THE SOVIET CAPTIVITY IN EUROPE
Réka Kiss, István Simon (Editors)
2017. March 2.
As part of the memorial year dedicated to Hungarian political prisoners and forced labourers in the Soviet Union, the Committee of National Remembrance, the Research Centre for Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Pécs-Baranya Ethnic Circle of Germans in Hungary organised an international conference on the memorial day for the victims on 25 November, 2015 in Budapest. The lectures given by scholars from ten countries gave a broad picture of the deportations of the inhabitants, soldiers or civilians, sometimes even whole ethnic groups of Eastern and Central European countries getting under Soviet occupation during the Second World War, who became convicts of the Gulag or Gupvi camps. They also revealed the reasons for and the circumstances of their captivity, the conditions they lived in and finally, the – quite dubious – way they were set free, since having come home they were often treated as second class citizens. The main underlying reason for these deportations were, on one hand, the immense lack of manpower, which was crucial for an economy based on slave labour, and on the other hand, the Soviet Union’s efforts in order to establish its rule over the territories it had conquered, which often lead to political and ethnic „cleansings” or even to genocide.