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Memory of an occupation: my grandmother's work for the Allied Control Council in Vienna, 1945-49

Dates:
  • Mon 30 Jan 2017 10.30 - 12.30
  Add to Calendar 2017-01-30 10:30 2017-01-30 12:30 Europe/Paris Memory of an occupation: my grandmother's work for the Allied Control Council in Vienna, 1945-49

While much recent literature has turned to the presence of women in international diplomacy, the second tier of women working in the civil administration of postwar Europe has remained obscured. My grandmother, Nadezhda Dmitrieva, was one of three women present at the meetings of the Allied Control Council in Vienna in the years 1945 to 1949. Each of the four occupying powers, the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain, and France, had taken one of the great hotels on Vienna’s Ringstrasse as their headquarters. The first meetings took place at the Hofburg, the Habsburgs’ old residence. Later, the meetings were transferred to the spa town of Baden. In 1949, my grandmother returned to Moscow with her new husband, my future grandfather, Erich Einhorn, whom she had met in Vienna. His native German (he was Jewish and came from Czernowitz; his parents survived the Holocaust) had enabled him to get a job as a translator; as an officer, he had reached Berlin under Marshall Zhukov, and in Vienna, he was stationed as the Soviet officer responsible for theatre and opera censorship and Denazification, whilst also connecting to old acquaintances such as his distant cousin Paul Celan. My interviews with my grandmother disclose a microhistory of Vienna in which the themes of gender as well as occupational identity are salient. In the paper, I want concentrate on her story, set against the more familiar history of military displacement and Jewish traumatic memory associated with Paul Celan and her husband Erich Einhorn, before reflecting on some key themes arising from working with this case study of family memory. Themes include the suspension of sovereignty in twentieth-century Austrian history; the erasure of the presence of women from the media coverage of allied occupation; the importance of occupational identity in wartime and postwar contexts, particularly, stenography; and the comparison between Vienna and Berlin in the cultural memory of post-World War II conceptions of international order.

Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana

While much recent literature has turned to the presence of women in international diplomacy, the second tier of women working in the civil administration of postwar Europe has remained obscured. My grandmother, Nadezhda Dmitrieva, was one of three women present at the meetings of the Allied Control Council in Vienna in the years 1945 to 1949. Each of the four occupying powers, the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain, and France, had taken one of the great hotels on Vienna’s Ringstrasse as their headquarters. The first meetings took place at the Hofburg, the Habsburgs’ old residence. Later, the meetings were transferred to the spa town of Baden. In 1949, my grandmother returned to Moscow with her new husband, my future grandfather, Erich Einhorn, whom she had met in Vienna. His native German (he was Jewish and came from Czernowitz; his parents survived the Holocaust) had enabled him to get a job as a translator; as an officer, he had reached Berlin under Marshall Zhukov, and in Vienna, he was stationed as the Soviet officer responsible for theatre and opera censorship and Denazification, whilst also connecting to old acquaintances such as his distant cousin Paul Celan. My interviews with my grandmother disclose a microhistory of Vienna in which the themes of gender as well as occupational identity are salient. In the paper, I want concentrate on her story, set against the more familiar history of military displacement and Jewish traumatic memory associated with Paul Celan and her husband Erich Einhorn, before reflecting on some key themes arising from working with this case study of family memory. Themes include the suspension of sovereignty in twentieth-century Austrian history; the erasure of the presence of women from the media coverage of allied occupation; the importance of occupational identity in wartime and postwar contexts, particularly, stenography; and the comparison between Vienna and Berlin in the cultural memory of post-World War II conceptions of international order.


Location:
Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Organiser:
Alexander Etkind (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Contact:
Fabrizio Borchi (EUI - Department of History and Civilization) - Send a mail

Speaker:
Dina Gusejnova (University of Sheffield)

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