Volkswagen and Human Rights Violations in Brazil, 1964-1985

Investigations on the role of Volkswagen during military dictatorship: TV-Documentary by Stefanie Dodt and Thomas Aders

Lúcio Bellentani, a former Volkswagen worker, visiting the prison in which he was tortured by Brazilian police after he had been handed over by the Volkswagen security force (Source: ARD-Mediathek)

The German automobile firm Volkswagen is being investigated by public prosecutors in Brazil. Newspaper and TV journalist from NDR, SWR and Süddeutsche Zeitung have now published findings of their own. The excellent TV documentary by Stefanie Dodt and Thomas Aders is available in the ARD-Mediathek with English subtitles and in Portuguese. Lúcio Bellentani, a former worker, says he was arrested in the workshop by factory security and handed over to the Brazilian secret police who took him away for prolongued torture over several months. Carl Hahn, then top manager with the car company, claims that he had no idea that human rights were violated on company ground. He says that there are more important things than investigating the past.

Carl Hahn, former Volkswagen top-manager, who says that there are more important things than investigating the past (Source: ARD-Mediathek)

The company’s press officer does not wish to make a statement on the accusation as long as the investigations are ongoing. The journalist team of investigators base the documentary on interviews but also on archival files. They contain a large number of reports on Volkswagen do Brasil workers the company regularly sent to the secret police during the dictatorship. This is an exemplary piece of journalistic and archival research.

Watch the documentary here.

Research fellowships for international postdocs

The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) awards

Research fellowships for international postdocs

for a research stay in Mainz beginning in April 2018 or later.

Deadline: October 1, 2017.

Applicant profile

The IEG awards fellowships for international young researchers in history, theology and other historical subjects. The IEG promotes research on the historical foundations of Europe from the early modern period to 1989/90, particularly regarding their religious, political and social dimensions. Projects dealing with European communication and transfer processes as well as projects focusing on questions related to theology, church history and intellectual history are particularly welcome.

What we offer

Funding is € 1,800/month. Research fellows live and work for between 6 and 12 months at the Institute in Mainz and can pursue their individual research project (extension possible).

Aims

This fellowship is intended to help you develop your own research project in close collaboration with scholars working at the IEG. Your contribution consist in bringing your own interests to bear on the work of the IEG and its research programme »negotiating difference in Europe«. This includes the possibility of developing a perspective for further cooperation with the IEG. If for this purpose a promising application for third-party funding is submitted, an extension of the fellowship is possible.

Requirements

  • Applicants must have completed their doctorate no more than three years before taking up the fellowship.
  • Fellows are required to register officially as residents in Mainz and to take part in events at the Institute.
  • Fellows are not permitted to undertake paid work while receiving the IEG fellowship.
  • The linguae academicae at the IEG are German and English; fellows must have a passive command of both and an active command of at least one of the two languages so as to participate in the discussions at the Institute.

Please send your application via e-mail to: fellowship@ieg-mainz.de
Subject: Stipendienbewerbung 

For further information on the fellowship programme and application see:

http://www.ieg-mainz.de/en/fellowships/application_details

 

Panel on “Children, Childhood and International Humanitarianism in the Transition between War and Peace”

While the historical role of children and notions of childhood in times of war and crises generally constituted an important theme at the Ninth Biennial Conference of the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth (SHCY), one panel was explicitly dedicated to the study of international humanitarianism and attempts to protect children in the transition between war and peace. The panel was organized by Yukako Otori (Harvard University) and Andrée-Ann Plourde (Laval University) and included presenters that had first met in the framework of the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA). The panel, which was chaired by the distinguished historian of international child welfare and author of Raising the World: Child Welfare in the American Century (Harvard University Press, 2015) Sara Fieldston, explored the intersection of international attempts to protect children and the history of humanitarianism on the basis of four case studies.

