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Wednesday 18 March 2020 16.30 - 18.30
L-4 LAB20 Mapping Labour Protests in the Tsarist Borderlands of the Early Twentieth Century
Johan Huizinga, 023C
Network: Labour Chair: Jenny Jansson
Organizers: Wiktor Marzec, Risto Turunen, Vera Volkmann Discussant: Sami Suodenjoki
Jule Ehms : Anti-nationalism within the Syndicalist Movement in Germany, 1919–1923
Shortly after World War 1, the German labor movement changed dramatically. The dominance of Social Democracy was weakened by several new labor organizations with very differing agendas. Among the latter was the anarcho-syndicalist Freie Arbeiter-Union Deutschlands (Free Workers' Union Germany, short FAUD), blaming the social democratic unions for not taking ... (Show more)
Shortly after World War 1, the German labor movement changed dramatically. The dominance of Social Democracy was weakened by several new labor organizations with very differing agendas. Among the latter was the anarcho-syndicalist Freie Arbeiter-Union Deutschlands (Free Workers' Union Germany, short FAUD), blaming the social democratic unions for not taking an internationalist, antimilitarist and anti-nationalist stance during and after the war.
This paper discusses the internationalism and anti-nationalism of the syndicalist union during its early years. The FAUD began to form (like the socialist and communist organizations) transnational networks, provided international solidarity and continued to criticize the nationalist politics of its opponents. In the eyes of the syndicalists, class and nation were mutually exclusive concepts. The true revolutionary could only defend its class, the bourgeoisie would always refer to the nation. In 1923 however, with the Occupation of the Ruhr, the inter- and anti-nationalist position of the FAUD was challenged. While other parts of the labor movement supported general strikes and the passive resistance against the occupational forces, the FAUD – as one of the very few organizations – refused to follow any nationalist agenda. Instead, its members tried to continue to represent workers' interests, even if that meant to negotiate with the French and Belgian occupants. I will focus on these anti-nationalist/internationalist practices and evaluate how the syndicalists tried to defend their decision in front of their several critics
(Show less)

Wiktor Marzec : From Revolution to Nation. Popular Unrest in Russian Poland, 1905–1918
Russian Poland was among the most militant tsarist borderlands during the 1905–1907 Revolution. Harboring long-lasting strikes and breeding bellicose street fighters, Poland witnessed an unprecedented political upheaval manifest in the emergence of mass parties, labour unions and a new public culture. However, only a decade later, when revolutionary movements again ... (Show more)
Russian Poland was among the most militant tsarist borderlands during the 1905–1907 Revolution. Harboring long-lasting strikes and breeding bellicose street fighters, Poland witnessed an unprecedented political upheaval manifest in the emergence of mass parties, labour unions and a new public culture. However, only a decade later, when revolutionary movements again loomed large and shook the whole region, Poland remained relatively calm. What were the processes responsible for the withering-away of social-revolutionary tendencies, or asking the question other way around, how the process of popular nationalization went on during the inter-revolutionary decade? In order to address this question, I analyze an extensive database documenting contentious events in Russian Poland between 1907 and 1918. I aim at offering a broader outlook of dispersed and variegated popular unrest, where both class and nation as communities of reference were forged out of the general grievances such as lacking dignity and economic deprivation. (Show less)

Risto Turunen : Socialist Temporality in the Grand Duchy of Finland, 1905–1918
The Grand Duchy of Finland witnessed a radical parliamentary reform as a result of the General Strike of 1905, and one of the most conservative estate-based political systems in Europe was replaced with a unicameral assembly based on universal suffrage. Socialists polled 37 percent in the first election of 1907, ... (Show more)
The Grand Duchy of Finland witnessed a radical parliamentary reform as a result of the General Strike of 1905, and one of the most conservative estate-based political systems in Europe was replaced with a unicameral assembly based on universal suffrage. Socialists polled 37 percent in the first election of 1907, becoming the largest European socialist party. Despite parliamentary integration, Finnish socialists attempted a revolution in 1918 and failed. This paper scrutinizes socialist revolutionary experiences and expectations in the early twentieth century from the perspective of ‘temporality’, that is, the way human beings understand the flow of time. A new light will be shed on the experimental link between the political ruptures of 1905 and 1917–1918, by combining traditional conceptual-historical approaches with quantitative corpus-linguistic methods. Primary sources consist of i) digitized labour newspapers and ii) handwritten newspapers produced by ordinary working people. This selection enables comparing temporal experiences between the top and grassroots levels of the Finnish labour movement. The underlying hypothesis is that identifying the changes in socialist temporality will improve our historical understanding of the actual revolutionary events in Finland. (Show less)

Vera Volkmann : Social Conflict and Labor Movement in Daugavpils (Latvia) around the Turn of the 20th Century
Daugavpils (Russ.: Dvinsk) is a city located in the southeast of today’s Latvia. It is part of the region of Latgale, which is a historical borderland and was part of the Russian Empire until the founding of the Latvian nation state. The region was and is ethnically very diverse. At ... (Show more)
Daugavpils (Russ.: Dvinsk) is a city located in the southeast of today’s Latvia. It is part of the region of Latgale, which is a historical borderland and was part of the Russian Empire until the founding of the Latvian nation state. The region was and is ethnically very diverse. At the turn of the 20th century, the largest population group in Daugavpils were Jews, followed by the group of Russian-speakers (both Orthodox and Old Believers) and Poles. At that time, Latvians (or Latgalians) are only a small minority within the city population. The city grew rapidly towards the end of the 19th century, due to it being a major railway juncture and developing industries. This coincided with a rapid growth in working class population and a strong workers movement quickly developed, especially among the Jewish workers, demanding better pay and working conditions. The city became one of the strongholds of BUND and the scene of many strikes and demonstrations. Violent conflict however mostly occurred only between the protestors and the representatives of the tsarist regime, and not between different ethnic groups, as many would expect in a multi-ethnic city. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the process and the different layers of this conflict and what social and ethnic components were involved and how this influenced but was also instrumentalized by the different actors. (Show less)



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