Conference Group for Central European History
Spring 2003

Dear Colleagues,

Here is the Spring 2003 Newsletter.  Items of particular interest include the report of the Editor of Central European History, the business meeting's vote to elect Ken Ledford as new editor of CEH,  the report of the 2002-2003 Book Prize Committee, the announcement of the competition for the Article Prize to be awarded in January 2004, guidelines for submitting proposals for panels to be presented at the AHA meeting, and the dissolution of the financial relationship between the CGCEH and the AHA.  To go directly to a subject listed in the table of contents, please click on the relevant line below.

Kees Gispen


Report of the Business Meeting in Chicago, 4 January 2003
        Welcome by the President
        Report of the Executive Secretary and Treasurer
        Report of the Editor of Central European History
        Report of the 2002-2003 Prize Committee: Harold Marcuse wins the Hans Rosenberg Book Prize
        Report of the Archives Committee
        Report from the German Historical Institute
        Report from the Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
        New Business
               Election of new officers
               Election of Ken Ledford as new editor of CEH
Guidelines for submitting panel proposals to the CGCEH-sponsored segment of the AHA program
        2003-2004 Hans Rosenberg Article Prize Competition
        CGCEH and AHA dissolve financial relationship
        2003 Executive Committee
        Nominations for positions on the Executive Committee
        Subscriptions to Central European History
        Subscriptions to Austrian History Yearbook
        Contact the editor of the Newsletter

    Business Meeting, San Francisco

5 January 2002

Welcome and Introductory Remarks by the President
President David Crew chaired the meeting and welcomed the members in attendance.  Crew invited everyone to participate in the Bierabend (which took place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 in the adjacent room and was very well attended).  The minutes of last year’s business meeting were approved.

Report of the Executive Secretary and Treasurer
Kees Gispen reported on the Conference Group’s finances and gave the following overview.

Budget summary January 2002-January 2003

Balance Forward  January 2, 2002*






AHA interest **





Brill royalties***




  Shipping and handling charges collected for donating CEH back issues




Total income





Article prize award, January 2002 George Williamson)





2002 Bierabend and Executive Board meeting +




  AHA Perspectives advertisement for Hans Rosenberg Book Prize ($325) and CGCEH events listed in 2002 Annual Program ($475)




2002 NCC dues





2002  Subsidy to CEH




  Reimbursement of Executive Secretary/Treasurer for distributing CEH back issues




Total expenditures




Net income





Balance forward January  2, 2003





* Includes $500 for retained 2001 dues to NCC

** The CGCEH maintains an interest bearing investment account with the AHA.  Owing to losses sustained on its investments, the AHA did not make annual interest payments in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

*** Brill Academic Publishers provided the following breakdown: amount includes $5,500.00 advance on royalties for 2003 ($6.00 per subscription) plus $168 for additional subscriptions in 2002.

+ Executive board breakfast at the January 2002 meeting (187.72), Bierabend expenses Janaury 2002 (275.08), miscellaneous expenses of CEH-editor search committee meeting January 2002 ($48.08).  

The business meeting approved the 2002 financial report. 

Report of the Editor of Central European History
Ken Barkin presented the following overview.

Publishing record for 2002:

Number of issues 4  (Vol. 35, Nos. 1-4)
Number of articles 10 plus 1 reply
Number of review articles 4
Number of book reviews 103

At the publisher:

Vol. 36: 1 Articles: 3 Book Reviews: 23

Current editorial status (January 2002):

In progress Vol. 36: 2 (3 articles, 22 book reviews)
Articles accepted 5
Review articles accepted 2
Articles to be revised 3
Articles at referees 1
Articles rejected in 2002 26
New articles to be read 2
Book reviews on hand 73
Book reviews outstanding 142
Book reviews declared dead (1997-98) 27
Number of subscribers c. 850

Barkin announced that Ursula Marcum in 2002 was promoted to Senior Editor; that Volker Berghahn will leave the editorial board of CEH; and that David Luebke will join the board.