Opening the panel was historian of Africa Stacey Hynd (Exeter University) who discussed the construction of the “child soldier” in the second half of the twentieth century. Presenting rich examples from the involvement of children in armed conflict from the 1950s (the Mau Mau rebellion) to discussions in the United Nations in the mid-1990s, she, firstly, showed how child soldiering was gradually constructed as an African phenomenon. Secondly, tracing how legal, human rights and humanitarian discourses and norms discursively produced the image of the “child soldier”, Hynd argued that it was precisely the divergence of this image from the actual experiences of children actively involved in war that ultimately limited the effectiveness of humanitarian intervention. The intersection of humanitarian campaigning and international legislative efforts also constituted a major theme in the second presentation by Yukako Otori. Exploring the making of international child labor law in the interwar years, Otori not only traced the emergence of a set of conventions against child labor issued by the International Labor Conference, the highest legislative organ of the International Labor Organization (ILO), but also pointed to the limited effectiveness of these conventions when it came to the ratification and enforcement by the individual member states. Yet, as she pointed out, the legislative efforts of the 1920s nonetheless produced significant shifts in the understanding of child labor, which was marked by a growing sensitivity towards non-industrial labor as well as long-terms negative effects such as for instance interrupted schooling. Continue reading

Guest Lectures of the GHRA 2017

Our third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) has started with one week of academic training at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) Mainz before continuing with archival research at the ICRC Archives in Geneva. On this occasion the GHRA is very pleased to welcome Dr. Jean-Luc Blondel and Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch as two distinguished guest lecturers on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

In the morning session Dr. Jean-Luc Blondel, the former Head of the ICRC Archives and former special advisor to the previous ICRC president, will speak on ICRC work and policies during the period 1966 to 1975.

In the afternoon session Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch, Director of the Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel will give the guest lecture “Exchange ships: enemy aliens, repatriation and forced migration during World War II”.

We are all very much looking forward to these two presentations and the following discussion!

 

Third GHRA, 10-21 July 2017

 

In about a week the third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) will meet for one week of academic training at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz before continuing with archival research at the ICRC Archives in Geneva. The Research Academy addresses early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present.

The GHRA received a huge amount of applications from an extremely talented group of scholars from more than nineteen different countries around the world. The selection committee considered each proposal carefully and has selected these participants for the GHRA 2017:

Luís Paulo Bogliolo is a doctoral candidate with the Laureate Program in International Law at the University of Melbourne (Australia). He holds an LLM in Public International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA Law from the University of Brasília. He has been a lecturer at the University of Brasília, Coordinator of Regulation in the Department of Intellectual Rights at the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, and Law Clerk at the High Court of Brazil. His thesis is entitled Bombing Civilians: Aerial Warfare and Distinction in the History of International Law.

Jenny Chapman completed a BA (Hons) in Historical studies and Religious studies with Comparative religion, and an MA in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response at the University of Manchester. She was awarded an ESRC- funded Case Studentship with the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at the University of Manchester in 2015. Her PhD project investigates the British Medical Humanitarian sector between the years of 1988- 2014 and is co-supervised by HCRI and the Humanitarian Affairs Team in Save the Children UK. Jenny is particularly interested in role that history can play in offering a reflective and analytical insight into the humanitarian System.

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IEG Research Fellowships for Ph.D. Students

The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) awards

Research fellowships for

international Ph.D. students

for a research stay in Mainz beginning in March 2018.

Profil

The IEG awards fellowships for international junior researchers in history, theology and other historical subjects. The IEG promotes research on the historical foundations of Europe from the early modern period to 1989/90, particularly regarding their religious, political and social dimensions. Projects dealing with European communication and transfer processes as well as projects focusing on questions related to theology, church history and intellectual history are particularly welcome.

What we offer

Funding is currently € 1,200/month. Research fellows live and work for between 6 and 12 months at the Institute in Mainz and can pursue their individual Ph.D. project. Fellows are advised by a mentor from among the IEG’s academic staff.

Requirements

PhD theses continue to be supervised and are completed under the auspices of the fellows’ home universities. Fellows are required to register officially as residents in Mainz and to reside and take part in events at the Institute. The linguae academicae at the IEG are German and English; fellows must have a passive command of both and an active command of at least one of the two languages so as to participate in the discussions at the Institute.

Please send your application via e-mail to: fellowship@ieg-mainz.de  Subject: Stipendienbewerbung

Deadline for Application:

15 August 2017

For further information on the fellowship program and application see:

http://www.ieg-mainz.de/en/fellowships/application_details

http://www.ieg-mainz.de/media/public/PDF-Stipendien/Bewerbungsformular_Application%20Form_PhD.pdf

Contact:

Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) | Fellowship Programme | Barbara Müller, M. A. Alte Universitaetsstraße 19 | 55116 Mainz – Germany | E-Mail: ieg3@ieg-mainz.de | Tel. 0049 (0)6131 – 39 39365

“On site, in time”: St. Louis by Sarah Panter

Regarding our new IEG open access publication “On site, in time” here is Sarah Panter’s article on St. Louis, in which she focuses on German revolutionaries and aboltion.

