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Global biographies: Lived history as method
 9781526161178

Table of contents :
Front Matter
Contents
Figures
Contributors
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
Part I: Time and periodization
Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides between empire and nation state
Making sense of 1956: experiencing and negotiating the socialist project in Iceland
Colonial masculinity: monarchy, military, colonialism, fascism and decolonization
Jewish medical students in Vienna between two world wars
Part II: Exceptional normal
Just an African radical? A Zambian at the edge of the Third World
Exceptionally normal (post-)Ottomans: how failure shaped the futures of Balkan heroes
The exceptional normal: Hugh Lenox Scott (1853–1934) and the United States’ imperial expansion
A fateful beginning: Mehmed Cavid Bey, politics and finance in the global Middle East, 1908–14
Part III: Space and scales
Scholar, refugee worker, Jew: Koppel S. Pinson (1904–61)
Transnational agitator and union activist: James W. Ford and the communist push into the Black Atlantic
A woman with a typewriter: the international career of Dorothea Weger
A white Atlantic life: the money, books, and family of Adrian Bentzon
Index

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Global biographies

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Global biographies Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Lived history as method Laura Almagor, Haakon A. Ikonomou and Gunvor Simonsen

manchester university press

Copyright © Manchester University Press 2022

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While copyright in the volume as a whole is vested in Manchester University Press, copyright in individual chapters belongs to their respective authors, and no chapter may be reproduced wholly or in part without the express permission in writing of both author and publisher. Published by Manchester University Press Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 5261 6116 1 hardback First published 2022 The publisher has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for any external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Cover credit: Amanda Shingirai Mushate, Inkanyezi, 2020. Courtesy of Amanda Shingirai Mushate and First Floor Gallery Harare © 2022. Cover design: Abbey Akanbi, Manchester University Press

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Contents

Figures page vii Contributorsviii Acknowledgementsxi Abbreviationsxiii Introduction – Laura Almagor, Haakon A. Ikonomou and Gunvor Simonsen1 Part I:  Time and periodization   1 Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides between empire and nation state – Haakon A. Ikonomou   2 Making sense of 1956: experiencing and negotiating the socialist project in Iceland – Rósa Magnúsdóttir   3 Colonial masculinity: monarchy, military, colonialism, fascism and decolonization – Diana M. Natermann   4 Jewish medical students in Vienna between two world wars – Natalia Aleksiun

25 44 62 82

Part II:  Exceptional normal   5 Just an African radical? A Zambian at the edge of the Third World – Ismay Milford   6 Exceptionally normal (post-)Ottomans: how failure shaped the futures of Balkan heroes – Isa Blumi   7 The exceptional normal: Hugh Lenox Scott (1853–1934) and the United States’ imperial expansion – Stefan Eklöf Amirell   8 A fateful beginning: Mehmed Cavid Bey, politics and finance in the global Middle East, 1908–14 – Ozan Ozavci

105 124 143 162

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Contents

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Part III:  Space and scales   9 Scholar, refugee worker, Jew: Koppel S. Pinson (1904–61) – Laura Almagor 10 Transnational agitator and union activist: James W. Ford and the communist push into the Black Atlantic – Holger Weiss 11 A woman with a typewriter: the international career of Dorothea Weger – Benjamin Auberer 12 A white Atlantic life: the money, books, and family of Adrian Bentzon – Gunvor Simonsen

185 204 223 242

Index261

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Figures

  3.1 ‘His Highness with a killed rhinoceros’, Chad, 1910/11. 64   7.1 Hugh Lenox Scott: 1) in his early twenties, c. 1876, and 2) in his forties, c. 1895. Sources: 1) Library of Congress, Washington DC, Prints and Photographs Division, LOT 5634 G; 2) Courtesy of Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum (hereafter FSHLM), Lawton, OK, Photo CollectionFile Cabinet, P2016. 145   9.1 Portrait of Koppel Pinson. 186 11.1 Dorothea Weger’s travels and employments during the period 1931–40.230 12.1 Adrian Benjamin Bentzon, copperplate by Gilles-Louis Chretien, early 1800s. 248

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Contributors

Natalia Aleksiun is the Harry Rich Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. She is the author of Where to? The Zionist movement in Poland, 1944–1950 (Trio, 2002) and Conscious history: Polish Jewish historians before the Holocaust (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2021). She co-edited two volumes of Polin examining Holocaust memory and Jewish historiography and the third volume of European Holocaust Studies (Places, spaces, and voids in the Holocaust). She published a critical edition of The destruction of Żółkiew Jews by Gershon Taffet. She serves as editor-in-chief of East European Jewish Affairs. Laura Almagor is a lecturer in twentieth-century European history at the University of Sheffield and specializes in modern Jewish history. Her monograph, Beyond Zion: the Jewish territorialist movement is published by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in 2022. Almagor has held fellowships at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, the Center for Jewish History in New York City and the Central European University in Budapest, and was a teaching fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Department of International History. Stefan Eklöf Amirell is a professor of global history at Linnaeus University, Småland, Sweden. He is also the director of the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and the president of the Swedish Historical Association. His research interests include colonial encounters, female political leadership and piracy in world history. He is the author of Pirates of empire: colonisation and maritime violence in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Benjamin Auberer graduated in 2019 with a PhD in the field of global and international history from Heidelberg University. His research interests cover the history of the League of Nations, the British dominions and biography as a methodological approach to global history. In 2022 his first



Contributors ix

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book From the Australian bush to the international jungle will be published by Heidelberg University Publishing. Currently, he is subject librarian at the library of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Isa Blumi is associate professor of Turkish and Middle Eastern studies within the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies at Stockholm University. He researches societies in the throes of social, economic and political transformation. His latest work covers the late Ottoman period and successor regimes, arguing that these events are part of a process that interlinks the Balkans, the Middle East and the larger Islamic world. This is especially the case with Albanian-inhabited regions and the Red Sea, in particular Yemen, which his most recent book, Destroying Yemen: what chaos in Arabia tells us about the world (University of California Press, 2018), covers. Haakon A. Ikonomou is associate professor at the University of Copenhagen. He is a historian of international organizations, bureaucracy, diplomacy and internationalism with a passion for digital history, oral history and biography. Ikonomou is currently Gerda Henkel Fellow (2021–23) with the project ‘European security in a changing world: general disarmament between international organization & state sovereignty, 1890s-1930s’. He is book review and online media editor of Diplomatica (Brill). Rósa Magnúsdóttir is professor of history at the University of Iceland. She holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Enemy number one: the United States of America in Soviet ideology and propaganda, 1945–1959 (Oxford University Press, 2019), a biography of Icelandic Stalinists and numerous articles on Soviet–American cultural relations, the cultural Cold War and Communist lives. Her current research focuses on Soviet–American intermarriage during the late Cold War. Ismay Milford is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Edinburgh. She is a historian of east and central Africa’s twentieth-century global (dis)connections, currently interested in Cold War information training, youth and student organizations, and religious internationalism. As part of a Leverhulme Trust-funded project, she has recently co-authored ‘Another world? East Africa, decolonisation, and the global history of the mid-twentieth century’ for the Journal of African History (2021). Ismay is currently finalizing her first monograph, a social and intellectual history of anticolonial networks across Africa, Asia and Europe during the 1950s and ’60s.

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Contributors

Diana M. Natermann (Global History Department at Hamburg University) is a postdoctoral researcher at the WONAGO Project (‘World order narratives of the global South’) and the author of Pursuing whiteness in the colonies. Private memories from the Congo Free State and German East Africa (1884–1914) (Waxmann Verlag, 2018). She combines postcolonial studies (especially gender and whiteness studies) with visual history and specializes in the long-term effects of colonial photography on twenty-first-century stereotypes of sub-Saharan Africa(ns). Previously she worked as assistant professor at Leiden University where her portfolio included research on international and African–European history and global orders. Ozan Ozavci is assistant professor of transimperial history at Utrecht University. His latest book, Dangerous gifts: imperialism, security, and civil wars in the Levant, 1798–1864 was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. He’s currently finalizing his third monograph about the intimate connections between the capitulations and peacemaking at the turn of the nineteenth century, while co-convening with Dr Jonathan Conlin the Lausanne Project which will result in the publication of an edited volume during the centenary of the Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923. Gunvor Simonsen is an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen. She specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Atlantic history, in particular in the Caribbean, while also working with west African and Danish Atlantic history. She has explored questions about gender, religion and race in the US Virgin Islands (when they were known as the Danish West Indies). Currently, she is in charge of the research project ‘In the same sea’, funded by a consolidator grant from the European Research Council. This research project aims to write the intercolonial history of the Lesser Antilles in the period c. 1650 to 1850. Holger Weiss is professor of general history at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. His research focuses on global and Atlantic history, west African environmental history and Islamic studies with a special focus on Islam and Muslims in Ghana. His recent publications include A global radical waterfront: the International Propaganda Committee of Transport Workers and the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers, 1921–1937 (Brill, 2021).

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Acknowledgements

The current volume in part evolved from three workshops organized in 2018 in Aarhus, Copenhagen and Budapest, followed by an author’s workshop in Copenhagen in 2019. The first three workshops focussed on transnational and global biographies in connection, respectively, with international organizations and NGOs; (post)colonialism, imperial regimes and situations; and diasporas. We would like to thank the many participants in these events; their papers, presentations and discussions were crucial for the final outcome. We also thank Aarhus University, the Central European University (CEU) and the University of Copenhagen for hosting us. We are most grateful for the financial support provided by the Center for Modern European Studies (CEMES, University of Copenhagen), ‘The Invention of International Bureaucracy’ (IRFD, Sapere Aude project, Aarhus University), ‘In the same sea’ (ERC Consolidator Grant, University of Copenhagen) and the Jewish Studies Program at CEU. Big thanks go to Emma Brennan, editorial director at Manchester University Press, for steady guidance throughout the publishing process and to the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments. Lastly, we thank the contributors – it has been thoroughly rewarding to develop the core tenets of this volume in dialogue with you. Earlier drafts of Chapter 4 were presented at the workshops ‘Transnational biographies and diasporas’ at CEU in Budapest, 3–4 June 2018 and ‘Global biographies – an authors’ workshop’, University of Copenhagen, 29–30 August 2019. Natalia Aleksiun is grateful for the feedback and suggestions made by the editors of this volume, and also grateful to Yehoshua Ecker, Judith Szapor, Joanna Sliwa, Hannah Wilson and Izabela Wagner for their comments. She completed her research for the chapter as a Gerda Henkel Fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena, Germany. Chapter 5 was supported by the Leverhulme Trust project ‘Another world? East Africa and the global 1960s’ (RPG-2018–241). Ismay Milford wishes to thank the project members, particularly Gerard McCann, as well as the editors of this volume, for helpful comments on an earlier draft.

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xii

Acknowledgements

Chapter 7 is an outcome of the research project ‘Intermediaries in Imperial expansion: connections and encounters on the United States frontiers, 1876–1916’, financed by the Swedish Research Council (dnr 2016–03068). Ozan Ozavci would like to thank Jonathan Conlin, Houssine Alloul and the editors and reviewers of this volume for reading the draft versions of Chapter 8 and for their most useful feedback. The research leading towards this chapter was funded by Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris.

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Abbreviations

38.58.74. RA. Vestindiske lokalarkiver. 38.58.74.  Revisionsforretning Christiansted byfoged, Sager til ­ekstraktprotokollerne 1827–1/I, no. 213, Revisionsforretning AAC Archives of the Anatolia College AAPC All-African People’s Conference AGAD Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych AIZ Arbeiter Illustrierte-Zeitung AJDC American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee AMAE Archives diplomatiques du Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, Paris AOC Albanian Orthodox Church AQSH Arkiv Qendror i Shtetit, Tirana ASC Asian Socialist Conference ASMAE Archivio Storico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome BOA Cumhurbaşkanliği Arşivi, Istanbul CAMP Cooperative Africana Materials Project CB, SKB RA. Vestindiske lokalarkiver, 38.39.6. Christiansted byfoged, Skifteretssessionsprotokoller for kgl. betjente CPUSA Communist Party USA CUP (Albania) Committee of Union of Progress; (Ottoman) Committee of Union and Progress DBL Dansk Biografisk Leksikon DDI Documenti Diplomatici Italiani DIPLOBEL Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, Brussels DP displaced person (Europe, 1945) EAP British Library Endangered Archives Project FCO (UK) Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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xiv

Abbreviations

FSHLM Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum GAC German Automotive Club GARF State Archive of the Russian Federation GOC German Olympic Committee HHStA Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Vienna HLSP Hugh Lenox Scott Papers IISH International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam IOB Imperial Ottoman Bank IOC International Olympic Committee ITUCNW International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers JDC Joint Distribution Committee Archives, New York JOWBR JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry JRI Jewish Records Indexing KB Det Kgl. Bibliotek (the Danish Royal Library) KNA Kenya National Archives LAI League Against Imperialism LBI Leo Baeck Institute, New York LBIA Leo Baeck Institute Archives Lbs. Manuscript Department of the National and University Library of Iceland LMA London Metropolitan Archives LONA League of Nations Archives, Geneva MAC Murumbi Africana Collection MARKK Museum am Rothenbaum Kulturen und Künste der Welt, Hamburg MCF Papers of the Movement for Colonial Freedom MDLC Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington DC MssCol2429 New York Public Library, Koppel Pinson Papers NAA National Archive of Australia NARA National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC NBT National Bank of Turkey NKS KB, Ny Kgl. Samling NSDAP Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (English: National Socialist German Workers’ Party) OAD Offenbach Archival Depot

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Abbreviations xv

OKHS, KAR Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Kiowa Agency Records OPDA Ottoman Public Debt Administration RA Danish National Archives, Rigsarkivet RGASPI Russian State Archive of Social and Political History RILU Red International of Labour Unions RR, MC RA. 86.39. Reviderede Regnskaber, Matrikel for St Croix SI Papers of the Socialist International THA Turkish Historical Association UKNA UK National Archives UNIP (Zambia) United National Independence Party USC University of Southern California USMA US Military Academy Library, West Point, NY USNA United States National Archives, College Park YIVO Yiddish Scientific Institute, New York YVA Yad Vashem Archive