Report of the 2002-2003 Hans Rosenberg Book Prize Committee
The next item of business was the report of the Hans Rosenberg prize committee, which consisted of Jeffry M. Diefendorf (chair), Nancy Wingfield, and Alon Confino.  The prize for the best book in Central European history published in 2000 or 2001 was awarded to Harold Marcuse (University of California, Santa Barbara)  for his book: Legacies of Dachau: The Uses and Abuses of a Concentration Camp 1933-2001 (Cambridge University Press, 2001). President Crew read the prize committee's award statement: 

January 4, 2003

To stand out among 49 submissions, the award-winning book had to be challenging and ambitious, theoretically informed, solidly researched, well-written, and nicely produced.  The winner of this year's Hans Rosenberg Book Prize is Legacies of Dachau: The Uses and Abuses of a Concentration Camp, 1933-2001 by Harold Marcuse, published in 2001 by Cambridge University Press. The title suggests only part of the sweep of this well-illustrated book. Marcuse traces the multiple transformations of the camp in Dachau from a concentration camp to a camp for displaced persons to an internment camp for Nazis to a heavily-visited memorial and museum site, but he also includes the adjacent site that housed first an SS garrison, then a US army unit, and then part of the Bavarian state police.  These multiple uses, as Marcuse shows, point to the difficulty in fixing the memory of Dachau in both the professional and public understanding of the history of not just this site but also the broader histories of Nazism, the Holocaust, the postwar occupation, and the Federal Republic. The uses and abuses of Dachau illuminate how different age cohorts of postwar Germans selectively remembered and forgot parts of their history and how they created and challenged what Marcuse calls the founding myths of victimization by, ignorance of, and resistance to Nazism. Because these cohorts confronted each other as they evolved, Legacies of Dachau is a story of the intellectual growth of postwar Germany. Just as Dachau Concentration Camp is itself a site for education, reflection, and memorialization, this book will help readers better understand the events that transpired there and the complex, contested ways in which Germans have come to grips with those events.

Hans Rosenberg Prize Committee
Jeffry M. Diefendorf, Nancy Wingfield, Alon Confino

Marcuse was not present to accept the award in person.

Report of the Archives Committee
David Barclay, chair of the Archives Committee, presented the following report. 

The continuing controversy about access to Stasi records overshadowed other archive-related issues in 2002.  In March, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht confirmed a lower-court decision forbidding publication of Stasi materials concerning ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl.  According to the court, Stasi documents concerning persons of contemporary historical significance (Personen der Zeitgeschichte) could only be published with the permission of such persons.  Marianne Birthler, director of the “Birthler-Behörde,” was one of many who regretted the consequences of this decision for scholarly research on both post-1949 German states. (For details, see the Süddeutsche Zeitung of 9-10 March 2002.)   In an effort to modify or reverse the effects of this decision, the governing coalition was joined by the FDP in supporting a Novelle to modify the older legislation on access to Stasi records. The “5. Änderungsgesetz zum Stasiunterlagengesetz” passed the Bundestag and Bundesrat in July and went into effect in September; the CDU/CSU voted against the measure in the Bundestag, while the PDS abstained.  Of particular importance is the Novellierung of Paragraphs 32 and 32a, which deal with access to materials concerning persons of contemporary historical significance.  The new Gesetzesnovelle makes it possible for scholars and journalists to continue to work in relevant Stasi records, although future legal challenges are certainly possible.  For details of the new legislation and for a chronology of the entire dispute, see the excellent Web site of the Birthler-Behörde at

Report from the German Historical Institute in Washington
Richard Wetzell, Research Fellow at the GHI, briefly reported on the state of the German Historical Institute in Washington.  Detailed information is available at:

Report from the Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
Pieter Judson, Executive Secretary of the SAHH, presented a brief report on the state of our sister organization.  Further information is available at, and

New Business

Election of New Officers
The nominating committee proposed Roger Chickering (Georgetown) for the position of Vice-President elect and Kevin Repp (Yale) for a three-year term as at-large member of the executive board.  Both nominees were approved without opposition and commenced their terms of service at the end of the business meeting.

Election of Ken Ledford as the future editor of CEH
President Crew read the following statement, copies of which were distributed to the members in attendance.

Selection of a new editor of Central European History
Report to the Business Meeting of the Conference Group for Central European History
January 4, 2003

The Executive Board of the Conference Group for Central European History at its annual meeting in Chicago, January 4, 2003 unanimously voted to adopt the following report concerning the selection of a new editor of Central European History.

The Executive Committee:
David F. Crew, President
David Blackbourn, Vice-President (absent)
Jonathan Sperber, Vice-President Elect
Konrad Jarausch, Immediate Past President
Doris Bergen, at-large member
Peter Black, at-large member
Dagmar Herzog, at-large member (absent)
Kenneth D. Barkin, Editor of CEH
Kees Gispen, Executive Secretary and Treasurer


Selection of a new editor of Central European History
Report to the Executive Board of the Conference Group for Central European History
December 15, 2002

            Early in 2000 Ken Barkin, who has served as editor of CEH since 1991, announced his intention to give up the position in the summer of 2004. Since the spring of 2000, the executive secretary has regularly announced the upcoming vacancy of CEH’s editorship in the biannual Newsletter of the CGCEH, calling for potential successors to express their interest in the position. At the same time, the executive board appointed a committee to coordinate the search for a successor to Professor Barkin. The committee is made up of David Crew (current president) David Blackbourn (current Vice-President), Konrad Jarausch (immediate Past President), Ken Barkin (editor of CEH), and Kees Gispen (Executive Secretary and Treasurer).