Cross-posted from: http://en.ieg-differences.eu/on-site-in-time/sarah-panter-st-louis-mo/

For the Union and against slavery: the Camp Jackson Affair in May 1861

St. Louis, which was originally founded in 1763 as a French trading post, grew into a centre of European immigration from the 1830s and became a hub for settlers in the American West. The city’s favourable location on the Mississippi River earned it the name “Gateway to the West”. The Missouri territory, however, was not acquired by the United States from France (“Louisiana Purchase”) until 1803. Under the so-called Missouri Compromise, the area was included in the Union in 1821 as a state where slavery was legal. Still, unlike many Southern states, Missouri had only few slaves.

Depiction of Camp Jackson affair, first published in the New York Illustrated News on 05.25.1861 under the title “Terrible Tragedy at St. Louis, Mo.”

The key role of St. Louis as a stronghold of secular “abolitionism” was already apparent in the early stages of the American Civil War (1861–1865). On May 10th, 1861, tensions developed at Camp Jackson between pro-Union and pro-Confederate militias regarding the nearby St. Louis Arsenal, which belonged to federal troops. In the ranks of the pro-Union militia there were many German immigrants. By contrast, along with governor of Missouri Claiborne Fox Jackson (1806–1862) and the local slaveholders, most Irish immigrants supported the Confederate camp. When shots were fired during this dispute, turmoil ensued and anti-German insults followed. In the end, there were 30 deaths. The Union militias were finally able to successfully defend the armoury, and Missouri remained part of the Union. At the same time, however, the incidents led to deep divisions among the population.

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Conference on Gender & Humanitarianism at the Leibniz Institute of European History

Crossposted from EuropeAcrossBorders

The international conference at the Leibniz Institute of European History discusses the relationship between gender and humanitarian discourses and practices in the twentieth century. In particular, it analyzes the ways in which constructions and ideologies of gender shaped and were shaped by humanitarian practices, interactions, ideas, bodies, and institutions on local, regional, national and/or global scales. By introducing the analytical category of gender into the historical study of humanitarianism, the conference discusses how (hierarchical) relations between men and women, social and cultural constructions of masculinity/femininity and gendered conceptions of human bodies worked out in the various types of humanitarian organizations (e.g. IOs, NGOs, networks, aid agencies, churches), campaigns, perceptions, works and subjectivities. Focusing on the time between the First World War and the end of the Cold War, the conference concentrates on a period that not only witnessed a great expansion of humanitarian action worldwide but also saw fundamental changes in gender relations and the gradual emergence of gender-sensitive policies in humanitarian organizations in many Western and non-Western settings.

Convenors: Esther Möller (Mainz), Johannes Paulmann (Mainz) and Katharina Stornig (Giessen)

Programmflyer-Gender-and-Humanitarianism (pdf)

Programme

 Thursday June 29, 2017

14.00–14.30    Esther Möller (Mainz), Johannes Paulmann (Mainz), Katharina Stornig (Giessen): Welcome and Introduction

I. Masculinities and Femininities in Humanitarian Discourse and Practice (Chair: Ulrike Weckel, Giessen)

14.30–15.30     Inger Marie Okkenhaug (Volda): Gender and Humanitarian Practices after World War I: Female Scandinavian Relief Workers and Armenian Women Refugees in Lebanon and Syria

15.30–16.30     Maria Lidola (Konstanz): Gender and the Formation of Humanitarian Discourse in the Global South: The Specific Case of Cuban Medical Missions

16.30–17.00     Coffee break

17.00–18.00    Bertrand Taithe (Manchester): Masculine Character and Heroics in Humanitarian Aid: A Long Perspective

18.00–19.00    Kerrie Holloway (London): Where are all the Men in Humanitarian History? A Re-assessment of Field Workers during the Spanish Civil War

20.00                Conference Dinner

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New IEG Open Access Publication “On site, in time”

Historically, how were difference and inequality negotiated in Europe? What were the parts played by religion, society and politics? “On site, in time” takes a look at events that took place in European locations and that exemplify Europe¹s historical development since 1500. The c. 60 articles illustrate the various and conflict-ridden ways of negotiating differences and inequality. They depict strategies that were developed to promote, present, preserve, mitigate or abolish difference. Such strategies may include discussions, peaceful solutions and aid as well migration, mission and protest or even exclusion, war and destruction.

