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History and Baltic Studies

Sunday, 14. December 2014

Riga at War 1914-1919: War and Wartime Experience in a Multiethinic Metropolis


The book has now been published with the Verlag Herder-Institut:

A century after the catastrophe of 1914, Mark Hatlie's Riga at War: 1914-1919. War and Wartime Experience in a Multiethnic Metropolis tells the story of the Baltic metropolis and its half million residents during the years of world war, revolution and civil war. The book follows the major events in the city, from the mobilization of 1914 through the mass evacuation of 1915, the revolution of 1917 and the German occupation of 1917 to 1918 and the chaos of 1919 marked by the arrival of a communist regime, the liberation of the city by Balt and Latvian forces, and a final battle for the city between the Latvian army and the Russian "White" general Bermondt-Avalov. The second half of the book examines the competing wartime experiences of the city's major national groups, the Germans, Latvians and Russians. These groups experienced the catastrophes, battles, upheavals and occupations in very different ways. The differing interpretations and actions of each national group expressed themselves in politics, religion and society, reflected in contemporary documents, memoirs, diaries and periodicals.

Hundert Jahre nach der Katastrophe von 1914 zeichnet Mark Hatlie in Riga at War: 1914-1919. War and Wartime Experience in a Multiethnic Metropolis die Geschichte Rigas während der Jahre des Ersten Weltkriegs und der darauffolgenden Kämpfe und Bürgerkriege nach. Das Buch nimmt die Stadt und ihre Bevölkerungsgruppen unter die Lupe. Die großen Etappen des Krieges in der Stadt werden behandelt, von der Mobilisierung, der Massenevakuierung, der Revolution und der deutschen Besatzung bis zur raschen Abfolge politischer und militärischer Ereignisse 1919. Gegenstand sind auch die demographischen Folgen, bei denen Riga zeitweise etwa die Hälfte seiner Bevölkerung verlor. Im zweiten Teil des Buches behandelt Riga at War die subjektive Kriegserfahrung der Deutschen, der Letten und der Russen, die in Riga lebten. Die unterschiedlichen Nationalitäten sahen den Krieg aus unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln. Ihre unterschiedliche Wahrnehmung der Ereignisse und ihre unterschiedlichen Handlungsmuster in Politik, Gesellschaft und Religion werden anhand zeitgenössischen Zeitungen, Archivalien und Memoiren beschrieben und analysiert.

Monday, 10. May 2010

"Riga at War" in Great Britain this May...

Volcano permitting, I'll be speaking at two engagements in Great Britain next week. On Monday, I'll be in Glasgow at the annual meeting of the United Kingdom Baltic Studies Group together with two other speakers:
  • Mark R. Hatlie, Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen:
    'Riga at War, 1914-1919'
  • Ian Thomson, University College London:
    'Tallinn during World War Two'
  • Matthew Kott, Hugo Valentin Institute, Uppsala University
    'What Can We Gain from a Comparative History of the Romani People in the Baltic Sea Region?'
The following day, Tuesday, I will be speaking on the same topic at the British Latvian Association in London:

Tuesday 18 May, 6.30pm at the Embassy of Latvia, 45 Nottingham Place, London W1U 5LY. Dr Mark Hatlie will tell us about Riga 1914 to 1918. Admission £6, refreshments and wine included. The talk will be in English and followed by a question and answer session.

I will be gone from Sunday morning until Wednesday evening.

Thursday, 4. February 2010

United Kingdom Baltic Study Group...

I have been invited to present my dissertation at this year's meeting of the UK Baltic Study Group in Glasgow. I am looking forward to seeing some people I have not seen in years, my first visit to Scotland - indeed my first trip to Britain in any location north of London - and a chance to present what I hope will be, by then, a finished manuscript for the book that will emerge from the "Riga at War" project. That will be in mid May when, according to one of my favorite songs, the balmy winds are blowing and the rhododendrons of Scotland are growing.

Thursday, 4. February 2010

ACA conference in St. Louis - German aerial bombardment victims...