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Introduction

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Laura Almagor, Haakon A. Ikonomou and Gunvor Simonsen

I do not think of myself as a biographer; biography is just a form I have used once or twice to encapsulate history.1

With these words, Barbara W. Tuchman, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian, sought to situate herself in a seminal collection on the art of writing biographies. Tuchman herself explained: ‘In so far as I have used biography in my work, it has been less for the sake of the individual subject than as a vehicle for exhibiting an age’.2 In other words, for Tuchman biography served first and foremost as an approach to shedding light on larger developments.3 Decades later, in the introduction to a 2019 issue of Past & Present, John-Paul A. Ghobrial bluntly presented the challenges that global history is facing: The fate of place-based research, the ability to explain change, its relationship to sources and theoretical frameworks, and its record on Eurocentrism: these four issues are just some of the problems facing global history today, and they are as much a concern to people working within the field as they are to those working outside it. Without addressing these issues, global history risks becoming unsurprising in its narratives, uncritical in its methods, Eurocentric in its appeal and programmatic in its agenda.4

In this volume, biography is the tool and global history is the ‘sink that needs fixing’. More concretely, our aim is to present and explore three approaches that historians can use in order to mobilize biography as an analytical instrument to write global history. We have gathered twelve contributions by scholars specializing in diverse subjects covering the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth, and who collaborated across four workshops to develop the three approaches. Our volume thus responds to the recent call in global history to develop a more applicable methodology and to ‘ground’ analysis in primary sources and concrete contexts. (However, it should be mentioned at this early point that we do not claim to ease all of Ghobrial’s scholarly global history pains; for instance, we do not explicitly aim to tackle Eurocentrism or to ‘explain’

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2

Global biographies

change.) This volume also shares Tuchman’s evaluation of biography as a gateway to explaining something larger than merely the individual lives under scrutiny. The contributions speak to the long turn away from the ‘cradle-to-grave’ biography of unitary, ‘solid’ individuals in the historiography of biography. It is not our ambition to completely deconstruct the subject, but rather to embed her/him in a global context and to think creatively about how s/he can be made into an instrument for our purposes. The shared conviction here is that the biographical approach in history and the social sciences holds analytical opportunities that remain underused in global scholarship to this day. In this introduction, we will address some of the main trends, challenges and opportunities apparent in the marriage between biography and global history – and then present our three approaches as clearly as possible. The key methodological questions addressed are: how can biography be productive for global history writing, and how can global history expand our understanding of individual lives and their historical and historiographical relevance?

Biography in global history In the inaugural issue of the Journal of Global History (2006), Patrick O’Brien – prominent economic historian and practitioner of global history – offered an introduction to the field of global history. In his contribution, O’Brien sketched his vision for a particular kind of history. Global historians should ‘construct negotiable meta-narratives … that will become cosmopolitan in outlook and meet the needs of our globalizing world’.5 By presenting cosmopolitanism as the credo of global history, O’Brien echoed William McNeill, who concluded his The rise of the West (1963) with a survey of ‘Cosmopolitanism on a global scale’.6 Like McNeill, O’Brien in the early 2000s still saw global history as having to concern itself with ‘long chronologies’, ‘major forces’ and ‘extended spaces and large populations’. The proper units of this historiographical endeavour were ‘continents, oceans, cultures and civilizations’.7 Within this vision, the biography had a very limited place: its role was merely to ‘complement’ the serious, largescale histories of slavery and patriarchy.8 This rejection of biography did not persist, and since then global historians have increasingly begun to include other scales than those built of aggregate data. Indeed, biography has gained wide acceptance as an approach relevant to the field of global history. In 2010, Tonio Andrade argued that global historians ought to adopt biographical approaches to their analysis of the human past. Global history needed to be populated by

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Introduction 3

‘real people’, who ‘inhabited’ and ‘lived through’ the structures and largescale processes that global historians had successfully documented during the previous century. For Andrade, the need for ‘real people’ was grounded in a particular kind of historical responsibility linked to both the past and the future. As historians of the future, global historians needed to write books that were ‘fun to read, exciting’ and reached ‘a wide audience’ by bringing people of the past ‘alive’.9 Global historians have indeed begun to include people in their narratives. However, beyond using biography as a means to entertain a wider readership, global history has not demonstrated a particular interest in the analytical and methodological benefits of the approach. In one of the formative works of global history, Kenneth Pomeranz’ The great divergence: China, Europe and the making of the modern world economy (2000), the reader will look almost in vain for people. Pomeranz rigorously pursued the material foundations of economic development by comparing the Yangtzi delta and England along a number of socio-economic factors. The result was an analysis that excluded individual consciousness from the making of the world economy. Indeed, the few times individuals do appear in The great divergence – such as the several mentions of George Staunton, British envoy to China in the late eighteenth century – these are merely mobilized faute de mieux to compensate for the lack of more solid aggregate data.10 While individuals are all but absent from Pomeranz’ book, global histories that attempt to intertwine economic, social and cultural processes in one interpretative framework, rather than focus on just one of these dimensions, have often been more attentive to people and their places in global processes. In seminal works such as The human web: a bird’s-eye view of world history (2003) by William and John McNeill, Christopher Bayly’s The birth of the modern world, 1780–1914 (2004) and The transformation of the world: a global history of the nineteenth century (2009/2014) by Jürgen Osterhammel, individuals frequently appear. Yet the inclusion of people in these synthetic works appears in particularly patterned ways: first, individuals are used as ‘place-holders’ for larger trends and developments. In The human web Albert Einstein is mentioned as an example of the integration of intellectual spheres that resulted from the escape of Jews from Nazi Germany, while Osterhammel includes Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Darwin as examples of scholars who financed their research out of their own pocket. These individuals – incidentally, all well-known white men – become illustrative tools rather than analytical units or domains in their own right. Indeed, the use of the individual as mirror of a historical development leaves unexplored individual subjectivity and its connection to globalizing contexts and processes.11

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Global biographies

Different from the ‘place-holder’ individual is the supra-historical individual that moulds the world but is seemingly not of it. These – for instance dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong – are presented through their monstrous ability to cause change, often death, in the lives of millions of people.12 Like biographical ‘place-holders’, this focus on Powerful Men (and Women) also dodges the question of how subjectivity is shaped by its relationship to shifting global contexts. Using influential figures to explain global processes in this way does not allow for an examination of these people as what Pomeranz, in a later piece, has termed ‘full historical units’.13 While nature, climate, goods, capital, technology, politics, populations and family, to mention a few historical domains, are established as agents and outcomes of historical processes, until recently global historians have paid scant attention to the place of subjectivity in the historical processes they study. These risks are somewhat mitigated by the recent contributions by intellectual and conceptual historians to the field. Or Rosenboim has given us a detailed mapping of the twentieth-century concept of the global while Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori have fruitfully drawn attention to the analytical possibilities of looking at ideational formations as a part of global history.14 Sartori’s exploration of the culture concept in Bengal – which incidentally focuses on ‘some of the “great” men from the pantheon of Bengal Renaissance’ – attempts to grasp the culturalism of Bengali intellectuals as shaped by global capitalist structures while also setting ‘in motion distinct and even potentially contradictory … projects’.15 Nevertheless, David Washbrook’s observation still rings true: ‘the world of the mind, of culture, ideas, and aesthetics, which informs how various peoples came to perceive and evaluate their own lives’ still finds little place in global history.16 Despite (or perhaps precisely because of) this limited presence of a full biographical approach in established global history, the argument that a small-scale and more thoroughly contextualized approach – like ­microhistory – can contribute to the field has gained currency during the last decade or so. Mark Gamsa, exploring the role of biography in microhistory, pinpoints three interconnected developments leading to a renewed interest in what he calls ‘global lives’: first the shift away from the nation state as the prima facie framework of historical analysis; second, the return of microhistory as a methodology, not only in its stringent Italian version, but also in a more narrative anglo-saxon variation; and, last, the emergence of transnational history – which he labels a ‘byproduct of globalization’.17 Still, Gamsa is rather on his own in actively trying to bring biography into a conversation that is mostly about microhistory, mostly (still) prescriptive and mostly concerned with the early modern period. It is emblematic (and unsurprising given the traditions of microhistory) that the issue of

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Introduction 5

Past & Present mentioned earlier, while dealing with how to combine micro- and global history, focusses in its entirety on the ‘early modern globalization’ between the fifteenth century and the late eighteenth and does not mention the word ‘biography’ even once. When biography is discussed as an approach to global history, the justifications offered tend to be either very general, almost universalistic/programmatic in tone, or so particular that a sense of broader relevance is lost. One prominent example of the programmatic advocacy for biography is Sebastian Conrad’s recent exposition on global history. Conrad notes that one of the central contributions of what he terms ‘global microhistory’, (in which category he counts for example Natalie Zemon Davis’ Trickster travels: a sixteenth-century Muslim between worlds (2007)), is that it can lead to ‘fascinating insights into processes of global change and how they frame the space for individual agency. Not least, micro-perspectives are able to reveal the heterogeneity of the past and the stubbornness of historical actors.’18 In other words, what a bird’s eye perspective will not capture is the great variety in which global change manifests itself in local contexts; and that the movements, practices and articulations – individual agency – are interchangeably productive in and produced by structures.19 This is a step beyond protagonists merely exemplifying broader structural forces. In Conrad’s opinion the protagonist is not a mere pedagogical tool or a narrative trick used to entertain. Rather, individuals as history-making agents must be included as an integral element of global history’s methodology. Thus far, then, global historians have attempted to align biography with global history in three different ways. Firstly, the biographical approach is presented as a way of making a presumably dull historiography readable. Secondly, historians advocate biography as a way of generating insights about the heterogeneity of the global past. Thirdly, it is seen as a way of placing global phenomena – such as the intercontinental traveller – in a local context. The question remains, however, what makes a biography global? How can a focus on people as subjects and agents make an actual difference – a difference that leads to substantial changes in the ways we conceptualize and narrate global histories?20

Biography as approach Biography writing itself has come a long way from its one-sided focus on the impact of prominent (male) individuals on changes in societal structures. In this older understanding of biographical research, the choice was presented between a focus on the individual and on the historical context in which she or he lived.21 James L. Clifford’s 1970 remark that beyond

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Global biographies

this choice not much valuable critical work on biography had been done no longer rings true.22 Ever since the different methodological revolutionary schools and ‘turns’ of the 1970s and 1980s brought about a whirlwind of innovative approaches in the humanities, followed by the more direct revitalization of the biographical approach in the 1990s, ‘biography’ has been liberated from the rigid constraints that had defined it. The ‘biographical turn’ is in the process of redeeming biography from its relatively low status in the hierarchy of scholarly prestige.23 Thanks to the accomplishments of microhistory, oral history, the Annales school and postmodernism and poststructuralism in their many manifestations, no longer now does biography refer just to biography as a ‘product’: its scope has expanded to include biography as a method or approach.24 The fruitful result of these trends is an increase of creative narration in life stories in what is a maturing scholarly field.25 As mentioned, a central part of the biographical turn has been the rejection of the ‘womb-to-tomb’ narrative and a move towards a critical dismantling of the ‘solid’ subject, in order to examine a life as performed, fragmented and self-fashioned.26 With such a perspective, individuals are always positioning themselves – and being positioned – within multiple (cultural) contexts.27 Moreover, biographers have begun to scrutinize ‘biographical uncertainties’, based on source limitations and the relative unavoidability of the biographer’s subjective stance.28 These critical interventions owe much to the fields of subaltern studies and gender studies. There has also been a defiant turn away from ‘representability’. Biography has thus developed into a genre that includes what Virginia Woolf termed the ‘lives of the obscure’, those largely invisible ‘connectors’ between more visible institutions, processes and people, and is therefore well positioned to investigate the human experience and agency in global processes from less obvious angles.29 Interestingly, a diverse collection of non-historians made the first real attempt to develop a theoretical and methodological basis for biographical research. Thanks to the work of scholars such as anthropologist Clifford Geertz, the connections between biographical research, ethnography and microhistory have been laid bare.30 Years before historians began to see biography as something more than just a field or product, social scientists already spoke of a ‘biographical method’, thus following Bertaux in posing one of the central questions that drives our enquiry today: ‘what is the relationship between individual and collective praxis and socio-historical change?’31 Still, much theoretical work on historical biographies remains confined to introductions to anthologies and edited volumes (such as this one).32 Also, the vast majority of self-standing theoretical studies of biography focus almost exclusively on literary biography and therefore discount

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Introduction 7

the types of historical and political biographical approaches that we are interested in.33 Therefore, while paying tribute to the valuable theoretical work that has been done in the past couple of decades, Global biographies aims to fill a scholarly lacuna.34 Barbara Caine, at the end of her important study on biography and history, anticipated our and others’ endeavours when she concluded that biography’s appeal is growing ‘at a time when historical interest is extending beyond the national and even the imperial to the transnational and the global’.35 The 2010 volume Transnational lives: biographies of global modernity, 1700–present speaks to that point. In part, our engagement echoes that of the editors of Transnational lives: ‘The patterns of careers, networks, enterprises, relationships, families and households that make up an individual life story have formed themselves across a global canvas. Tracing the unique contours of such a life compels us to see the world as at once profoundly connected and deeply divided.’36 Much in line with the convictions underlying the current volume, the editors of Transnational Lives propose that a purely national framework is insufficient to study figures that during their lifetimes were all part of a story of ‘global circulation’. Indeed, studies of transnational lives, such as for instance those contained in Paul Gilroy’s seminal study The Black Atlantic: modernity and double ­consciousness (1993) have established that the experiences of translocation, border crossing and mobility – in addition to racism and antisemitism – have created particular conditions for diaspora subjectivity, famously expressed by W. E. B. Dubois’ notion of double consciousness.37 However valuable these insights are, the transnational biography is concerned with connections and movements across and beyond (national) borders, but stops short of explaining, rethinking or exploring global formations.38 The notion that biography can highlight connections otherwise overlooked or pushed to the margins of our historical work echo the standard description of the methods used in global history: connections and comparisons.39 However, as Ghobrial recently argued, global history has become a victim of its own success by emphasizing connectedness, circulation and integration and thus ‘downgrading … place-based knowledge and ­expertise  …’40 Those writing about ‘global lives’ are married to mobility to such an extent that their protagonists barely touch the ground they so hurriedly scatter across.41 Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, when applied to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries these standard methods of global history may not be as productive as they are for earlier periods. To trace and document the emergence of ‘a new sense of the limits of [the] inhabited world’, as Subrahmanyam once put it, may be considered a substantial expansion of our knowledge of the sixteenth and seventeenth