Negotiating differences in Europe, ed. for the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) by Joachim Berger, Irene Dingel and Johannes Paulmann, Mainz 2016.

The open access publication “On site, in time” is a product of the current research programme “Negotiating differences in Modern Europe” of the Leibnitz Institute of European History (IEG). Its aim is, on the one hand, to provide basic information on how differences were negotiated in Modern Europe, and on the other hand to make the research carried out at the IEG understandable and available to a wider audience. “On site, in time” is therefore meant for everyone with a distinct interest in history, religion, politics, and societal questions.

In the next couple of weeks I will present some examples of these articles directly related to the history of humanitarianism and human rights here on hhr!

In the meantime enjoy discovering the new IEG open access publication “On site, in time”!

IFZ-Conference Report: Migration, Refugees, and Asylum

Cross-posted from

http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=7049

Institut für Zeitgeschichte – München-Berlin 14.12.2016-16.12.2016, München

Bericht von:

Joseph Hawker, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

E-Mail: <j.hawker@utoronto.ca>

Im Jahre 2016 waren nach Angaben des UNHCR weltweit über 65 Millionen Menschen auf der Flucht, die meisten von ihnen als Binnenvertriebene im eigenen Land (“internally displaced persons”) aufgrund anhaltender bewaffneter Konflikte – eine historische Rekordhöhe. Hinzu kommen Millionen von Arbeitsmigranten, die sich aus wirtschaftlicher Not und in der Hoffnung auf bessere Lebensbedingungen auf den Weg machen. Diese aktuellen politischen Entwicklungen waren Ausgangspunkt der interdisziplinär angelegten Konferenz, die vom Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Zusammenarbeit mit der Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, organisiert und vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung gefördert wurde.

Drei Leitfragen strukturierten die Tagung, wie IfZ-Direktor Andreas Wirsching eingangs hervorhob: Welche politischen, rechtlichen und wissenschaftlichen Konzepte von Migration, Flucht und Asyl waren seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs erkennbar? Welche Motive, Normen und Prinzipien prägten den Diskurs um humanitäre Hilfe, Migrations- und Asylpolitik? Welche Akteure agierten im globalen Migrationsregime und welche Praktiken politischer Steuerung entwickelten sie? Ausgehend davon zog das erste Panel eine Bilanz der aktuellen Forschungstrends in verschiedenen Disziplinen. 

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IfZ Munich: Conference MIGRATION, REFUGEES AND ASYLUM. CONCEPTS, ACTORS AND PRATICES SINCE THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Migration, Refugees and Asylum are crucial issues in
current debates in Germany and Europe. This conference
analyses concepts, actors and practices of global
migration in a historical perspective since the Second
World War up to the present day.
Starting with flight and expulsion of the post-war period
in Europe and the political refugees of the Cold War,
this conference shall focus on the global movements of
refugees in the Third World since the 1970s. Due to the
decline of the Soviet Union and the war in Yugoslavia
in the 1990s as well as the current Syrian civil war,
migration became once again an important challenge
for Europe and the European Union.

konferenz2016_plakat_181016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interdisciplinary conference examines three key
questions from a global perspective: Which political,
legal and scientific concepts of migration, refugees and
asylum can be identified? Which motives, norms and
principles have characterised the discourse until today?
Which actors and policies have been shaping the global
migration regime?
The conference will be held in German and English.
Simultaneous translation will be provided.

Conference Programme:

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New Book: Humanity. A History of European Concepts in Practice From the Sixteenth Century to the Present

This edited volume investigates the development of the concepts and practices of “humanity” from the sixteenth century to the present. By choosing a longue-durée approach the book analyzes how shifting concepts of humanity shaped various practices and at the same time how ideas themselves were informed by these practices in the course of four hundred years. As humanity is evoked in a remarkable array of themes, the contributors deliberately focus on issues such as humanism, colonial expansion and imperialism, missions, abolitionism, international humanitarian law, humanitarianism, human rights, charity and philanthropy. In their understanding, these are crucial arenas, in which concepts and practices of humanity were sustainably shaped, defined, questioned and reconfigured. While there are a huge number of individual studies on each theme, the book seeks to connect these various fields and analyze their entanglements under the overarching theme of the idea of humanity.