My paper having been accepted, I have made arrangements to attend the annual conference of the American Culture Association in St. Louis (March 31-April 3). In 2008 I attended the conference in San Francisco and presented a paper on memorials in Tübingen. This year, I will be in the same section and present material on German memorials to the victims of Allied aerial bombardment. The paper will focus on cemetery memorials in cities which suffered a sudden, devestating attack - Pforzheim, Darmstadt, Hamburg and most famously Dresden. As the paper shapes up, I may include Cologne as well, but I don't have "data" yet. I might also include an "excursion" into WWI. There were no particularly devestating attacks at all comparable with what happened during the Second World War, but the 1916 attack on Karlsruhe killed 120 people, including 71 children who were visiting the circus.

My experience in 2008 was very rewarding. It may come across as odd or surprising, but the cemeteries and gravemarkers sections of the ACA is a fun group of people.

Friday, 27. November 2009

Bericht über die Gedenkveranstaltungen zum Fliegerangriff auf Dresden...

Nächste Woche präsentiere ich im Werkstadthaus im monatlichen "Café" der "Tübingen Progressive Americans" Bilder, Aufnahmen und Eindrücke von meinem Besuch in Dresden bei den diesjährigen Gedenkveranstaltungen zum Jahrestag der Fliegerangriffe. Es geht um die umkämpfte, politische Erinnerung: Gedenkorte, Neo-Nazi Aufmärsche, Gegenmärsche und offizielle Gedenkveranstaltungen. Die Präsentation wird in deutscher Sprache sein; die Diskussion je nach Bedarf in Deutsch oder Englisch.

20:00 Uhr
2. Dezember 2009
Aixerstr. 70 (im Franz. Viertel)

Wer Zeit und Interesse hat, ist herzlich eingeladen. Eintritt ist frei.

Tuesday, 21. July 2009

My dissertation... done. Submitted it today.

Sunday, 7. June 2009

Präsentation zur Erinnerungskultur in Tübingen...

Am 8. Juli präsentiere ich zum Thema Erinnerungskultur in Tübingen.: Kriegs- und Holocaustdenkmäler im Wandel sprechen. Ich werde Fotos von Krieger- und Holocaustdenkmälern in Tübingen zeigen und den Wandel der Erinnerungskultur in Tübingen thematisieren. Es wird nach dem etwa 20-30 minutigen Vortrag Zeit für eine Diskussion geben.

Ort: "SpeakEasy Cafe" im Werkstadthaus
Zeit: 20-22 Uhr
Datum: Mittwoch 8. Juli 2009

Bilder der meisten relevanten Denkmäler sind schon online: />

Friday, 1. August 2008

One more go at finishing the dissertation on "Riga at War" ...

From the 6th of August on, for 4-7 days, I will be in solitary confinement. I have booked a single room at the Pension Oesterle in Schönmünzach near Baiersbronn in the Black Forest. There I will sit and write. No family. No banjo. No friends. No internet access (except a few visits to an internet cafe to keep up on my few classes). That means also: No excuses. The time is now. Wish me luck.

Sunday, 20. July 2008

Review published...

A book review I wrote for H-WAR is now online at

Tuesday, 11. March 2008

War Memorials in Europe and America at the American Monthly Luncheon in Stuttgart...

I'll be speaking at the American Monthly Luncheon in Stuttgart on May 9th. Here's the blurb as it went out to the regular attendees:

War Memorials in Europe and America

Issues of memory and public remembrance are continually in the German media and flare up occasionally in the United States. The 9th of May marks the anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe, a date which has become a political tension point between some countries, especially Russia and its smaller neighbors. The presentation will address some of these issues while focusing primarily on physical manifestations of political and collective memory - war memorials. Examples will be taken from Germany, the United States, and other countries, and will include local memorials from the Stuttgart/Karlsruhe region.

Mark R. Hatlie is the creator of the < > webpage and is currently researching the history of memorials in Riga, Latvia. He recently published an overview of military memorials in Germany: "Über den Tod des Staatsbürgers für die Nation" (Bundeswehr-Journal, November 2007, pages 12-15).

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by Mark R. Hatlie

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