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Global biographies

c­ enturies.42 For the early modern period, as Lara Putnam argues, the ‘“telling example” is a useful evidentiary paradigm in cases where there is a strong presumption of absence, and therefore simply finding one or more instances of presence is something to write home about’.43 When investigating the global during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, however, the location and narration of ‘mobility’ and ‘connections’ are of less, if any, intrinsic value. Establishing interconnectedness is not something the biography can do for our understanding of the global. Rather, these observations are the starting point of our inquiry – the globalizing and interconnected world is the canvas, the scale and the phenomenon to be probed, questioned and disentangled; we do not need to prove it.44 In this era of globalized communication, cross-continental mobility, scientific documentation, imperial entrepreneurs, religious missionaries and capitalist adventures, we have a wealth of source material and contemporary contextualizations, which allows us to choose our protagonists more freely. We can trace them in detail, deliberately decentre our object of study and connect perhaps seemingly disparate trajectories and scales. These different analytical steps will help us to question, unpack and rethink interpretations arrived at through large-scale analyses. Rather than merely ‘dramatizing the issues’ and ‘animating the more abstract processes’,45 the aim is to rely on biographical approaches to shift our understanding of the global. To support this point, Linda Colley forcefully argues that ‘a purely abstract approach to changes and influences that transcend continents means that we understand them only imperfectly’. The biography, then, helps us to ‘deepen … our understanding of the global past’.46 The trajectory of the Marsh family that Colley lays bare allows her to nuance understandings of the institutions and processes that connected continents and smaller regions during the eighteenth century.47 The biographical approach adopted by Colley introduces a layered notion of time (its expansions and contractions), of establishing empire and commerce as incongruent, yet linked domains, and allows her to document the way imperial and capitalist expansion afforded individual opportunity. This ability to make sense of synchronic processes is a key strength of biography: its vertical analytical structure complements traditional global history’s diachronic and horizontal gaze.48 Accordingly, the biographical approach promises a way of d ­ issolving – or, better, reconceptualizing – the distinction between a macro and a micro level of historical analysis.49 By turning to biography, we direct our attention to the social processes that establish as well as undermine what Pierre Bourdieu once described as the ‘institutions of integration and unifications of the self’.50 The biographical approach provides, Lindsay and Wood argue in their work on Black Atlantic biographies, evidence of

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Introduction 9

­self-fashioning against structural barriers, and works as a means to rethink the­ temporality/ies of past worlds, allowing us to reconceptualize the spatial units that undergird our studies.51 In a similar fashion, Birgitte Possing has noted that twenty-first-century biographers approach their historical actors as ‘culture carriers’ or ‘culture breakers’.52 While we do not necessarily agree with the notion that people ‘carry’ or ‘break’ culture, these terms nevertheless emphasize the fact that the exploration of the protagonist as productive and embedded in cultural contexts is central to biographical endeavours. As such, the biographical approach helps to nuance the materialist concerns of much of global history. This is so because the biographical approach underlines that ‘it is impossible to segregate the public from the intimate, the economic from the cultural or the political from the personal’.53 With biography as an approach, self, time and space are opened up to critical analysis.54 Is there, we might ask, a global script at play in the making of the self and what are the analytical dividends of excavating such a script? In the above, we have discussed the place of biographies and the individual in global history, and the developments in the field of biography refining it as a distinct methodological approach. We have argued that the biographical approach is uniquely positioned to explore human experiences and agency in global processes, as well as the relationship between individuals being in the world and socio-historical change on the global scale. The approach can also help trace movements and connections across disparate spaces, offer a layered, archive-based, synchronic analysis of global phenomena typically explored diachronically and at an aggregate level and, finally, counter the materialist bias in global history writing by exploring the cultural construction of the self as inextricably interwoven with global forces. In this final section, we turn to our operationalization of biography as an approach to global history, which also makes up the structure of the volume.

Global biographies: three approaches Rather than downplaying agency and the role of individuals and particular places in shaping global forces, our contention, to borrow from David Bell, is that a protagonist’s doings can ‘serve as profoundly intense, dynamic laboratories of change in their own right’.55 Singular people act in the world and therefore should be understood as more than the sum of global structural forces. Secondly, we also contend that the biography of a protagonist can be used as an analytical prism to change how we – the interested readers  – understand global structural forces. A third contention is that the biography can be mobilized to scrutinize and challenge how we – the

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Global biographies

scholarly writers – have previously narrated global structural forces. The approaches presented below – time and periodization; exceptional normal; space and scales – have the potential to combine these three strengths of the biography as a method.

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Time and periodization ‘Any occurrence’, and any individual, ‘can be interpreted within different and multiple time frames’, writes Sebastian Conrad.56 If we take the methodological implications of this statement seriously, we may use the excavation of the embodied self as a method of unpacking layers of time, questioning temporalities of events unfolding on broader scales and rethinking perceived ‘breaks’ in history and even historiographical periodization. As Matthew S. Champion writes: Thinking with ‘temporalities’ has helped historians to understand that ‘time’ cannot be considered as an object separate from human configurations, perceptions and measurements, as well as to emphasize that ‘time’ is always and everywhere a condition of life in the world, and therefore an essential category of historical analysis.57

One reason for this importance of time is that the global biographer can distinguish between experienced time and historical time, as well as connect the two. To this we can add the critical theory of the relationship between time and narration. As Paul Ricœur argues, things that happen to us are given meaning through a narrative emplotment in which events are ordered to uphold the plot. Thus, narratives do not operate with a linear understanding of time – instead events are connected to create a meaningful self in the present. However, this is true not only for the protagonists under scrutiny, but also for the historian who structures and connects temporalities through narrative in a sense-making exercise.58 Just as individual stories can be used to defy neat geographies, they may also be used to scrutinize chronologies produced on a more abstract or aggregated scale. What is perhaps even more intriguing is that the global biography allows us to hold together and analyse the interplay between several scales of time. History unfolds – in a Braudelian sense – in several tempi, and the biographical approach allows us to grasp how they interact with, and indeed produce, experienced time which, on the other hand, might engage, resist, cheat (or even alter) historical time. In chapter 1, Haakon A. Ikonomou poses the central question: what is a moment? Ikonomou explores the issue through an analysis of the OttomanGreek Thanassis Aghnides’ lasting negotiations of what has been labelled the Wilsonian moment: the time immediately following the First World

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Introduction 11

War, when anticolonial and national movements across the globe believed in, petitioned and fought for national self-determination, animated by the promises of US President Woodrow Wilson for a postwar settlement. The chapter displays biography’s ability to capture and simultaneously break down the analytical barriers between continuity and change across this global watershed moment at the end of the First World War and the ensuing new international order. One of the strengths of the biographical approach, Ikonomou argues, is its ability to bring the ‘experiential’ and the ‘perspectival’ axes of temporality together. Thus, by striking down on instances when Aghnides sought to make sense of his times, we are prompted to ask new questions: What is the importance of the afterness of the Ottoman Empire in the interwar international order? What role did non-Western imperial experiences play in the development of liberal internationalism? Aghnides’ trajectory reveals that these are important and underappreciated areas of further study. The year 1956 was not easy for admirers of the Soviet Union, as we learn in chapter 2 from Rósa Magnúsdóttir’s analysis of Þóra Vigfúsdóttir and Kristinn E. Andrésson’s long love-affair with Soviet Communism. By examining the writings of two dedicated Icelandic socialist intellectuals during the early Cold War and their reactions to important developments in the Soviet Union and in socialism as such, the chapter studies the couple’s ideological belief system, which was firmly grounded in both anti-Americanism (the two were exasperated by the strong US presence in Iceland) and Soviet socialism, and their unwavering mission to expose Icelandic audiences to Soviet culture and artists. As Magnúsdóttir argues, Þóra and Kristinn  – as part of a global network of socialist intellectuals who met regularly for conferences and events in Eastern Europe and Soviet Russia – were intensely convinced of the superiority and the promise of the Soviet project. ‘1956’ – a global watershed moment in Communist history – became for Þóra and Kristinn a marker of continuity, reaffirming their stubborn belief in the promises of Soviet Communism in the face of increasing evidence of its faults. With this, Magnúsdóttir complicates our understanding of the temporalities of global crisis. In chapter 3, Diana M. Natermann unpacks the life and career of Duke Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg from the late nineteenth century to the 1960s. The duke, as he is named, was a pro-imperialistic military man, Africa traveller and governor of Togo, German representative to South America in the 1930s and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the decades after the Second World War. By connecting the peculiarities of the duke’s professional and personal practices with an analysis of what are traditionally conceived of as watershed moments in German history, the chapter highlights two glacial, global shifts: first, the

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slow economic and social transformation of the role of nobility from the mid-nineteenth century; second, the transformation of imperial knowledge as a currency that came to serve new purposes, as Germany lost her colonial empire, turned to Nazism and eventually emerged divided in the Cold War era. The global transformation of his nobility and his imperial credentials allowed the duke to stay ‘afloat’ during several ruptures in German history. Finally, in chapter 4, Natalia Aleksiun attempts a very different approach. She offers a collective biography of a cluster of Jewish medical students from eastern Europe studying in interwar Vienna, many of whom left Europe altogether after the Second World War. As Aleksiun demonstrates, the Holocaust and the Cold War are two watershed moments that lie, so to speak, between the object of study (students in interwar Vienna) and the memories, localities and narratives of the protagonists. The global language of the medical profession was the madeleine that transposed and connected their postwar selves with their past. In this way, Aleksiun not only argues that it was the universality of medical knowledge that allowed her protagonists to bridge and translate ruptures of time, such as the Holocaust; she also explores how the memories of the Holocaust and of their pre-Holocaust lives were shaped by their actual locality, thus showing that global processes, such as the Cold War and the breakdown of the Habsburg Empire, were co-constituent of a memory-formation that is often ­understood solely in relation to the Holocaust.

Exceptional normal As Giovanni Levi noted more than thirty years ago, biographies contain a number of key elements that enable their historiographical intervention. The study of marginal or exceptional persons highlights and circumscribes the social field in which marginality emerges. As such, the biography is instrumental in addressing questions about the typical and the frequent. According to Levi, to write a biography that does not follow ‘la description traditionnelle, linéaire, et l’illusion d’une identité spécifique, cohérente, sans contradiction’ historians must direct themselves towards the social relations that shape individuals, to the kind of rationalities that guide them, to the possibilities of negotiation for them and, importantly, to the links that tie together a social field and an acting person.59 This microhistorical approach to writing about a society through the lens of the ‘exceptional normal’ is well suited for a biographical approach to global history. It is not the choice of an exceptional (meaning fantastical) character for the sake of narrative zest or increasing book sales, but the choice of the outlier as an analytical tool that provides a peripheral gaze on normality, the centre and the takenfor-granted.60 The approach generated by the exceptional normal institutes

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Introduction 13

a deliberate decentring of global processes. What is more, in-depth sources, detailed scrutiny of individual traits and practices, and intense contextualization might alter ‘the normal’ altogether.61 In this section, four authors mobilize the notion of the exceptional normal to interrogate their biographical subjects and the larger global processes to which they contributed. At the most general level, this results in four methodological moves. One move mobilizes the notion of the exceptional normal to trace the dialectic movement back and forth between normal and exceptional, thereby opening up new perspectives on standard narratives. A second move emphasizes the normal in order to dissolve the exception, questioning the usefulness for global history of notions of transparent singularity. A third move employs the concept of the exceptional normal to highlight the traits of the biographical subject in view that were outstanding, thereby probing conventional generalizations; and a final move shows the exceptional as a contingent quality that emerges and disappears as global contexts shift. This part of the volume begins with Ismay Milford’s study of the Zambian nationalist Munukayumbwa Sipalo, who was described by a fellow activist as ‘just an African radical’. Milford establishes that Sipalo was part of both the project of Zambian nationalism and the global Third World project, while also being marginal to both projects at various times. Milford traces Sipalo’s uneasy engagement with Zambian nationalism and his, largely unsuccessful, attempts to participate in the large-scale Third World project of decolonization and independence. This move allows Milford to suggest that we need to recognize the Third World project and its agents as ‘more complex, more conflict-ridden, less state-centric and less heroic than the conventional narrative’. Indeed, what appears exceptional about Sipalo, Milford concludes, may be normal in terms of how political struggles unfolded for many activists of and in the third world. In this chapter, the notion of the exceptional normal works to generate important insights into the exclusive elements of the Third World project. The second move is employed by Isa Blumi in chapter 6, to critically engage with a historiographical tradition of exceptionality. By writing what Blumi provocatively terms an antibiography of Fan S. Noli, a national hero praised in Albanian historiography, Blumi demonstrates that Noli was in fact the result of Tosk-Albanian elite networks supportive of the Ottoman Empire. This is an insight that Blumi obtains by tracing Noli’s trajectory beyond Albania to Cairo, Alexandria and Boston in the United States. By dislocating Noli, and paying close attention to those around him, Blumi demonstrates that Noli was – in the terms Blumi uses – exceptionally normal. He is better understood, so to speak, as a fairly normal member of networks whose representatives were by no means as sure of their support

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of and membership in future nations as historians would like them to have been. The third move is employed in chapter 7 by Stefan Eklöf Amirell in his study of US Army officer Hugh Lenox Scott. Amirell uses the biography of Scott to decentre our understanding of US imperialism. By meticulously pursuing the question of what was normal and what exceptional in Scott’s trajectory, Amirell demonstrates the complexity of white male US imperialism. It was an endeavour which combined ruthless violence, mortifying stereotypes and romanticism with a genuine curiosity for Native American ways of life. Scott’s ethnographical capital would turn out to be a military career asset, positioning him as a gifted negotiator in US colonial hotspots in the Philippines and Cuba. Indeed, Scott’s trajectory forces us to rethink conventional narratives of the military’s role in imperial projects – such as for instance the link, made by sociologist George Steinmetz, between a military habitus, the readiness to use violence and the denigration of ­ethnographic knowledge – while also posing the wider challenge of how to conceptualize imperialism so as to be able to contain figures like Scott within our narratives. Amirell uses the exceptional normal as an optic through which to measure Hugh Lenox Scott against the standards of his time. Finally, Ozan Ozavci, in chapter 8, zooms in on the life of Mehmet Cavid Bey, a liberal Young Turk, three times Minister of Finance in the Ottoman Empire and a dönme (a descendant of Jews forcefully converted to Islam during the seventeenth century). Highlighting the potential of the fourth biographical move, Ozavci shows that Cavid went from being exceptional to being normal as the financial constraints of the Ottoman Empire narrowed his ability to maintain his early liberal views on free trade, foreign investment and a genuine belief in a European civilizing mission. Cavid became more attuned to economic nationalism; his views aligned themselves to those of other Young Turks of the period. In a global history perspective, then, we may learn – by probing into a seemingly exceptional person and embedding him in the normalcies of broad structural forces – how they discipline, entrap and normalize even those seeking change from a marginal position.