            By the fall of 2001 two candidates had emerged: Doris Bergen of the University of Notre Dame and a team of historians at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities led by Eric Weitz. The selection committee met in person with both candidates (Weitz was accompanied by Gary Cohen) in January 2002 at the AHA convention in San Francisco. Shortly after the January meeting, the committee received another expression of interest from Kenneth Ledford of Case Western Reserve University. All candidates were asked to submit a detailed written prospectus, including guarantees of financial support by their respective institutions, by July 1, 2002. Some weeks before the deadline, Doris Bergen contacted the executive secretary to announce that she was withdrawing her candidacy. Ledford met in person with David Crew, Ken Barkin, and Kees Gispen to discuss his candidacy at the German Studies Association meeting in San Diego in October 2002 (Blackbourn and Jarausch were unable to attend).

There is some common ground between the Ledford and Minnesota group proposals. Both are serious and should be taken seriously. The budget outlines are similar and make sense. Both proposals have strong institutional backing, financial and other. Both would employ a half-time assistant, and both would have a book review editor. Both, finally, have thoughts on the future direction of CEH. On the last point, however, overall, the committee believes that Ledford presents a more attractive alternative than the Minnesota team.

Ledford proposes a gradual evolution for the journal. He expects to add a discussion forum and to continue increasing the journal’s methodological breadth. Ledford also outlines an ambitious program of electronic publishing to complement the print edition of CEH, by making CEH an integral part of JSTOR and the History Cooperative projects on the Internet, going beyond current standards of Internet use, and placing all in-house editorial work and communications with editorial and book reviewers on an electronic footing.  The committee found Ledford’s proposals with regard to the future Internet presence of the journal more persuasive than the Minnesota team’s comments on this important topic.

The largest difference between the two proposals concerns the organizational side. The Minnesota group would edit CEH under an arrangement that departs from the well functioning current system and is, essentially, collective.  It would be based on five local editors (M. J. Maynes, Eric Weitz, Gary Cohen , David Good, and Julia Roos—with Weitz and Maynes serving as rotating responsible editors and the others constituting a local editorial board) plus an editorial assistant and an additional, rotating, local board of four graduate students. It is unclear what role might remain for the journal’s existing editorial board and peer review system, while overall responsibility for the journal may run the risk of becoming diluted. Ledford proposes to edit the journal by himself, with the help of an editorial assistant and a book review editor at the rank of associate or full professor at another university.

            While the multi-person editorship of the Minnesota group proposal suggests a tantalizing variety of intellectual perspectives, on balance the selection committee considers the Ledford proposal superior because of its technical innovativeness and its clearer assignment of intellectual and organizational responsibility.

The Selection Committee:
Kenneth D. Barkin 
David Blackbourn
David F. Crew
Kees Gispen
Konrad H. Jarausch

Presented as a seconded motion for approval by the membership, the report was discussed at some length.  The Executive Committee's recommendation eventually passed with a majority of approximately two to one in a secret ballot.

The business meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.  David Crew invited everyone present to the Bierabend, which commenced immediately in an adjoining room .


Guidelines for Submitting Panel Proposals to the CGCEH-Sponsored Segment of the AHA Program

AHA panel organizers whose proposals were rejected by the AHA program committee but who would like their proposals to be reconsidered for solo-sponsorship by the CGCEH are encouraged to submit copies of their AHA proposals to the CGCEH's executive secretary.  Deadline for submissions: May 21, 2003.  To facilitate evaluation by the executive board, organizers are asked to submit their proposals and supporting documentation in electronic format.  The decisions of the Executive Board will be announced no later than June 2. 

Article Prize Competition

In January 2004 the Conference Group will award its biennial Hans Rosenberg prize of $500 for the best article in Central European history.  Central European history is understood to include all German-speaking countries as well as areas previously included within the Habsburg monarchy.  This year the prize competition is open to articles published in 2001 or 2002, in English, by permanent residents of North America.  Letters of nomination for the prize may be submitted by authors, publishers, or others, and should be addressed to the chair of the book prize committee, Belinda Davis. Nomination deadline: September 15, 2003. 

