Davis Center: Fascism, Socialism, and the Fate of Kaliningrad’s Germans or, How Did Kaliningrad Figure Out What It Meant to Become Soviet?


Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 4:00pm


CGIS South, S354, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA

Nicole Eaton, Assistant Professor of History, Boston College

The Nazi German city of Königsberg’s transformation into Soviet Russian Kaliningrad offers a peculiar case of Sovietization in the immediate postwar. For three years, new Soviet settlers lived together with Königsberg’s remaining German civilians, as the new Soviet government in Kaliningrad attempted to figure out what it meant for a formerly fascist city—and its population—to become Soviet. By following three phases of Sovietization in the period from the capture of the city in April 1945 till the final expulsion of the German population in 1948, this talk looks at how material and ideological circumstances combined to create a new Soviet city after the war, and how a peculiar case of Sovietization can help historians understand everyday practices of socialism in the immediate postwar.

The 2017–2018 Fellows Seminar is coordinated by Professors Stephanie Sandler and Terry Martin.