Space and scales The individuals that are central to this volume lived in physical spaces. In more than one case, they moved between numerous locations, thereby becoming the connecting tissue between these various locales. Still, not every traveller is global by the very fact of his or her travel and not every diaspora community is part of a global history because its members were

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Introduction 15

and are away from ‘home’. By the same logic, not every foreign consumer good is global because of its origin. At the same time, the danger persists that we lose the analytical potential of a biographical approach for global history if the biography is tied to small places and made to speak of their history in a more or less isolated manner. This is not because local histories are irrelevant to global history; without these there is – in a very literal sense – no global history whatsoever. In order to secure the global significance of particular places they should, therefore, be understood via their intersection with scale. To connect global processes to human experiences, scales offer a fruitful way to explore the ‘depth’, heterogeneity and entanglements of global phenomena in local contexts. The use of scale as a concept by which to analyse life trajectories may not fully dissolve Frederick Cooper’s pertinent critique of the presumption that we may understand globalization as the smooth expansion of modern, capitalist structures. Yet by adopting scales (and their interplay) as our analytical interest, we may obtain a finer understanding of the configuration of the global as it emerges in the ‘mechanisms and limitations of spatial relationships’.62 Just as Anne Gerritsen holds that a locality can be ‘produced’ on several scales – ranging from the local to the global – so we may engage with the individual as someone produced by and engaging with several scales at once.63 Thus, analytical scales – as we historians apply them – also need to resonate with and bring forth actual concrete scales. The untenured historian may blame personal capacities, family upbringing, the local schools of her/his youth, the national educational system or the global neoliberalisation of education and knowledge. All of these scales matter, and the historian’s questions determine which are brought into play and how. These differences in approach become strikingly apparent when comparing the ways in which the contributors to this part of this volume have engaged with space and scale. The sum of these chapters helps to capture the otherwise elusive concepts of space and scale by offering several concrete ways of utilizing them. In chapter 9, Laura Almagor explicitly prioritizes scale as an analytical tool to provide a concise account of the professional life of the American-Jewish scholar Koppel Pinson. More importantly, by turning this analytical process on its head, scales enable us to see Pinson’s relevance in obtaining insights about various, seemingly unconnected, themes and processes within different networks and geographies. Indeed, this pioneer of the field of nationalism studies moved between abstract and concrete spaces: scholarly fields within the United States, and physical places in Europe and North America, especially in his capacity as educational director of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in the German Displaced Persons camps immediately following the Second World War. However, the premise of Almagor’s contribution is that it is first of all scales

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Global biographies

that enable the scholar to approach Pinson’s life in the most m ­ ulti-faceted manner possible. In contrast, prioritizing space over scale, in chapter 10 Holger Weiss explores the Afro-American, communist, labour union activist James W. Ford as one of the key global players in the history of interwar communism in the Black Atlantic. Weiss uses space in two intertwined ways. First, by tying together Ford’s activities in Chicago, Moscow, Hamburg and several other places, Weiss traces the vast agitation and propaganda network Ford helped produce, connecting Black activists in Africa, the Caribbean, the USA and Europe. Second, Weiss shows how Ford was pushed and pulled from the centre of Black transnational communist agitation, as the many institutions that facilitated their work redefined what the struggle was about. Embedding the case of Ford in a careful exploration of the source material at hand and the layered, organizational ‘solar system’ of the Comintern, Weiss probes the possibilities for and limitations on a single actor seeking to forge global revolutionary politics. Thus, Weiss concludes, we can discern spaces of agitation that opened and closed across the inter- and immediately postwar years, in the end leaving Ford disillusioned as his older doctrines of class struggle were washed over by radical political pan-Africanism. In one sense, these spaces for agitation or possibility are also the focus of chapter 11. Benjamin Auberer’s main protagonist is Dorothea Weger, a single, female, Australian, international civil servant of German descent, who made her career during the interwar period in several organizations, most significantly the League of Nations. Auberer shows that the very traits that made her a valuable employee and a ‘true’ internationalist in the Genevan space, made her a suspicious, rootless cosmopolitan and a possible spy in the Australian space to which she returned in the late 1930s. Her credentials were now translated differently, not only because they changed valence in these disconnected contexts, but also because the two spaces were connected by the global deterioration of international relations across the interwar period. Thus, even if the notion of disparate spaces is the driving force of the analysis, scale, crucially, explains the idiosyncratic nature of Weger’s story. Finally, the shifting balance between space and scale culminates in Gunvor Simonsen’s contribution, chapter 12, in which the two categories find more or less equal footing. In Simonsen’s discussion of the early nineteenth-century Danish colonial agent Adrian Bentzon, space, rather than just an analytical framework, becomes itself one of the narrative foci. A chronological outlier in this volume, Simonsen’s chapter underscores the importance to late nineteenth- and twentieth-century history of quarrying the spatial conceptualizations that undergird our notion of processes with global reach. Bentzon’s biography could be captured within the framework



Introduction 17

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of the transnational, yet it was his participation in Atlantic scalar processes, Simonsen argues, that made him what he was: turtle dealer, governor, merchant, business agent, planter, slave owner, bibliophile, father of five and partner of three. Looking at the Atlantic world via Bentzon’s biography highlights this world as an assemblage of spatial processes of dis- and reintegration. The scalar force of these processes was not related to their nesting in a spatial hierarchy but rather to their ability to channel, or clog, particular resources from coming within Bentzon’s reach. We do not claim to be pioneers. As this discussion of global biographies suggests, global historians have already begun to explore the biographical approach. They have shown – often by way of anecdotal example – that biography can do more than illustrate broader structural trends and that the global can be more than a background context against which to paint an individual life. It is our hope that, together, the contributions to Global biographies bring us one step closer to an even more precise appreciation of what biography can achieve as an approach to global history. As we have shown, historians have pointed to biographies’ ability to open up questions of time, space and self. These foundational elements of history are mediated by and emerge through people as they act in and experience their worlds. It is also these foundational elements that we explore in Global biographies.

Notes  1 B. W. Tuchman, ‘Biography as a prism of history’ in M. Pachter (ed.), Telling lives: the biographer’s art (Washington, DC: New Republic, 1979), 133–147: 133.  2 Ibid.  3 Though she had in fact written a formal biography of US Army general James Stillwell only nine years before: B. W. Tuchman, Stillwell and the American experience in China, 1911–45 (New York: Macmillan, 1970).  4 J.-P. A. Ghobrial, ‘Introduction: seeing the world like a microhistorian’, Past & Present, Supplement 14 (2019): 10.  5 P. O’Brien, ‘Historiographical traditions and modern imperatives for the restoration of global history’, Journal of Global History, 1:1 (2006): 3.  6 W. H. McNeill, The rise of the West: a history of the human community (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1963): 726–93.  7 O’Brien, ‘Historiographical’, 4–5; P. K. Crossley, What is global history? (Cambridge: Polity, 2008): 3.  8 Historians who engaged themselves with the excavation of ‘personal meanings through biographies concentrated upon private lives, upon subalterns and other

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Global biographies

examples of micro-history’ were to refrain from making ‘pretentious claims for their superior humanistic status’: O’Brien, ‘Historiographical’, 37–8.  9 T. Andrade, ‘A Chinese farmer, two African boys, and a warlord: toward a global microhistory’, Journal of World History, 21:4 (2010): 574, 591. For a critical assessment of the resurrectionist potential of biography, see M. Gamsa, ‘Biography and (global) microhistory’, New Global Studies, 11:3 (2017): 234. 10 K. Pomeranz, The great divergence: China, Europe and the making of the modern world economy (Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2000): 117, 137, 235. 11 J. R. McNeill and W. H. McNeill, The human web: a bird’s-eye view of world history (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003): 295; J. Osterhammel, The transformation of the world: a global history of the nineteenth century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014): 780, 805; C. A. Bayly, The birth of the modern world, 1780–1914: global connections and comparisons (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004). Of course, there are exceptions. At times – perhaps most noticeable in Bayly’s The birth of the modern world – the synthesis contains an appreciation of how the global intersects with individual lives. This is for instance the case when Bayly briefly presents Raja Ram Mohun Roy, ‘the first Indian liberal’. Mohun’s position as a colonized subject, Bayly suggests, turned him towards the plight of distant others while European thinkers were caught up in the ‘assumption of Western racial superiority’. As this example suggests, synthesis does not exclude engagement with and analysis of how individuals were shaped by and contributed to spatial processes having a global reach: ibid., 241, 293–4. 12 For examples of these and other figures, see McNeill and McNeill, The human web, 281, 392–3, 300–1; Osterhammel, The transformation of the world, 648, 653, 663. 13 K. Pomeranz, ‘Histories for a less national age’, The American Historical Review, 119:1 (2014): 2. 14 O. Rosenboim, The emergence of globalism: visions of world order in Britain and the United States, 1939–1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017); S. Moyn and A. Sartori, Global intellectual history (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013). 15 A. Sartori, Bengal in global concept history: culturalism in the age of capital (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008): 6, 232. 16 D. Washbrook, ‘Problems in global history’, in M. Berg (ed.), Writing the history of the global: challenges for the 21st century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013): 29. 17 Gamsa, ‘Biography’, 234. 18 S. Conrad, What is global history? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016): 131; M. Ogborn, Global lives: Britain and the world, 1550–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008): 1–2. 19 For this argument, see S. Eriksen, ‘Biografier som lakmuspapir. Overvejelser omkring den socialhistoriske biografi’, Historisk Tidsskrift, 16:5 (1996): 160–83. See also H. A. Ikonomou, ‘The biography as institutional can-opener: an investigation of core bureaucratic practices in the early years of the League

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Introduction 19

of Nations Secretariat’, in K. Gram-Skjoldager, H. A. Ikonomou and T. Kahlert (eds), Organizing the 20th century world: international organizations and the emergence of international public administration, 1920s–1960s (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020). 20 This formulation is inspired by G. K. Bhambra’s succinct formulation of her theoretical aim in Bhambra, Connected sociologies (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014): 5. 21 B. Possing, Understanding biographies: on biographies in history and stories in biography (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2017): 15, 23. 22 Quoted in C. N. Parke, Biography: writing lives (New York and London: Routledge, 2002): 29. 23 B. Caine, Biography and history (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010): 1; Possing, Understanding biographies, 17, 104. 24 Parke, Biography, 111–2; Caine, Biography and history, 48; F. Ferrarotti, ‘On the autonomy of the biographical method’, in D. Bertaux (ed.), Biography and society (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1981): 26–7. 25 Caine, Biography and history, 100, 103; H. Lee, Biography: a very short introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009): 94; M. Pachter, ‘Introduction’, in Pachter (ed.), Telling lives: the biographer’s art (Washington DC: New Republic Books, 1979): 10. One early example of a dedicated scholarly periodical is Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, published since 1978 by the University of Hawaii Press. At the same time, biography has, more than ever before, captured the attention of marketing departments. Biographies now exist not only of individuals, but also of towns, buildings and even diseases: Caine, Biography and history, 124. Examples of such ‘unconventional’ biographies include C. Jones, Paris: biography of a city (London: Allen Lane, 2004); J. Morgan, If these walls had ears: biography of a house (New York: Warner Books, 1996); S. Mukherjee, The emperor of all maladies: a biography of cancer (New York: Scribner, 2010). 26 Caine, Biography and history; J. B. Margadant, ‘Introduction: the new biography in historical practice’, French Historical Studies, 19 (1996), 1045–58; see also D. Nasaw, ‘Introduction – AHR roundtable: historians and biography’, The American Historical Review, 114:3 (2009), 573–8: 576. 27 A very nice exploration of this process can be found in N. A. Rupke, Alexander von Humboldt: a metabiography (Frankfurt am Main and Berlin: Peter Lang, 2005). 28 H. Lee, Virginia Woolf’s nose: essays on biography (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005): 5. 29 Quoted in Lee, Biography, 126. 30 Caine, Biography and history, 25. 31 Bertaux, ‘Preface’, 6. 32 Possing, Understanding biographies, 97, 217 footnote 140. 33 Parke, Biography, xvii–xviii. 34 While acknowledging the importance of autobiography in the shaping of the biographical method in the West, and even more in the non-Western world,