Humanity

Accordingly, the volume regards the notion of humanity not as static and related only to one specific century, but as a dynamic concept, which emerged in the course of several centuries. One of the central aims is to show its procedural and evolutionary character with all its ambiguities and inconsistencies in the context of Europe itself as well as the continent’s relation to the wider world. Beyond Europe, the volume covers another three different geographical regions – namely Africa, America, and Asia, thus seeking to combine methodologically European history with approaches of transnational and global history.

Being aware of the multidimensional character of the topic and underlining the enrichment of research from different perspectives, the book adopts an interdisciplinary approach. Beyond doubt in the debates around the idea of humanity, religion played a remarkable role. Jewish, Catholic as well as Protestant teaching shaped the notion in many significant ways. It served for various actors such as philosophers, reformists, missionaries, abolitionists, and legal scholars frequently as a fundamental source for inspiring their theories and influencing their action. For this reason, theologians and historians in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Switzerland provide, for the first time together, innovative perspectives on the European concepts of humanity in practice. Thus, the book promotes an integrative approach to the theme by combining not only different geographical regions but also various historical epochs and academic disciplines in a single volume.

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Call for Applications: Global Humanitarianism Research Academy 2017

Drs Fabian Klose, Johannes Paulmann, and Andrew Thompson are pleased to announce that the Call for Applications for the third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2017 is now open, with a deadline of 31 December 2016.

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Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy

International Research Academy on the History of Global Humanitarianism

Academy Leaders:   

Fabian Klose, Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz

Johannes Paulmann, Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz

Andrew Thompson, University of Exeter

in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva)

and with support by the German Historical Institute London

Venues:                     

Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz &

Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross Geneva

Dates:                         10-21 July 2017

Deadline:                    31 December 2016

Information at:          http://ghra.ieg-mainz.de/

ExeterIEGICRCghil

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Report Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2016

The 2nd Global Humanitarianism Research Academy at the Centre for Imperial and Global History, University of Exeter, and the Archives of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva

Whole group CB 2 klein

GHRA 2016 at Reed Hall, University of Exeter, 13 July 2016

The GHRA 2016, organized by FABIAN KLOSE (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz), JOHANNES PAULMANN (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz), and ANDREW THOMPSON (University of Exeter) in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and with support by the German Historical Institute London, took place from July 11 to 22, 2016 at the University of Exeter and the Archives of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The 2016 GHRA had eleven fellows (ten PhD candidates, one Postdoc) who were selected in a highly competitive application process. They came from Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They represented a range of disciplinary approaches from History, International History, Politics, International Relations, and Area Studies. The Research Academy was joined by STACEY HYND (University of Exeter) and KATHARINA STORNIG (Leibniz Institute of European History) as well as JEAN-LUC BLONDEL (formerly of the ICRC) and MARC-WILLIAM PALEN (University of Exeter).

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The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Impact of History

On Wednesday, 20th July, the fellows of the GHRA 2016 discussed topical issues as well as the role and impact of history with Charlotte Lindsey Curtet at the Humanitarium, the conference centre at the headquarters of the ICRC in Geneva. As Director of Communication and Information Management since 2010, Charlotte Lindsey is not only current in all present affairs but also responsible for the Archives of the ICRC.

GHRA 2016_002

Charlotte Lindsey Curtet with the fellows of the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy, Geneva 20 July 2016.

She herself has witnessed great changes since she joined the organisation in 1993 when she first went on missions to Bosnia and Ruanda. In 1999-2000 she conducted a major research on women and war resulting in the publication of Women Facing War (2001). The findings in some instances surprised her herself, she said. Looking at women not merely through the prism of sexual violence and as victims but as actors in their own right broadened the perspectives and made the ICRC more gender sensitive in terms of operational response as well as legal development. The “all victims approach” prevalent until then has since been abandoned in favour of a more nuanced notion without giving up the principle of impartiality. In more recent years, similar discussions are taking place in relation to the challenges of cultural and particularly religious differences. The aim always is to find communality in order to come to the aid of those who suffer across the divides of a conflict. Increasing Respect for International Humanitarian Law in non-International Armed Conflicts (2008) suggests in a chapter on “strategic argumentation” to appeal to core values as “the fundamental principles of humanitarian law are often mirrored in the values, ethics or morality of local cultures and traditions. Pointing out how certain rules or principles found in IHL also exist within the culture of a party to a conflict can help lead to increased compliance“ (p. 31).

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