LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 20, No.3 - Fall 1974
Editors of this issue: Antanas Klimas
Copyright © 1974 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Manfred Hellmann, ed., Osteuropa in der historischen Forschung der DDR. [Historical Scholarship on Eastern Europe in the GDR.] Vol. I, Darstellungen; Vol. II, Bibliographie und biographische Notizen (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1972). 2 vols.; DM 82.00 the set.
These two West German volumes survey books, articles, and dissertations on East European history which appeared, in the German Democratic Republic from 1945 to 1970. The editor, Professor Manfred Hellmann of the University of Münster, defines East Europe as including Russia, Poland and das Baltikum (essentially present-day Estonia and Latvia). The bibliographical listings in volume II total about 5,000 entries (excluding some duplications). Most entries deal with Russian and Soviet history, some 500 with Polish history, and perhaps 100 with Baltic history, including some Lithuanian topics, as well as Estonian, Latvian, and Baltic German. Volume I contains eighteen essays which trace chronologically the development of East German scholarship on various geographical areas, time periods, or special topics in East European history. An essay by Hans-Werner Rautenberg discusses Poland and das Baltikum jointly (I, 289-310). Footnote references lead the reader to some of the Baltic entries in volume II. Others may by uncovered by searching the entire publications lists of each scholar cited by Rautenberg as having written on a Baltic topic. This can be done by using the author index in volume II, the only index in the set. Still more Baltic references turn up in searching through relevant topical sections — the Hansa, for example — which are listed in the table of contents to volume II. In other words, these volumes provide a welcome but rather cumbersome listing of East German historical scholarship on Baltic topics.
In line with the editor's stated intention to do first things first (I, 7-8), description rather than evaluation of bibliography is emphasized in this survey of East German historical study of East Europe. Of course, in the case of propaganda or polemics, titles often speak for themselves: A. Anderle and S. Quilitzsch, "Georg von Rauch — ein Ideologe des faschistischen Dranges nach Osten und Verfechter der antisowjetischen NATO-Politik," Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft, 8 (1960), 1525-50 (entry No. 647, vol, II, p. 56). On the other hand, major contributions to historical scholarship from East German authors are identified as such, even if their ideological "ornamentation" may disfigure them somewhat in Western eyes. For example, see Rautenberg's favorable comments on E. Donnert's Habilitationssehrift presented at Jena in 1961, and published, in 1963 in Berlin with the title, Der livländische Ordensritterstaat und Russland. Der livländische Krieg und die baltische Frage in der europäischen Politik 1558 -1583 (I. 302).
EARL W. JENNISON, Jr.