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20

Global biographies

in this book autobiographies, those biographical narratives written down by the historical actors themselves, may feature as sources, but are not the focus of our methodological analysis. Caine, Biography and history, 80; Parke, Biography, 31. 35 Caine, Biography and history, 124; imperial biographies were soon followed by studies of the careers and life-stories of diasporic minorities and the marginalized. Recently, we have witnessed a burgeoning interest in the transnational biographies of internationalists, and more specifically of men and women working in international organizations, NGOs and transnational political movements. David Lambert and Alan Lester (eds), Colonial lives across the British Empire: imperial careering in the long nineteenth century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); E. Buettner, Empire families: Britons and late imperial India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); R. Bickers, Empire made me – an Englishman adrift in Shanghai (London: Allen Lane, 2003). See also A.-C. Knudsen and K. Gram-Skjoldager (eds), Living political ­biography – narrating 20th-century European lives (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2012); N. Piers ­ 976–1980: Ludlow, Roy Jenkins and the European Commission presidency, 1 at the heart of Europe (London: Palgrave, 2016); M. Everard and F. de Haan (eds), Rosa Manus: the internationalist life & legacy of a Jewish Dutch feminist (Leiden: Brill, 2017). On the historically marginalized, see for instance: S. Hartman, Wayward lives, beautiful experiments: intimate histories of riotous black girls, troublesome women, and queer radicals (New York: W. W. Norton, 2019); C. Anderson, Subaltern lives: biographies of colonialism in the Indian Ocean world, 1790–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). 36 D. Deacon, P. Russel and A. Woollacott (eds), Transnational lives: biographies of global modernity, 1700–present (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). 37 P. Gilroy, The black Atlantic: modernity and double consciousness (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993). 38 For a methodological discussion, see S. Panter, J. Paulmann and M. SzöllösiJanze, ‘Mobility and biography. Methodological challenges and perspectives’, in Panter (ed.), Mobility and biography, Jahrbuch für Europäische Geschichte/ European History Yearbook, 16 (2015): 1–14. 39 O’Brien, ‘Historiographical’, 4–7; Miles, Global lives: Britain and the world, 1550–1800, 3; Washbrook, ‘Problems in global history’, 21–23; Conrad, What is global, 38–48; R. Drayton and D. Motadel, ‘Discussion: the futures of global history’, Journal of Global History, 13:1 (2018): 3. The work on the connected histories of (parts) of Europe with (parts) of south Asia by S. Subrahmanyam, and that by Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra and E. H. Gould on the entanglement of early English/British and Spanish empires, show among other things the fruitful results of following actual and imagined connections during the early modern period. See J. Cañizares-Esguerra, Entangled empires, the Anglo-Iberian Atlantic, 1500–1830 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018); E.  H. Gould, ‘Entangled histories, entangled worlds: the English-speaking Atlantic as a Spanish periphery’, The American Historical Review, 112:3 (2007); S. Subrahmanyam, ‘Connected histories: notes towards a r­econfiguration of

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Introduction 21

early modern Eurasia’, Modern Asian Studies, 31:3 (1997) and Courtly encounters: translating courtliness and violence in early modern Eurasia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012). 40 Ghobrial, ‘Introduction’, 6. 41 L. Putnam, ‘The transnational and the text-searchable: digitized sources and the shadows they cast’, American Historical Review, 121:2 (2016). 42 Subrahmanyam, ‘Connected histories’, 737. Most of the methodological and theoretical innovations in the biographical and microhistorical approaches to global history are concerned with the early modern period; Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Natalie Zemon Davis, Linda Colley and Francesca Trivellato, to mention some, are all scholars of this period. 43 L. Putnam, ‘To study the fragments/whole: microhistory and the Atlantic world’, Journal of Social History, 39:2 (2006): 618. 44 For a similar point, see for example C. Ginzburg in interview with T. R. Gundersen, ‘On the dark side of history’, Eurozine 2003: 7–8. 45 Ogborn, Global lives, 9. 46 L. Colley, The ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: a woman in world history (London: Harper Press, 2007): xix, 300. 47 Ibid., 293, 297–9. 48 B. Cossart, ‘“Global lives”: writing global history with a biographical approach’, Entremons UPF Journal of World History, 5 (2013), 1–14. A good example of how biographies can combine synchronic processes and change over time is L. M. Easton, The Red Count: the life and times of Harry Kessler (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006); see also L. A. Lindsay and J. W. Sweet (eds), Biography and the black Atlantic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014): 15; M. Hodes, ‘A story with an argument: writing the transnational life of a sea captain’s wife’, in Deacon et al. (eds), Transnational lives, 19, 22. 49 Gamsa, ‘Biography’, 234. 50 P. Bourdieu, ‘L’illusion biographique’, Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, 62:3 (1986) : 69–72; Possing, Understanding biographies, 98. 51 Lindsay and Sweet, Biography, 5–15. 52 Possing, Understanding biographies, 25, 27. 53 Deacon et al. (eds), Transnational lives, 5. 54 An excellent example of this potential is S. V. Hartman, Scenes of subjection: terror, slavery, and self-making in nineteenth-century America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). 55 D. Bell, ‘Words from David Bell’, Journal of Global History, 13 (2018): 17; which is Bell’s reply to Drayton’s and Motadel’s defence of global history in the same issue of the journal. 56 Conrad, What is global, 146. 57 M. S. Champion, ‘The history of temporalities: an introduction’, Past & Present, 243:1 (2019): 247. 58 P. Ricœur, ‘Narrative and time’, Critical Inquiry, 7:1 (1980), 169–90; M. Hermansen and J. D. Rendtorff (eds), En hermeneutisk brobygger, tekster af Paul Ricæur (Aarhus: Klim, 2002).

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59 G. Levi, ‘Les usages de la biographie’, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 44:6 (1989), 1329–32, quote 29; for the relational element of the biographical method, see Possing, Understanding biographies, 27. 60 S. G. Magnússon and I. M. Szijártó, What is microhistory? Theory and practice (London: Routledge, 2013). 61 F. Trivellato, ‘Is there a future for Italian microhistory in the age of global history?’, California Italian Studies, 2:1 (2011). 62 F. Cooper, Colonialism in question: theory, knowledge, history (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 92. 63 A. Gerritsen, ‘Scales of a local: the place of locality in a globalizing world’, in D. Northrup (ed.), A companion to world history (Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell Publishing, 2012).

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Part I

Time and periodization

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1 Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides between empire and nation state Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Haakon A. Ikonomou

The transition from the First World War to the fragile and patchy peace that followed is usually conceived of as a watershed moment in modern history. Within the first six months of 1919, the peacemakers gathered in Paris for the Peace Conference invented and committed themselves to an entirely new political architecture for the globe.1 American President Woodrow Wilson embodied this change, promising new modes of diplomacy resting on a commitment to the self-determination of peoples in sovereign states. To expedite and uphold this new order, the Paris Peace Conference set up the League of Nations, the first global intergovernmental organization with a permanent secretariat, overseeing a wide range of policy areas – from collective security to the promotion of transnational governance in areas as diverse as communication and transit, health, economy and finance.2 Erez Manela has argued that 1918 and 1919 constituted a global Wilsonian moment, in which the great powers were confronted with the mobilizing potential of the American (and British) propaganda and promise of ‘self-determination’ to those who threw in their lot with the allied forces. Self-determination became the concept through which nationalist and anticolonial movements could envision international recognition for national liberation, self-government and nationhood. Many of these groups organized delegations and travelled to Paris to lay their claims before the great powers, the makers and breakers of national aspirations. Most calls were left unanswered, sparking an uneven, protracted, yet relentless push towards the end of formal colonial rule that would shape the rest of the twentieth century.3 In 1919, one of the League’s most crucial tasks became to reshape the areas covered by the disintegrating Ottoman, Habsburg, German and Russian empires in the image of ‘Wilsonian sovereignty’.4 Indeed, the promise of ‘self-determination’ – the dangerously simplistic notion of a complete overlap between nation and state along some ethnic, religious, linguistic or geo-historical line – became a rhetorical entrapment to which even the most imperial of allies had to adhere at the Paris Peace Conference, if

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Time and periodization

not in deed then at least in word.5 Wilson’s invocation of self-­determination had created expectations across the globe due to its emancipatory implications and, even though Wilson himself was shocked that so many peoples he had considered unfit for self-government took his call seriously, he nonetheless envisioned a new international system held together by a transnational liberal public organized through the League of Nations.6 The old imperial lands, and perhaps particularly the area encompassing the Ottoman Empire, became a vast and immediate testing ground for these Wilsonian principles, as they clashed with the imperial schemes of the great powers and the competing irredentist and ethno-nationalist ambitions of nations and peoples of the region.7 The aim of this chapter is to explore the multiple temporalities of this watershed moment, by tracing the movements and writings of a man who escaped a crumbling Ottoman Empire to work for the realization of a society of nations within the newly established world organization. Thanassis Aghnides, born in Niğde in the heartland of Anatolia in 1889, left the Ottoman capitol of Constantinople in 1911 to study law in Paris. Towards the end of the war, he was recruited to work for the Greek Embassy in London and became an intricate part of the liberal Greek statesman Eleftherios Venizelos’ ambitious plans for postwar Greece: I Megali Idea (the great idea), which entailed the establishment of a Greek state that would encompass all areas historically inhabited by ethnic Greek populations (including the large Orthodox and Greek-speaking populations under Ottoman rule). Through his diplomatic connections Aghnides was offered a job with the League of Nations Secretariat, the beginning of a long and lauded international career going into the first three decades of the United Nations.8 In one sense, then, Aghnides is the embodiment of the systemic change that followed the First World War; a man that across this watershed moment left behind his imperial past and embraced – with determined zeal – a future world of nation states. However, this chapter also aims to challenge the notion of a clear rupture. By seeking to ‘understand how, in a given time and place, a “self” [was] organized and performed’ through Aghnides’ attempt to make sense of the world, this analysis reveals his lasting imperial dispositions and networks, and how these were mobilized at the war’s end and during his early years within the League Secretariat.9 Indeed, while the First World War made an internationalist and patriotic zealot out of Aghnides, it was his imperial past which brought him to the League and continued to direct his professional efforts until his retirement. More fundamentally, the chapter aims to show that through biography the historian can capture several temporalities of a watershed ‘moment’ at once. The temporality of a rupture is dispersed not only along an

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Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 27

e­ xperiential axis (answering the question who is experiencing the watershed moment), but also along a perspectival axis (from which vantage point we, as historians, are exploring the watershed moment).10 Operationalizing the ‘experiential axis’ in this chapter becomes a question of trying to understand how Aghnides sought to make sense of the Wilsonian moment at any given time through an in-depth analysis of his words and deeds. This, then, bases itself loosely on Paul Ricœur’s concept of narrative ‘emplotment’, as outlined in the introduction to this volume, and seeks to understand how Aghnides created a meaningful self at various moments in relation to this global watershed moment.11 Mobilizing the ‘perspectival axis’, the chapter attempts to show how Aghnides was both productive in and produced by this watershed moment, which often – precisely due to its global ­implications – is described in more structural terms by historians as something that ‘happens to’ people (if it is not described from the perspective of its god-like designers).12 The agency and experiences of Aghnides can be used to unearth traits about the temporality of the Wilsonian moment – because he was productive in it.13 In this way, we can appreciate that there were multiple Wilsonian moments, not only in a temporal sense, but also in a spatial sense. After a brief outline of how Aghnides ended up in the League Secretariat, the chapter analyses his world view at the close of the First World War in more detail, oscillating between a concert review he authored and a series of diplomatic reports he contributed to a Parisian pro-Venizelist journal in 1917–18. As we shall see, the two were intricately connected. Both were shaped by the complex web of national, religious and imperial affiliations that underpinned Aghnides’ distinct internationalism and made him a good fit for the League of Nations. The last section of the chapter explores Aghnides’ visit to Greece, made in 1924 as a League official sent to report on the ongoing population exchange between Turkey and Greece, as a very personal negotiation of the Wilsonian moment.

‘Exactly the sort of person you want’ Born and raised in Anatolia, as a member of the Greek Orthodox middle class of the Ottoman Empire, Aghnides attended three different religious establishments during the course of his education. After attending (but not graduating from) the Grand Patriarchal School in Phanar, the most prestigious Greek Orthodox school in Constantinople, he received his baccalaureate from the French Catholic College of St Joseph before obtaining a further degree at the American Protestant Anatolian College.14 This mixture of religious and linguistic experiences, and his excellent grades,

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Time and periodization

qualified him for legal studies in Constantinople.15 Moreover, due to the close ties between the French and American missionary institutions and the expatriate community of the capitol, Aghnides secured a traineeship under Sir Edwin Pears, President of the European Bar of the Consular Courts in the Ottoman Empire.16 Pears being one of the leading members of the British community in Constantinople,17 this acquaintance opened many doors for Aghnides. Among other things, owing to his proficiency in languages Aghnides acted as the Turkish teacher for the young British diplomat Harold Nicolson.18 As reformist Ottomanism gave way to exclusionist Turkish nationalism, and Greek and Armenian minorities – themselves in the grasp of a nationalist awakening – faced an increasingly perilous existence in the strained empire, Aghnides moved to Paris in 1911 to retake his law degree at the Sorbonne (this time in French). He was soon drawn into the Greek political milieu in Paris. Towards the end of the First World War he was recruited by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and appointed director of the press bureau at the Greek embassy in London.19 Though the circumstances are unclear, he did not get along with his superiors and quit the foreign service at the close of the war.20 In 1919, then, Aghnides found himself unemployed and looking for a new career. It was at this point that he again ran into his former pupil from Constantinople and acquaintance from the London days, Harold Nicolson. Nicolson was in Paris as part of the British delegation to the Peace Conference and was working specifically with how to accommodate Greek territorial claims and British proposals for the territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire. Naturally, he was in close contact with Venizelos, who would present the Greek claims before the Peace Conference; the very man who had personally recruited Aghnides to the foreign service a few years earlier, at a time when Venizelos was fighting vigorously to bring Greece into the war on the side of the British and the Entente Powers.21 British imperial, Christian missionary and Greek diplomatic networks had catapulted Aghnides into the midst of the Paris Peace Conference and brought Nicolson and Aghnides together again. After Aghnides had confided to Nicolson that he was looking for a new professional direction, Nicolson  – himself recently recruited to the Secretariat22 – wrote to Drummond about ‘a young Greek’ that used to give him Turkish lessons in Constantinople. This young Greek, Nicolson assured Drummond, ‘is exactly the sort of person you would want’.23 This was the beginning of a long and successful career as an international official, but why was Aghnides ‘exactly the sort of person’ Drummond wanted? To answer this, the chapter now turns to an exploration of Aghnides’ world view and the contexts in which this view was articulated at the close of the First World War.



Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 29

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Anticipating the Wilsonian moment: music and diplomacy at the close of the war Aghnides played, composed and reviewed music throughout his life.24 His interest in music went back to his school years. He had learned to play the clarinet at St Joseph (1903–4) in Constantinople. He also sang alto in the school choir.25 In fact, on moving to Paris Aghnides not only studied at the Sorbonne, but also enrolled in the French National Conservatory of Music. A relatively brief obituary, upon his death in 1984, concluded: ‘In New York he lived at the Knickerbocker Club, but had a small flat in Geneva, where he kept his piano. Music was his only recreation, and he had a gift for it.’26 In June 1918, as the last efforts of the German spring offensive petered out and the First World War limped miserably towards its end, a review of a concert in the Aeolian Hall in London, authored by Aghnides, appeared in The Musical Times. Aghnides had been impressed, writing that the audience was ‘spellbound’. The artist was the famous Vladimir Rosing, a Russianborn operatic tenor and stage director who would strike up a very successful career in Britain and the USA. Rosing had presented some ‘exquisite specimens’ of Russian and French music, and – to Aghnides’ great joy – an interpretation of a Greek lullaby. In the review, Aghnides first analysed Rosing’s recital of a Russian folk song with a ‘weird Dostojewskian [sic] savage grandeur’. ‘The Song of the Poor Wanderer’ was composed by the relatively unknown Manakin Nevstruov to the words of the Russian mid-nineteenth-century poet Nikolay Necrasov. Necrasov wrote of poor Russian peasants enduring a harsh winter and famine in turn-of-the-century Russia and Aghnides connected this message to contemporary miseries – the anguish of millions of civilians and soldiers in the continuing world war. The singer ‘not only sang, he acted – he lived, as it were, every atom of the song, as could be seen from the dramatic mould he gave his physiognomy, and the contagion of his terror permeated his audience’,27 Aghnides raved, before concluding: In these days of unprecedented rage and misery we feel particularly alive to such sentiments of horror. Drawn out sufferings has [sic] rendered us more thoughtful, receptive, and responsive. This is certainly not the bad side of the war.28

The sentiment of Rosing’s performance, Aghnides held, unlocked humankind’s ability to learn from its folly and create a better world out of the devastations of war.29 In many ways, the language of religious redemption, of covenants, human morality and higher laws, was epitomized by Woodrow Wilson.30 Such aspirations resonated with the young Aghnides and became,

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in fact, an explicit part of the political project for which he worked while writing the concert review. In 1916, music had led Aghnides to the Greek foreign service. Venizelos, in Paris at the time, called him in for a meeting, under the pretence that he wanted to discuss a recent article by Aghnides entitled ‘Greek art itself again’.31 Venizelos commended Aghnides’ work for, and knowledge of, Greek culture, but quickly got to the point: the younger man should quit his artistic endeavours and serve his country in times of trouble. Aghnides obliged and thus the Ottoman émigré became a Greek in service to the state several years before officially acquiring Greek citizenship.32 Thus, his legal status remained undetermined even while serving as a nominally Greek official in the League Secretariat. Venizelos, Greek Prime Minster several times (1910–15, 1917–20, 1924, 1928–33), was the great architect of Greece’s intervention in the First World War on the side of the Entente. Almost immediately after the outbreak of war, Venizelos committed Greece’s full military support to the Entente in the case that Turkey entered on the side of the Central Powers, the commitment dovetailing with his Megali Idea.33 The Allied Powers first refused Venizelos’ offer, fearing that it could provoke Turkey to abandon her neutrality. After the Turks entered the war on the Central Powers’ side on 29 October 1914, however, British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey was prepared to offer territorial compensation to Greece on the Asia Minor coast in exchange for its joining the ranks of the Entente.34 What followed was a long, intricate and bitter struggle between King Constantin and the Royalists, who saw Bulgaria as the main threat and remained relatively pro-German, and the Venizelists, committed to bring Greece into the war on the side of the Entente. Not until June 1917, in fact, could Greece – now under Venizelos’ control – officially declare war against the Central Powers. Thus, when Aghnides met Venizelos in Paris, the Venizelists were mobilizing forces wherever they could for the cause of the Liberals against the Royalists in what is known as the National Schism.35 During the war, Venizelos built a vast network of professionals within the Foreign Ministry (and beyond) whom he used as personal emissaries to conduct ‘propaganda work and relations with the media and friendly and influential foreigners’ in order to ‘project the impression of a “civilising mission”’ on the part of the Greeks on behalf of the persecuted Christian minorities within the enemy Ottoman Empire.36 Many Ottoman Greeks in exile took part: seeing the Greek state as a possible guarantor of their rights and security, they became ardent supporters of the Venizelist Megali Idea.37 Indeed, it is exceedingly likely that Aghnides was already part of a pro-Venizelist Parisian clique before his recruitment to the foreign service.

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Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 31

Aghnides’ most important task while working for the Greek embassy in London was to mobilize support for the Greek leader’s expansionist and ethno-nationalist plans. Particularly interesting are Aghnides’ reports to a Venizelist journal, published in Paris towards the end of the war and titled La Méditerranée Orientale. The mission of the journal was crystal clear: the cover displays ‘Hellenism’ as a woman broken free from chains. In the later issues of the journal she is sitting on a rock by the sea, looking up to the skies as a new dawn emerges.38 The picture is framed by a Greek antique meander. The upper meander is furnished with three images – one of Egypt, one of Constantinople and one of Athens – to communicate the broad reach and historical roots of Hellenism, but also its current power centres. Centrally placed, and in an enlarged frame, is Constantinople. The bottom meander is decorated with two flower-like crosses, a nod towards the faith and religious institutions that needed protection. In the issue of 15 March 1918, the journal’s editors write that their mission is to defend the principle of nationality in the Orient.39 More specifically, they aimed at uniting the Greeks of Thrace, the Pontic regions and the Ionian lands, which included the coastal areas around Smyrna, with the motherland under the leadership of Venizelos. Venizelos was ‘the saviour of Hellenism’, and thus a leader, but also an instrument for a broader idea. Accordingly, whenever the journal perceived that Venizelos had not defended the Megali Idea fiercely enough, they would call him out and remind him of his purpose. The journal cast itself as the true defender of a Greater Greece. The editorial staff, and most of its contributors, were Ottoman Greeks who, during the war, had traded an earlier belief in Hellenism within the empire for Hellenism through an expanded Greek state. Aghnides was part of a strategic effort to recast imperial subjects like himself as the vanguard of a new Greece to be created in the peace to come. This aim was captured by editorin-chief Demetrios Plato Sémélas, himself born in Thrace and educated in Constantinople, in his editorial of 17 November 1917. Here he reminded the British and French of their promise of ‘liberation to the small oppressed peoples’, and asked them to keep Thrace, the Ionian lands and the Pontic regions on the agenda for ‘the time of the Congress of Peace’. When peace did come, the Allies would do well to remember the ‘unforgettable services’ of the oppressed Greeks outside the Greek state to the mother country and the defeat of the Central Powers.40 President Woodrow Wilson’s address to the US Congress of 8 January 1918, in which he presented his fourteen points for a peace settlement at the end of the war, became a central piece in this strategy. In the issue of La Méditerranée Orientale of 15 January 1918, the first page quoted Wilson’s twelfth point promising ‘undoubted security of life and an absolutely

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unmolested opportunity of autonomous development’ to the non-Turkish nationalities of the Ottoman Empire. This statement was immediately followed by a ferocious attack by Sémélas on a speech made by British Prime Minister Lloyd George a few days before Wilson’s address to Congress, in which he had stated that Britain was not fighting for any particular principles that would dismantle the Austro-Hungarian Empire or deprive the Ottomans of their lands. The editorial ended: ‘No! Hellenism will not be crucified.’ Contrasting Lloyd George’s strategic caution with Wilson’s sweeping postwar visions, Sémélas drew on the morally infused vocabulary of the latter in support of the journal’s efforts.41 Compared to many other contributors to the journal, Aghnides kept a rather sober tone. Carefully, and often by paraphrasing others, he gave his opinion on matters. His pieces were a mixture of curated surveys of the British press, résumés of talks with and interviews of politicians and academics, and his personal take on books, publications and events. But he did not mirror the patriotic fervours of the editor-in-chief. Neither did Aghnides use the language of race, which many other contributors employed in order to paint a picture of Greece as a civilized, Christian beacon of light staving off barbaric orientals. However, a careful reading of his correspondence does reveal a clear strategic line: Aghnides’ job was to gather evidence in support of Venizelos’ Megali Idea in British public life and to discuss whether Allied military strategies and policy choices worked for or against this aim. Moreover, and perhaps even more importantly, Aghnides reviewed statements, publications and actions relating to the regions of the Balkans and Asia Minor that could undermine a future Greater Greece. Without fail, Aghnides argued against the territorial aggrandizement of Bulgaria, the creation of an expanded Albania, a united Yugoslavia or a Turkey beyond the Anatolian hinterlands. Reporting on the celebration of the first anniversary of the USA’s entry into the war, for instance, Aghnides reproduced an excerpt from a speech by British Foreign Minister Arthur James Balfour, in which the minister warned that Armenians and Greeks were being slaughtered and deported by the Turks in an effort to change the ethnic make-up of Turkey’s territories and so align these with Wilson’s principles.42 Much as the experts and politicians at the Paris Peace Conference would do shortly thereafter, Aghnides marshalled evidence of inconsistencies and flaws in the arguments and actions of those who sought territorial expansions that infringed upon Venizelos’ scheme. Ethnicity, religion, geography, history and the present and future strategic interests of the Allied Powers were all drawn upon in an eclectic mix designed to protect the inherent logic and political possibility of a Greece on two continents. In fact, many of the arguments Venizelos presented at the Paris Peace Conference, summarised in Greece before the

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Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 33

Peace Conference – a m ­ emorandum dealing with the rights of Greece, had already been articulated in La Méditerranée Orientale. Aghnides’ diplomatic reporting was supplemented with cultural surveys in which his own analytical voice becomes more apparent. Truly revealing is a review of the collection of poems Lights at Dawn, published by the Greco-American Aristides E. Phoutrides from Harvard University.43 ‘By browsing the bright pages of the Greek poet’, Aghnides wrote, ‘I have been constantly, and despite myself, transported to the vast American landscapes, I have experienced their majesty and grandeur.’ The publication mixed Greek mythology and poetry with the author’s own, contemporary poems about the United States, and starts with an ode to America entitled ‘The Dawn from the West’. The poem, Aghnides mused, ‘gives free rein to [Phoutrides’] vibrant patriotism devoted as sincerely to his country of origin as to America’. Composed in three parts, the poem mirrored Aghnides’ own ideas of peace: the birth of the dream, attempts and struggles, and eventually successful completion. He also underlined how ancient Greek poems and mythology could be translated into contemporary English ‘without losing their freshness’. For Aghnides, then, Phoutrides signified a complex personality and a bright future which combined ‘Greek sobriety, soul and mysticism and … the American spirit of continuation, enthusiasm and ­idealism’.44 The review reveals not only Aghnides’ hopes for the United States as the future moral guardian of the world, but also his ambivalence about any sort of myopic nationalism. Aghnides lifted up and lauded the hybrid identity of Phoutrides; he highlighted the good that modernity could do to Greece. Indeed, it seems that Aghnides was just as loyal to the international principles of statehood as to the Greek nationalist aims per se. One reason for this could be that Aghnides’ acquired political nationalism was a momentary crystallization of a much more broadly conceived cultural patriotism. This is evident in his 1918 concert review of Vladimir Rosing. Here, Aghnides wrote passionately about Rosing’s performance of ‘a most original Greek lullaby’, composed to the words of the Greek national poet Aristotelis Valaoritis, who had written most of his poetry on the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829). Aghnides placed the lullaby in this context, reminding the reader of ‘the oblivion into which all the arts had fallen during the fatal interruption which lasted from 1453 to 1827’. ‘Centuries of political thraldom had broken down the rudimentary yet so promising efflorescence of ancient Greek and later of Byzantine music’, Aghnides maintained, and while the ‘re-establishment of the little kingdom of Greece was followed by some sort of musical initiative’, it was weak, and in desperate ‘want of solid instruction in the science of modern music and composition’. Aghnides noted how nineteenth-century Greek music needed a ‘classic

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Time and periodization

renaissance’, and ‘musical enlightenment’ from the West: ‘how to apply Occidental music-theories of harmony and counterpoint to the rebellious Greek rhythms was the problem’. The Greek lullaby Rosing performed had managed to adapt to the Western tonalities, without letting go of ‘the inner sense of ardent Greek motherhood’.45 With these reflections, Aghnides placed himself in a scholarly debate which had as one of its most important centres the turn-of-the-century middle- and upper-class Greek Orthodox community of Constantinople. From the middle of the nineteenth century, the Rum elite of Constantinople began to see religious and traditional music as a status marker, defining their ethnic-religious community as distinct from other groups in Ottoman society. Indeed, many of the protagonists of what developed into a veritable ‘musical movement’ in late nineteenth-century Constantinople had ties to the Grand Patriarchal School which Aghnides had attended. The ongoing scholarly debate pertained to whether the best way to bolster the evolving Greek identity through music was to keep strictly to the tonalities and rhythms of ancient Greek and Byzantine music, or, instead, to revive and rewrite music ‘to bring it into compliance with the rules of harmony of western European music’.46 Clearly, Aghnides professed some variation of the latter, stating that the ‘science of modern music and composition’ could, if applied correctly, lift traditional Greek music out of obscurity and into modernity.47 Aghnides’ review was a passionate embrace of the nation state and an equally fiery expression of disdain for Ottoman tutelage. However, Aghnides’ vision was first and foremost of a liberal slant, where education, modernization and science were the tools of musical enlightenment, which in turn was but one strand in the civilizing of the Greek nation itself.48 In this, his review was complementary to Venizelos’ liberal world view and state-building efforts. However, in his critique of the classical composer Manolis Kalomiris (1883–1962), another Venizelist cultural entrepreneur, Aghnides reveals a slightly different inclination. In the same review of Rosing, Aghnides describes Kalomiris as ‘probably the first to see some hopeful prospect of reviving the popular music by the use of traditional folktunes, instinct with the temperamental peculiarities of the race’.49 Aghnides criticized Kalomiris – the effective leader of the modern Greek National School of Music – for having ‘no unity of interpretation in his output’, and for letting the original Greek motive be ‘elbowed by a Wagnerian motive’.50 Thus, while Aghnides embraced Western influence on Greek folk music, he clearly held a more traditionalist stance than Kalomiris.51 Aghnides made this argument in order to emphasize that the composer of the Greek lullaby recited by Rosing had done a better job than Kalomiris in balancing between Western modernity and Greek traditions. The ­composer’s

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Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 35

name was Petro Petridis, a friend (and possible cousin) of Aghnides’ from his hometown of Niğde, who had followed an almost identical path to the reviewer.52 Part of the same Ottoman Greek Parisian clique, Petridis was also the permanent cultural columnist for La Méditerranée Orientale.53 In 1918, after Aghnides fell out with Konstantinos Rentis, Secretary-General of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and quit the foreign service, it was Petridis who took over the directorship of the press office of the Greek embassy in London.54 Shortly thereafter, Aghnides, equipped with a letter of support from Venizelos and with Sir Edwin Pears’ name uppermost on his CV, enlisted with the new League of Nations Secretariat, and noted as his emergency contact ‘P. Petrides (30, Rue du Fg. St. Jacques, Paris 14e)’.55 To Aghnides’ mind, music, like diplomacy and peaceful coexistence, rested on principles of harmony and wholeness that he would defend for the remainder of his career. One should neither dissolve national distinctiveness in some headless attempt to adopt a foreign modernity, nor fearfully cling to an ethnocentric and myopic patriotism. This applied to music and politics alike. What had made Aghnides ‘exactly the sort of person’ Drummond wanted in 1919 was not only the overlapping between British imperial ambitions and Venizelos’ war aims in Aghnides’ thinking: it was, in fact, the broader Ottoman Hellenism expressed in his musical writings, this imperially founded religious and cultural patriotism, which – via the Venizelist cause – converted into Wilsonian sensitivities.

