Institute of History

Modern History and Contemporary History

Chair of Modern General and Eastern European History

Gasthaus-Werbung in der Olbracht-Strasse in Užhorod, Ukraine
The heritage of a multilingual border region: Advertisement in Olbracht Street in Užhorod, Ukraine (Photo: Julia Richers)

Welcome to the website of the Chair of Modern General and Eastern European History. We deal with Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. The chair focusses on the history of Eastern Central Europe, especially the Carpathian region, Hungary and the Soviet Union. In teaching and research, we pursue approaches that go beyond the national space. These include border spaces, stateless cultures and the history and culture of Eastern European Jews. Another focus is the analysis of the diverse interconnections between Eastern Europe and european and non-european regions and in particular Switzerland. We also look at the history of Eastern Europe from a transnational perspective.

The chair cultivates close cooperation with the lectureship on the History of Eastern Europe, the Center for Global Studies, the Swiss Eastern European Library and the Swiss Archival Environment. The tasks of the chair also include the direction of studies in the interdisciplinary Eastern European Studies programme hosted by the Universities of Bern and Fribourg.



PhD Students

Junior Assistant




  • East Central Europe, esp. Carpathian region, Hungary and Western Ukraine
  • Russia and the Soviet Union


  • Empires 1800 to 1917/18
  • Russian Revolution, Communism, Anti-Communism
  • Reorganisation of East Central Europe after 1918
  • The Holocaust
  • The Cold War

History of science and technology

  • Space travel and nuclear technology
  • Energy, Environment and Resources
  • Biopolitics and Brain Research
  • Education and cultural diplomacy

History of the interdependence between Switzerland and Eastern Europe

  • Eastern European revolutionaries in Switzerland
  • The Zimmerwald Movement
  • Flight, Migration, Exile
  • Soviet internees in Switzerland

Stateless Cultures

  • History and Culture of the Jews of Eastern Europe

Methodological-theoretical approaches

  • Theories of space, border studies
  • Living Environment
  • Oral History
  • Visual History
  • Musealisierung, the politics of history