6 pages/≈1650 words
Contemporary Europe (Essay Sample)
HIS 3045: Spring 2013 Contemporary Europe : First writing Assignment Answer *ONE* of the following questions. Your essay should be typed, one-and-a-half or double spaced, and you should provide a title-cover sheet for my general comments. If you use any internet sites give the appropriate web-address. The essays should be roughly 6-8 pages in length. The essays are due in class on March 16th [no exceptions after that date]. 1 Write a brief essay about Heda Kovaly's memoir Under a Cruel Star (1986). Use the book as a means to comment on changes that occurred in Eastern Europe during and after the Second World War. Think about Heda's experiences during the Nazi occupation, her critical assessment of the way that occupation shaped Czech society and attitudes, and how she and Rudolf viewed the situation in the early postwar period, their hopes and fears. Using either the Hitchcock text (or Tony Judt's Postwar –we have a copy in the Library) and anything else you wish, explain how Rudolf Margolius became a victim of a larger crackdown in Eastern Europe with its origins both in the deepening Cold War and divisions within the Soviet sphere of influence. 2. Werner Fassbinder's The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) and Karel Reisz's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) both deal (albeit in very different ways) with the 1950s and with increased affluence and material goods. Fassbinder's film focuses on a woman, Maria Braun, reflecting a growing awareness in the 1970s of the role of women in the immediate postwar years and during the so-called “economic miracle” [Wirtschaftswunder]; we witness, for example, the psychic cost of Maria's drive to succeed, her view of marriage, and her desire to remain in control as she moves between two men. Reisz's film focuses upon Arthur Seaton, a disaffected worker, whose aggressive masculinity, sense of going nowhere, and anger at the society around him is often displaced onto his relationships with women. Write an essay examining the way these two films depict West German and British society in the 1950s. What are the chief themes that Fassbinder and Reisz wish to convey about the two societies; how would you interpret the final scene of each movie? [Both films are on reserve in the Purchase Library] 3. “Within three years of the end of World War 2 Communist parties in East Europe were well on the way to consolidating their political power in the different countries. But then between 1948 and Stalin's death in 1953 the politics of these states were thrown into turmoil by a broad purge which included mass arrests and imprisonments and also the denunciation, trials, and punishment of former Communist leaders.” From your reading of Hitchcock, The Struggle for Europe (or Tony Judt's Postwar ; the most relevant sections are in chaps 5 and 6)) and class lectures write a brief essay summarizing your understanding of why this occurred. Examine Stalin's motivation, the internal factional rivalries within East European states, and the way that the growing dispute between Stalin and Tito shaped these purges. 4. In the period from 1945-1962 the French and British governments were engaged in a series of counterinsurgency military campaigns: In Indo-China (Vietnam) and Algeria in the case of France; in Palestine, Malaya, the Suez Canal zone, Kenya, and Cyprus in the case of Great Britain. The largest and most terrible of these conflicts was the Algerian War (1954-62), although it was not officially recognized as a “war” until decades later. Write an essay that examines the Algeran conflict through the texts I have assigned: Camus, “The Guest” (“The Adulterous Woman” if you have time); Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo film); Evans, “Rehabilitating the Traumatized war Veteran”; and Prost “The Algerian War in Collective Memory”. My lecture will give you an overview of the war. Explain why the conflict was so difficult to resolve; the dramatic and lasting impact of the war on French politics (my lecture and Hitchcock); and some of the reasons for the nation's collective amnesia post-1962. source..
The Algerian War of independence
The Algerian War of independence
Algeria is one of the French colonies. The Algerian War of independence was a war between the Algerian independence movement and France. The war was fought from 1954 to 1962. It was this war that led to Algeria gaining its independence from her colonizer, France. It was one of the most complex forms of conflict characterized by many tactics from both sides of the conflicting parties. It was also a civil war between loyalist Algerians and their Algerian Muslim counterparts. The loyalist believed in a French Algeria. The war was started by the National Liberation Front (FLN) on 1 November 1954 CITATION Mar97 \l 2057 (Windrow, 1997). The Algerian War still remains one of the most violent and prolonged examples of decolonization. It subsequently brought to an end 132 years of French inhabitation and rule in Algeria. This Algerian struggle for independence brought to the fall six French prime ministers, collapse of the Fourth Republic, and expulsion of French settlers in Algeria. In the early hours of 1 November 1954, units of Algerian Muslims led by the National Liberation Front or Front de Liberation national (FLN) attacked communication facilities, police posts, warehouses, military installations, and public utilities. The activists used crude weapons such as hunting rifles, homemade bombs and shotguns. This uprising was followed by a broadcast from the FLN headquarters in Egypt, calling on all Muslims in Algeria to join in a struggle for the restoration of Algerian sovereign, social and democratic state within the doctrines of Islam CITATION Mar97 \l 2057 (Windrow, 1997). The French reacted by sending paratroopers into Algeria. This showed their determination to keep and maintain control over the territory. This action was taken by Mendes France who was by then the President of the Council of Ministers. However, the Algerian regime brought down his regime after only six months of office. Just before the eruption of the violent independence struggle in Algeria, the French had been forced to vacate from Vietnam after defeat at the Dien Bien Phu. As a result of this defeat from Vietnam, France moved most of its foreign Legion to Algeria. By then, Algeria was French`s oldest and largest colony. The French government was not ready to abandon the Algerian territory. By midyear of 1956, over half a million French soldiers had been deployed in Algeria CITATION Ale02 \l 2057 (Alexander & F V, 2002). FLN strengthened its ties and widened its attacks. It focused on terrorism in the major cities, mainly Algiers. By the beginning of the year 1957, the French had deployed over three hundred thousand soldiers in Algeria. On 28 January of the same year (1957), the UN had scheduled to discuss the problem of the war in Algeria. From that same day, the FLN declared a week of work boycott in Algiers against the French rule. General Mass...
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