially met.
Feelings and Desires under the Mature Socialism: The Case of the Female Admirers of the Young Bulgarian Poet Kalin Yanakiev
The development of the idea of ‘sentimental education’ and the concept of ‘socialist versatile personality’ in the end of the 1960s and in the beginning of the 1970s in Bulgaria triggered a kind of expressivist turn in the local ideological discourse of mature socialism. The latter was embodied in the vast institutional network of ‘the culture of consumption’ of the citizenship – literary workshops and clubs associated with schools, youth and women’s newspapers and magazines, fantasy-reading clubs, etc. Designed as a facade for the socialist way of life under the control of party cultural managers, this network was uncontrollably inhabited and used by individuals for self-discovery and projections of multiple desires and feelings. The proposed paper discusses at length the case of the female admirers of the young Bulgarian Poet Kalin Yanakiev, who were part of the above-described network and who experienced the expressivist turn in an unpredictable and original manner. I analyse 90 letters, addressed to Kalyn Yanakiev, a promising author of the Rodna rech (Native Speech, a young literary journal), written in 1973–74 by girls aged 16 to 18 from different Bulgarian towns and villages. A series of letters is brought under special focus, where girls revealed their feelings to Yanakiev, providing access to a complex intimate world, where interiorized versions of the socialist moral and aesthetic virtues overlap with and merge into individual original discoveries of erotic and sexual desires.
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