A personal negotiation of the Wilsonian moment Aghnides’ most profound personal negotiation of the Wilsonian moment occurred in 1924,56 when he visited refugee camps within and outside Athens that were filled with Orthodox Christians fleeing the new Turkish Republic. After having pursued the realization of ‘Greater Greece’ through military means, with the blessing of the British government and other victorious powers, 1922 saw the defeat of the Greek army in the Greco-Turkish war, the burning of Smyrna and the violent displacement of the nonMuslim population of the city. Following this, the Convention concerning the Greco-Turkish Population Exchange and the Treaty of Lausanne were signed on 30 January and 24 July 1923 respectively. With these documents, 1,300,000 Orthodox Greeks were forcibly removed from the Turkish coastal and inner regions of Asia Minor and displaced into Greece, while 350,000 Muslims (mainly from Macedonia and Thrace) were forced the other way, to what was becoming Turkey.57 Aghnides, when visiting Athens in 1924, was to report back to the League on the end point of the most brutal of population policies in the name of the modern ethno-nation state;

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the Wilsonian logic taken to its most extreme conclusion; he was to report on the eradication of his own past. Aghnides began his League career in the Minorities Section. After a brief stint with the Disarmament Section, he then transferred to the Political Section in 1922.58 Here he would stay for eight years. Owing to his language skills, knowledge of religious minorities and his legal and diplomatic expertise, Aghnides was tasked with overseeing the many ‘national’ disputes in the Balkans and Asia Minor, such as the Greco-Bulgarian population exchange.59 As the League Secretariat carved out a proactive brokering role for itself in the implementation of the Treaty of Lausanne, Aghnides would be deployed as its most trusted intermediary. He acted as a liaison between the Mixed Commission overseeing the population exchange, various refugee and humanitarian organizations, the League Secretariat and Council, and the Greek and Turkish governments. As one report argued, Aghnides, the Secretariat’s informal ‘envoy’, was instrumental in defining the presence of the League, initially ascribed a rather marginal role, in the exchange policy.60 Thus, when Secretary-General Drummond was to send someone from the Secretariat to report on the social, economic and political implications for Greece of the population exchange, the choice naturally fell on Aghnides. Aghnides’ visit to the refugee camps in the outskirts of Athens reconnected him with a world he had left behind more than a decade earlier.61 His sympathy was clearly directed towards those who had a similar social background to himself. He was particularly struck, for instance, by those who had lived comfortable or even affluent lives in the Ottoman Empire and now had to ‘resign themselves to live … four people in a room and work to earn their daily bread’. The Anatolian, Greek Orthodox, upper middle class, to which he belonged, uprooted in brutal fashion, had lost their former purpose and dignity: I have been visited by a large number of industrialists, traders and professionals from Asia Minor who are currently refugees in Greece. The fate of these people, especially those who belong to liberal professions, is really sad. Their capacities remain unused and as most of these refugees left their fortune in Asia Minor, they lead and will lead a hard life in Greece … I spoke with doctors, lawyers, of undeniable ability, who complained to me of the situation created for their class of refugees because, they said, they do not even have enough money to open a consulting office or an attorney’s office, which would have, in a way, resettled them in their new life the war gave them.

Aghnides thought them to ‘have a lot of strength to show so much courage’. His otherwise sober report would erupt in several emotional spouts. While pledging his allegiance to Wilsonian concepts of sovereignty, then, his

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Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 37

­bourgeois imperial past tugged at his heartstrings. Indeed, this was the distorted mirror image of his initial visions of self-determination, that ‘great idea’ which would unite the Greek Orthodox population of Asia Minor with the motherland. However, if we turn to the assessment of the work done on-site, Aghnides commended the Refugee Settlement Commission, which he thought could not have done any better with the funds they had at their disposal. Refugees relocated to rural areas were doing relatively well, Aghnides thought, while urban settlers struggled. With the aid of the League of Nations and the Refugee Settlement Commission, it was a conscious strategy of the Greek authorities to push the refugees towards the countryside. Nonetheless, most refugees ended up in the capital: Athens and Piraeus could hardly absorb the immense influx of refugees into their social economy. Some refugees would receive a small amount of funds, either directly or through the Refugee Settlement Commission, as compensation for their loss of property, to start a new life in Greece.62 Many, however, would have to make their own fortunes, often without success. This did not keep Aghnides from formulating a very positive assessment of the situation. The Commission was generally ‘very much appreciated’, Aghnides wrote, and the honour for choosing ‘such capable men’ for the job belonged to the League. In fact, Aghnides was sure that in the long run the population exchange would strengthen Greco-Turkish relation. Once the transfer was complete, Greece could pursue closer trade relations with Turkey. Aghnides, it seems, displayed little to none of the apprehension that many jurists and delegates at the Lausanne Conference voiced. Not a few saw the exchange as inhumane and immoral, and without a sound legal basis.63 The project stood, moreover, in direct opposition to the minority rights protection that had been forced upon the eastern and Balkan states, new and old. As Dimitris Kamouzis has shown, those Ottoman Greeks who remained in Constantinople under specific clauses in the treaties, and officially fell under the protective minority regime of the League, did not fare much better.64 While saddened by the disappearance of a community he had once known so intimately, Aghnides, nonetheless, embraced the exchange as proof of a new dawn for Greece: at the time, Greece was adapting to a new democratic system, transferring not only from monarchy to republic, but also, as he wrote, from the politics of personalities and clientelism to party politics of ideas and principles – and embedding itself in a liberal world order based on Wilsonian principles. ‘In this ferment of ideas’, Aghnides wrote, ‘refugees play a very important role’. Aghnides’ report laid bare all the complexities and contradictions of his trajectory and role: an international civil servant who calmly, yet with evident emotional chinks in the armour of bureaucratic jargon, reported

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to the international organization charged with overseeing the process of uprooting his entire upbringing, and accepting – indeed praising – it as a necessity for a new world order.

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Wilsonian moments – concluding remarks In Wilson’s rhetoric peoples across the globe could envision the perfect conflation of a state’s territorial reach and the imagined ‘nation’. With this in mind, Erez Manela called the period from 1918 to 1919 a Wilsonian moment, as nationalist and anticolonialist movements set out for Paris to lay their claims before the victorious great powers in the hopes that their particular vision of self-determination would be rewarded. In this interpretation the moment starts with Wilson’s fourteen points in January 1918 and peters out with the Paris peace conference in the summer of 1919. It was a ‘window of opportunity’ that mostly closed in disappointment and ­frustration – at least in the short run.65 But what is a moment? Though his 1924 report to the League carried no hint of it, Aghnides’ mother had in fact been one of the refugees that fled the new Turkish Republic and lived out the rest of her life in Piraeus without ever learning proper Greek. His father was to stay in Constantinople, as part of the Orthodox community allowed to remain there under the special provisions of the Convention on the Greco-Turkish Population Exchange.66 It was Aghnides’ first encounter with the realities of his convictions and a moment of cognitive dissonance. For while imperial Hellenism and Wilsonianism came together in Aghnides’ intellectual persuasions, this did not sit well emotionally. One element to take away from this chapter is that it might be better to think of 1918–19 as the climax of building expectations and imaginations of the future (in Aghnides’ case, forming particularly during the First World War), which had several messy and protracted outcomes that extended the parenthesis of the moment in different ways.67 The second way to conceptualize this is that individual protagonists experienced and negotiated multiple different Wilsonian moments: Aghnides’ application for enrolment in the University of Paris says that he was born in Niğde; the papers he filled out when he joined the League, on the other hand, state that he was born in Constantinople. When interviewed for his eightieth birthday by a Swiss newspaper in 1969, he said that he was ‘born in Greece, in Niğde, at 1300m altitude’.68 Aghnides had negotiated Wilsonian moments his entire life, to the point where his imperial past had been absorbed into his Greekness. This chapter has sought to display biography’s ability to capture and simultaneously break down the analytical barriers between continuity and

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Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 39

change across global watershed moments, such as the end of the First World War and the beginning of a new international order. One of biography’s strengths is its ability to bring the ‘experiential’ and the ‘perspectival’ axes of temporality together. By focussing on instances when Aghnides sought to make sense of his times we are prompted to ask new questions: what is the importance of the legacy of the Ottoman Empire in the interwar international order? What role did non-Western imperial experiences play in the development of liberal internationalism? Aghnides’ trajectory reveals that these are fruitful and important areas for further study.

Notes  1 M. Macmillan, Peacemakers: six months that changed the world (London: John Murray, 2003); L. V. Smith, Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).  2 Preamble of the Covenant of the League of Nations (http://avalon.law.yale. edu/20th_century/leagcov.asp).  3 E. Manela, The Wilsonian moment: self-determination and the international origins of anticolonial nationalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); see also S. Pedersen, The guardians: the League of Nations and the crisis of empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), for an excellent study of the League’s mandate system and how it contributed to the contested and stratified nature of statehood that we have today.  4 Smith, Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference. See also L. Wolff, Woodrow Wilson and the reimagining of eastern Europe (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020).  5 There is an important distinction between how self-determination was intended by Wilson himself, and how it was received and operationalized by various national movements: T. Throntveit, ‘The fable of the fourteen points: Woodrow Wilson and national self-determination’, Diplomatic History, 35:3 (2011), ­445–81.  6 Manela, The Wilsonian moment.  7 V. Prott, The politics of self-determination: remaking territories and national identities in Europe, 1917–1923 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).  8 H. A. Ikonomou, ‘“He used to give me Turkish lessons in Constantinople”: how to get a job in the League Secretariat’ in Ikonomou and K. Gram-Skjoldager (eds), The League of Nations: perspectives from the present (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2019).  9 D. Nasaw, ‘Introduction – AHR roundtable: historians and biography’, The American Historical Review, 114:3 (2009), 573–8: 576. 10 Drawing on Reinhart Koselleck, Runciman has made this argument about the concept of ‘crisis’: D. Runciman, ‘What time frame makes sense for thinking about crises?’ in P. F. Kjær and N. Olsen (eds), Critical theories of crisis in Europe from Weimar to the euro (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

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11 P. Ricœur, ‘Narrative and time’, Critical Inquiry, 7:1 (1980), 169–90; M. Hermansen and J. Dahl Rendtorff (eds), En hermeneutisk brobygger, tekster af Paul Ricœur (Aarhus: Klim, 2002). 12 S. Eriksen ‘Biografier som lakmuspapir. Overvejelser omkring den socialhistoriske biografi’, Historisk Tidsskrift, 16:5 (1996): 160–83. Available at https:// tidsskrift.dk/historisktidsskrift/article/view/53756, accessed 5 November 2021. 13 I explore different aspects of the same period of Aghnides’ life in H. A. Ikonomou, ‘Tid og biografi. Forventninger og forhandlinger rundt det wilsonske øyeblikket’, TEMP, Tidsskrift for historie, 12:22 (2021) (in press); H. A. Ikonomou, ‘The biography as institutional can-opener: an investigation of core bureaucratic practices in the early years of the League of Nations Secretariat’ in K. GramSkjoldager, H. A. Ikonomou and T. Kahlert (eds), Organizing the 20th-century world: international organizations and the emergence of international public administration, 1920s–1960s (London: Bloomsbury, 2020). 14 T. Aghnides, ‘About the author’ in Status of the Oecumenical Patriarchate based on the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne – international standing of the Oecumenical Throne (New York: self-published, 1964); League of Nations Archives, Geneva [henceforth, LONA], Private papers of Thanassis Aghnides, Folder 1 [henceforth, P1], document by Michael Kleovoulos (translated by Firuzan Melike Sümertas) on Aghnides’ attendance at the Grand Patriarchal School; Archives of the Anatolia College (hereafter AAC), List of enrolments and graduations; AAC list, class of 1898 – honorary Doctorate of Law, 1933. 15 Institut des Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes. Collège Saint-Joseph A Kadi-Keuï. Distribution solennelle des prix présidée par son excellence Monsieur Constans, Ambassadeur de France, prés la sublime porte, Le 8 Juillet 1903, Constantinople; W. McGrew, Educating across cultures : Anatolia College in Turkey and Greece (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015): 126. 16 E. Pears, Forty years in Constantinople: the recollections of Sir Edwin Pears, 1873–1915 (London: Herbert Jenkins Ltd, third edn, 1916): 28–29, 340. 17 Ibid., 2. 18 LONA, S699–700, H. Nicolson to Drummond, ‘My dear Drummond’, British Delegation, Paris, 4 July 1919; ‘Obituary. Mr. T Aghnides. International civil servant and Greek diplomat’, The Times, unsigned, undated. 19 Aghnides, ‘About the author’. 20 LONA, P273, ‘Interview with Thanassis Aghnides’ (Geneva: Centre de Recherches sur les institutions internationales, 1966): 3–4. 21 N. Nicolson (ed.), The Harold Nicolson Diaries, 1907–1964, paperback (London: Phoenix, 2005): 20. Harold Nicolson, diary, 28 January 1919, Paris; Prott, The politics of self-determination; M. L. Smith, ‘Venizelos’ diplomacy, ­1910–1923: from Balkan alliance to Greek-Turkish settlement’ in P. M. Kitromilides (ed.), Eleftherios Venizelos: the trials of statesmanship (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008): 134–92; LONA, P273, ‘Interview’, 3–6; LONA, P1, 22 September 1919, ‘Dear Politis (Mr Minister)’, from Aghnides; LONA, P1, 23 July 1919, ‘My dear Nicolson’, from Eric Drummond.

