cart
0

One of the world's most prestigious ERC grants will be solved at the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS

Michal Frankl, historian at the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS, has been awarded one of the world's most prestigious ERC (European Research Council) grants of almost two million euros. He was successful with his project entitled Unexpected Sanctuary? Refugees and Citizens in Central Eastern Europe in the 20th Century.

Over the next five years, Frankl will lead an international team of historians comparing how refugees were defined, discussed, classified and received in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia (and their successor states). The grant will result in a book and a series of partial studies, as well as workshops, conferences and the resulting proceedings.

"The project seeks to inscribe refugees back into the history of 20th-century Central Eastern Europe," Frankl wrote in the application, which took two years to prepare. According to the historian, 20th-century Central Eastern Europe is usually seen more as a place of departure. Moreover, individual refugee groups were mainly seen by contemporaries and later historians as isolated political and national exile groups.

Above all, Frankl's discussion of what it means to grant asylum and how refugees affect society is lacking. "In Uncertain Refuge, together with the historian Kateřina Čapková, I also described the harsh attitude of the Czechoslovak authorities after the Anschluss of Austria, which virtually closed the borders to Jewish refugees in particular. We expected that this would spark some discussion here about how democracy should behave in such situations. But nothing of the sort has emerged - in contrast to debates about Swiss, British or American refugee policy at the time of the Holocaust. It is as if we had made different demands on Czechoslovakia or the countries in the East. That iswhy I started to prepare the ERC project," explains Michal Frankl.

His comparative project will cover the entire twentieth century: from the First World War and the creation of nation states, through the refugees of the late 1930s and the Holocaust, to the Cold War era and the post-communist 1990s. It will thus allow us to trace the treatment of refugees over a longer period and in a large region marked by, among other things, national conflicts and ethnic cleansing, war and occupation, as well as the period of state socialism. "One of the innovations of the project is to compare the flight to the free West with asylum in the communist bloc, for example for refugees from Greece," Frankl adds.

Official results of the competition:

https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-2018-consolidator-grants-results

Contact:

Michal Frankl, PhD.

Email: frankl@mua.cas.cz

-----

ERC grant for a Czech scientist for research into the history of refugees in East-Central Europe

The historian of the Masaryk Institute and Archive of the Czech Academy of Sciences Michal Frankl has received funding from the ERC (European Research Council), one of the most prestigious scientific grants in the world, in the amount of almost two million Euros. He was successful with the international commission with his project called Unlikely refuge? Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th century.

Over the next 5 years, Frankl will lead an international team of historians comparing the way in which refugees were defined and discussed, categorised and received in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia (and their successor states). The results of the grant will be a book publication and a series of studies, but also workshops, conferences and the proceedings created from them.

"The project aims to write refugees back into the history of East-Central Europe in the 20th century," writes Frankl in his ERC application, which he prepared for two years. According to the historian we mostly perceived East-Central Europe of the 20th century as a place to leave rather than a refuge. Moreover, the individual groups of refugees were seen by contemporaries and later historians mainly as isolated political and national exile groups.

In particular, Frankl is missing a discussion on what it means to provide asylum and how refugees influence society. "In the book Uncertain Refuge, together with the historian Kateřina Čapková, we examined the harsh approach of Czechoslovak authorities after the Anschluss of Austria, leading to the closure of the borders to Jewish refugees. We expected that it would evoke a discussion on how a democracy should act in such situations, but nothing like that happened - in contrast with the debates on Swiss, British or American refugee policies during the Holocaust. As if we placed other demands on Czechoslovakia or the countries of the East. It was also for this reason that I started the preparation of the ERC project," explains Michal Frankl.

His comparative project spans the entire twentieth century: from World War I and the creation of nation states, through the end of the 1930s and the period of the Holocaust, to the era of the Cold War and the post-communist 1990s. It will allow comparative research on refugees over a long period of time and in a large region, which is marked, inter alia, by national conflicts and ethnic cleansing, war and occupation, as well as the period of state socialism. "One of the project's innovations is the comparison of escape to the free West and asylum in the Communist Bloc, for instance for refugees from Greece," adds Frankl.

A list of all selected projects and researchers:

https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-2018-consolidator-grants-results

Contact:

Dr. Michal Frankl

Email: frankl@mua.cas.cz

Photo gallery

Loading…
Loading the web debug toolbar…
Attempt #