Germina Veris is an online, open access journal dedicated to publishing outstanding papers by senior History students at Eastern Connecticut State University. Each semester students produce original, thought-provoking research in seminars on a variety of topics. Germina Veris – “the buds of spring” – makes this research available to the general public for the first time. Each article is carefully selected by specialists in the field based on the depth of original research, its contribution to existing scholarship, and the scientific rigor of its analysis.
To combat starvation in Europe during the First World War, Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) established the United States Food Administration on August 10, 1917. This was one of the most efficient and successful governmental initiatives in American history. American aid organizations were heavily involved in reconstruction in post-war Europe, and the Food Administrations helped save millions of lives in Europe after the war. Focusing on local organizers in Connecticut during the war, this essay reconstructs the work of the Food Administration and shows how Americans responded generously to wartime government propaganda.
What qualities determine why one ethnic group is more susceptible to being singled out for persecution than others, especially when there are several vulnerable and disliked groups to choose from? After World War I, Poland contained four large ethnic minorities: Jews, Germans, Ukrainians, and Belarusians. This essay argues that the discrimination Poles experienced under the Partitions (1772-1918) contributed to how the Poles treated each ethnic minority in interwar Poland. Economic, political, and religious factors all help explain why the Poles targeted Jews more than the other three ethnic minorities.
This paper analyzes how Poles and Czechoslovaks treated ethnic Germans following the Second World War. When the war ended both Poland and Czechoslovakia behaved violently towards the ethnic Germans living within their borders. People were dragged out of their homes and shot; homes were looted for their valuables and property sold for the money. In Poland labor camps were reopened and Germans were sent to perform forced labor. Many died on the way and in the camps themselves. Violence was not aimed just at Germans; any Polish or Czechoslovak citizen that helped the Reich in any way was either killed or sentenced to prison. In Czechoslovakia hundreds of people were sentenced to death and nearly 20,000 to prison, along with nearly 500 people sentenced to life in jail. In comparison, roughly 400,000 Germans died during the expulsions in Poland. Ethnic relations before the Second World War, the nature of the wartime occupations, and the fact that Czechoslovakia had some degree of autonomy in the years immediately after the war explains why the experiences of Germans in these two countries was so different.
Since 1959 terrorist attacks on Cuba have taken 3,478 lives, and injured 2,099 others. The more repressive aspects of Cuban society, the aspects outside observers are quick to criticize, are a response to a violent, sustained campaign of terrorism sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency and carried out by exiles who fled Cuba for Miami after the Revolution. This essay argues that CIA-sponsored terrorism by Cuban exiles was the causative factor for authoritarianism in Cuba rather than a reaction to it. It analyzes the way exile terrorist attacks shaped political discourse within Cuba and explores the evolution of Luis Posada and Orlando Bosch into some of the most prolific terrorists of the twentieth century.
Richard O’Donnell, “Georgia: A Closer Look at the August War of 2008″
For twenty years Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been marred by ethnic conflict and protagonists trace their dispute as far back as the fifteenth century. But is it possible that in an ethnic conflict with four independently motivated states, not one of them is actually primarily motivated by ethnicity? This essay argues that governments in the region have used ethnicity as a tool, creating an ethnic “paper tiger” in order to gain or retain economic, political, and military control.