Belinda Davis Mary Lindemann Karl Bahm
Department of History Department of History Department of History, Politics and Society
Rutgers University Carnegie Mellon University University of Wisconsin-Superior 
16 Seminary Place  Baker Hall 240 Sundquist 208
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Superior, WI 54880-4500
732-932-6728 412-268-2887 715-394-8465 or 715-394-8586
FAX: 732-932-6763 FAX: 412-268-1019
email: email: email:

For further information, please contact the executive secretary of the Conference Group, Kees Gispen, Department of History, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677, email:, telephone: 662-915-7148, fax: 662-915-7033.

CGCEH and AHA Dissolve Financial Relationship

In February 2003 the executive secretary and treasurer received a letter from Dr. Arnita Jones, Executive Directior of the AHA, concerning a change in the financial relationship between the AHA and the CGCEH.  Dr. Jones's letter was a reply to the executive secretary's request for information regarding the CGCEH's endowment funds invested with the AHA and lack of interest income during the past several years. After reviewing the history of the financial relationship between the AHA and the Conference Group and recent declines in the value of the AHA's investments, Dr. Jones points out in her letter that an AHA review committee last year judged the financial arrangement with the Conference Group an anomaly that should not be continued.  Shortly after the arrival of Dr. Jones's letter, the executive secretary and treasurer received a check in the amount of $20,607.00, which represented the value of the CGCEH's endowment on June 30, 2002.  This terminated the prior arrangement under which the CGCEH shared proportionately in the gains and losses of the AHA's financial investments.  The executive secretary and treasurer has deposited the money in the Conference Group's non-interest bearing checking account and taken steps to obtain tax-exempt status for the Conference Group, to start earning interest (and/or other capital gains) again in the near future.  On behalf of the Conference Group, the executive secretary and treasurer would like to thank the AHA for the financial services it performed with diligence and success during the years the financial arrangement was in effect. 

2003 Executive Committee

The members of the Conference Group’s 2003 executive committee are:
President: David Blackbourn, Harvard University
Vice-President: Jonathan Sperber, University of Missouri, Columbia
Vice-President Elect: Roger Chickering, Georgetown University
Immediate Past President: David Crew, University of Texas at Austin
At-Large Member (exp. January 2004): Peter Black, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
At-Large Member (exp. January 2005): Dagmar Herzog, Michigan State University
At-Large Member (exp. January 2006): Kevin Repp, Yale University
Editor of Central European History, Kenneth Barkin, University of California, Riverside
Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Kees Gispen, University of Mississippi

2003 Nominations Committee

The Conference Group’s 2003 nominating committee is made up of the executive committee.  The committee has nominated Ron Smelser, University of Utah, for the position of Vice-President Elect and Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University, for a three-year term on the executive committee.  Nominations will be voted on at the January 2004 business meeting.  Members are invited to submit additional nominations to the Executive Secretary.

Subscriptions to Central European History

The publisher of CEH is Brill Academic Publishers. Brill may be contacted at the following addresses:

Editorial & Marketing
Brill Academic Publishers Inc.
112 Water Street, Suite 602
Boston, MA 02109
Tel: 1-617-263-2323
Fax: 1-617-263-2324
Office hours: 08.30 hrs to 17.00 hrs.

Ordering & Customer Services
Brill Academic Publishers
P.O. Box 605
Herndon, VA 20172
Tel: 1-800-337-9255 (toll free, USA and Canada only)
Tel: 1-703-661-1500
Fax: 1-703-661-1501

Subscribers outside North America, please contact:
Brill Academic Publishers
P.O. Box 9000
2300 PA Leiden
The Netherlands 
Phone: +31-71-535-3566 
Fax: +31-71-531-7532 

Brill is located on the web at:

Subscriptions to Austrian History Yearbook

Berghahn Books is pleased to announce the following special offer to all CGCEH members: Subscribe now to the AUSTRIAN HISTORY YEARBOOK (Vol. 33/2002 or Vol. 34/2003, 1 issue p.a.) and receive $2.00 off the individual subscription rate of $35.00. For further information, please visit, or contact us at

 New Book Announcement

Berghahn Books is pleased to announce the March release of THE JOURNALISM OF MILENA JESENKSA: A Critical Voice in Inter-War Central Europe, edited and translated from the Czech, and with an Introduction by Kathleen Hayes (240 pages ISBN 1-57181-560-0 hardback $29.95). Members of the CGCEH receive 20% discount.

 Please visit for more details. Orders and inquiries can be sent to

Contact the Executive Secretary

Readers who would like to post information of interest to other members of the Conference Group or have questions should contact the executive secretary:

Kees Gispen
Department of History
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Telephone: 662-915-7148
FAX: 662-915-7033

This document was last updated 04/30/03