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“The Light Comes from the West!” The Politics of Eastern European Migration during the Cold War

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Thematic focus

  • Political History
  • Social History
  • Transnational History
  • Intellectual History
  • Cultural History
  • Museums, Memorials and Exhibitions
  • Media and Public Discourse
  • Other Forms of History Education
  • Teaching Sensitive Histories
  • Transnational and International Cooperations
  • Remembrance / Collective Memory
  • History of National Minorities
  • History of Migration
  • Histories of Discrimination and Persecution
  • Europe
  • Central Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • Southeastern Europe
  • Northern Europe
  • Southern Europe
  • Western Europe
  • 1945-2000
  • 1945-1960
  • 1960-1970
  • 1970-1980
  • 1980-1990
  • 1990-2000
  • Second World War






Multifunctional Hall, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Bulevardul Expoziției 30A, București 012244)


10 - 12 October 2023


09:30 - 17:00

(GMT+02:00) Bucharest




The lives of the citizens of the Soviet bloc countries were largely determined by imposed isolation from the rapidly modernising democratic Western world and radical restrictions on the free circulation of cultural goods and other commodities, as well as foreign travel. This was motivated, above all, by the ideological, economic and cultural divide symbolised by the Iron Curtain and the fear on the part of the communist authorities that the escalation of differences between their countries could compromise the unity of the entire Soviet empire. No wonder that in contrast to the title of a lecture given by the Romanian writer Mihail Sadoveanu in 1945 – The Light Comes from the East – which predicted Soviet political dominance in Eastern Europe, in the decades of the Cold War many citizens felt that the light came rather from the West. One way of fulfilling this desire was migration, motivated first of all by the repressive nature of communist dictatorships, political or religious discrimination and economic hardship. The aim of the planned conference is to revisit the broadly defined politics of migration in the light of new archival materials and considering recent research approaches. Participation in the conference is free of charge but registration is obligatory. To register click below: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=ap-ga2JFtEmPwvNQh_szWCrRUFVOvElBhj8LAQmun8RUM1haVVFZTlMwT004RUlKWU5KUDU4V0VWRC4u


European Network Remembrance and Solidarity