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Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 41

22 Nicolson (ed.), The Harold Nicolson Diaries, 23; Harold Nicolson, Diary, 8 May 1919, Paris. 23 LONA, S699–700, ‘My dear Drummond’, British Delegation, Paris, 4 July 1919, H. Nicolson. 24 ‘Rencontre avec l’ambassadeur Thanassis Aghnides. Une personnalité qui admire le Valais et la Suisse’, Nouvelliste et Feuille d’Avis du Valais, 31 January 1969, 21. 25 Institut des Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes. Collège Saint-Joseph A Kadi-Keuï. Distribution des prix, Le 8 Juillet 1903/Le 11 Juillet 1904, Constantinople. 26 ‘Obituary’, The Times. 27 As intended by Rosing: ‘Manuscript of memoirs by Vladimir Rosing’, Bakhmeteff Archive, Columbia University (undated): 107–8. 28 T. Aghnides, ‘Vladimir Rosing and Greek music’, The Musical Times, 59:904 (1 June 1918): 264. 29 This biblical image of redemption was reflective of the immediate postwar Zeitgeist as the Continent stumbled out of what many deemed an unprecedented breakdown of European civilization. See, for instance, L. B. Steiman, ‘The agony of humanism in World War I: the case of Stefan Zweig’, Journal of European Studies, VI (1976), 100–23. 30 Z. Steiner, The lights that failed: European international history 1919–1933 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 35; W. Wilson, Presidential messages, addresses and public papers, vol. 11, ed. R. S. Baker and W. E. Dodd (New York: Harper and Bros, 1927), 14. 31 T. Aghnides, ‘Greek art itself again’, The New World, date unknown. 32 LONA, P273, ‘Interview with Thanassis Aghnides’, 3. 33 E. Venizelos, The vindication of Greek national policy 1912–1917; a report of speeches delivered in the Greek Chamber, August 24–26, by E. Venizelos and others, 1917, 73–74. Quoted from Smith, ‘Venizelos’ diplomacy’, 153. 34 M. L. Smith, Ionian vision (London: C. Hurst, [1973] 1998): 35–48. 35 For an excellent conceptual overview of the Tanzimat reforms, I Megali Idea and the National Schism, and their impact on Ottoman Greeks, see the introduction of D. Kamouzis, Greeks in Turkey: elite nationalism and minority politics in late Ottoman and early republican Istanbul (London: Routledge, 2020). 36 Smith, ‘Venizelos’ diplomacy’, 137–8. 37 M. Pelt, ‘Bodosakis-Athanasiadis, a Greek businessman from the east. A case study of an Ottoman structure in interwar Greece and the interrelationship between state and business’, in L. E. Andersen (ed.), Middle East studies in Denmark (Odense: Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 1994), 65–81. 38 The first issue with the new cover is D. P. Sémélas, La Méditerranée orientale: revue-bi-mensuelle politique, historique, scientifique, 1 January 1918. 39 Sémélas, La Méditerranée orientale, 15 March 1918. 40 Sémélas, La Méditerranée orientale, 17 November 1917. 41 Sémélas, La Méditerranée orientale, 15 January 1918. 42 Aghnides, La Méditerranée orientale, 15 April 1918.

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43 A. E. Phoutrides, Lights at dawn. Poems (Boston, MA: The Stratford Co., Publishers, 1917). 44 Aghnides, La Méditerranée orientale, 1 April 1918. 45 Aghnides, ‘Rosing’. 46 M. Erol, ‘The “musical question” and the educated elite of Greek Orthodox society in late nineteenth-century Constantinople’, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 32:1 (2014), 133–63: 154. See also M. Erol, Greek Orthodox music in Ottoman Istanbul: nation and community in the era of reform (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015). 47 Aghnides, ‘Rosing’. 48 Erol, ‘The “musical question”’. 49 Aghnides, ‘Rosing’. 50 Ibid. 51 B. S. Little, ‘Folk song and the construction of Greek national music: writings and compositions of Georgios Lambelet, Manolis Kalomiris and Yannis Constantinidis’, PhD thesis, University of Maryland, 2001. 52 P. M. Kitromilides, ‘Venizelos’ intellectual projects and cultural interests’ in Kitromilides (ed.), Eleftherios Venizelos, 382–4; LONA, P1, ‘Mon cher ami’, from Thanassis Aghnides to I. Caramanos, Director-General of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture (Greece), Geneva, 1 July 1930; www.bach-cantatas. com/Lib/Petridis-Petros.htm, accessed 1 June 2021. 53 Sémélas, La Méditerranée orientale, 1917–18. 54 http://virtualmuseum.nationalopera.gr/en/virtual-exhibition/persons/petridispetros-ioannis-1082/, accessed 5 November 2021. 55 LONA, S699, Thanassis Aghnides. Memorandum to all members of the Secretariat of the League of Nations. Form upon appointment, undated 1919. 56 Aspects of the following section build on Ikonomou, ‘The biography as institutional can-opener’. 57 For a political-diplomatic analysis of the Lausanne Conference and the forced population exchange, see O. Yildirim, Diplomacy and displacement: reconsidering the Turco-Greek exchange of populations, 1922–1934 (London: Routledge, 2006); for a broader historical and legal analysis, see U. Özsu, Formalizing displacement: international law and population transfers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). 58 LONA, S954, 3 August 1922. Monnet’s office. 59 LONA, S699, 22 November 1928. Memorandum to Eric Drummond. 60 The Minorities Section’s role is explored in M. Drange, ‘Supervisor, facilitator and arbitrator: a study of the Minority Department in the League of Nations involvement in the forced population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923’, unpublished MA thesis, University of Oslo, 2017; a part of the Political Section’s role is explained in the following memorandum: LONA, S699, 22  November 1928. Memorandum to Eric Drummond. The coordination between the various sections is explored in LONA. Directors’ meeting, 25  February 1924, Geneva. The treaties of Lausanne. Note by the ­Secretary-General and memorandum by Dr Van Hamel.

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Wilsonian moments: Thanassis Aghnides 43

61 The quotations in this section, where not otherwise indicated, come from LONA, R1600. 19 June 1924. Voyage de M. Aghnides en Grèce, 25 June 1924. 62 M. Mazower, Salonica, city of ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430–1950 (London: Vintage, 2006): 339–42. 63 B. Cabanes, The Great War and the origins of humanitarianism, 1918–1924 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014): 176–7. 64 Kamouzis, Greeks in Turkey. 65 Manela, The Wilsonian moment, 220. Manela focuses on anticolonial nationalist movements in Egypt, Korea, India and China. 66 The Political Archives of the German Foreign Ministry Archives (PA-GFMA), R 96796. Vbd., Akten, Verwaltungs- und technische Fragen. Personal. NichtDeutsches Personal im Generalsekretariat (February–September 1930). 14 June 1930, Geneva. Dear Mr. Dufour. From Th. Aghnides. 67 For a magistral Koselleckian account of the expectations and experiences that went into and came out of the Paris peace conference: J. Leonhard, Der überforderte Frieden. Versailles und die Welt 1918–1923 (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2018). 68 ‘Rencontre’, Nouvelliste et Feuille d’Avis du Valais.

2 Making sense of 1956: experiencing and negotiating the socialist project in Iceland Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Rósa Magnúsdóttir

The year 1956 was not an easy one for admirers of the Soviet Union. On 26  February Premier Nikita Khrushchev delivered the Secret Speech, denouncing the personality cult of Stalin and publicly hinting at Stalin’s crimes for the first time. The Secret Speech sent waves of shock around the world, confirming to anticommunists that they had been right about the Soviet regime and putting loyal socialists and friends of the Soviet Union on the defensive. In the late autumn, the Hungarian uprising and the consequent Soviet invasion made it even more difficult for devoted socialists to defend the Soviet Union and many sympathizers lost their appreciation for the socialist cause. In the world of ideological bipolarity, 1956 was therefore a year of rupture and caused many, both inside and outside the Soviet Union, to reflect on their view of socialism. Many turned their backs on socialism as such, while others found a way to reject Stalin and Stalinism and thus adapt their ideological world view to post-1956 realities.1 Some, however, like Icelandic communists and married couple Þóra Vigfúsdóttir (1894–1980) and Kristinn E. Andrésson (1901–73), stayed loyal to Stalin and Soviet-style communism, even in the face of massive criticism at home and abroad.2 Kristinn and Þóra were both devoted socialists and admirers of the Soviet Union. They became members of the Icelandic Communist Party in the 1930s and the subsequent Socialist Party when it was established in 1938; Þóra and Kristinn spent their adult lives working for the socialist cause and remained active in the international fight for a socialist way of life until they died. Both wrote beautifully in their native language, as reflected in their diaries and letters, but they also corresponded with their international networks in English, German and Danish – and they aspired to learn Russian their whole lives. They could read headlines in Pravda and whenever they got hold of foreign newspapers, such as Land og Folk published by the Danish Communist Party, they devoured them. They read German and English publications from the Soviet Union and China their whole lives, translating articles for publication in the Icelandic communist media; their world view was truly global and their networks transnational.

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Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 45

Kristinn and Þóra had strong relationships with leading figures in Icelandic and Soviet cultural and political life but, living in Reykjavík, they were far removed from the dangers of Stalinism or the daily struggles of Soviet life. This special position makes their diaries and letters all the more interesting in comparison to similar writings produced inside the Soviet Union because, unlike many Soviet citizens, they had nothing to fear and they were exposed to forceful anti-Soviet campaigns in Iceland all of their lives. Much has been written about Soviet subjectivity, but little attention has been paid to the kind of loyalty and belief that sustained individuals like Þóra and Kristinn, who lived in a democratic country with a lively political culture and a polarized political debate but proved resistant to opposing views and criticism of any kind.3 Without succumbing to explanations about intellectuals and idée fixe, this chapter contributes to this volume’s methodological goal of trying to understand ‘the place of subjectivity in the historical processes’.4 It focusses on individual responses to 1956 in order to understand how an Icelandic couple sustained their support for Stalin, before, during and after the Secret Speech. It argues that in order to resist the ongoing rupture in the international communist movement, Kristinn and Þóra found continuity by selectively establishing their own narrative of revolutionary communism. They invoked private and public experiences to rationalize their disregard of Stalin’s crimes and Soviet repression, as these became common knowledge in 1956. In order to justify the Stalinist foundation of the socialist project, Kristinn and Þóra extended the time line of their understanding back to 1934, when Kristinn had first visited the Soviet Union. Finally, in the wake of 1956, China offered a way out with Mao Zedong’s rejection of Khrushchev’s criticism of Stalin – a 1959 visit to the People’s Republic of China confirmed for Þóra and Kristinn that the revolution was alive and well.

Soviet revolutionary socialism experienced In 1956, the allure of Soviet socialism and the idea of communism as such had dominated the lives of Kristinn and Þóra for more than twenty years. All this time, they had been fighting a propaganda war in Icelandic media and society, where Kristinn, in his role as publisher, editor and the main driving force in Soviet–Icelandic cultural relations, was expected to defend the Soviet side at all times. When he met Þóra in the autumn of 1933, Kristinn was the head of the newly established Friends of the Soviet Union Society in Iceland. He joined the Icelandic Communist Party in July 1934 and Þóra became a card-carrying member of the Party in April 1935.5 From

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the beginning of their relationship, therefore, their lived experiences were informed by the ideology of communism, specifically as it was executed in the Soviet Union. Kristinn first visited the Soviet Union in 1934. He spent a month in the country with a Nordic delegation, receiving the red carpet treatment. The delegates participated in the extravagant May Day celebration on Red Square, visited factories and collective farms, and talked to ‘ordinary workers’ who echoed the current Stalinist propaganda: ‘life had become more joyous’.6 Kristinn felt that he had witnessed a victorious march toward socialism and this experience formed the basis for his role as the leading propagandist for the Soviet Union in Iceland. In this role, he claimed that knowledge and experience trumped any criticism of Soviet socialism. Kristinn had seen the revolution in praxis and been told that the progress was real: ‘How could the people I saw have been lying?’7 He later wrote that the Secret Speech had often caused him to wonder whether he had been wrong about what he saw in the Soviet Union in 1934.8 He convinced himself, however, that the construction of socialism he had witnessed was revolutionary in its truest form. He did later acknowledge that the sense of accomplishment and the promise for the future world order that he found so promising in 1934 had been derailed by the Great Terror, and claimed that nobody was so upset about it as ‘real socialists’. He continued in this vein by claiming ‘the thirty years of Stalin were not just a continuum, they were also years of sacrifice and blood, as all revolutionary times, but also characterized by endless courage, endurance and heroism’.9 In Kristinn’s world view, a certain amount of bloodshed was unavoidable in order to revolutionize society. Þóra first went to the Soviet Union in 1951. She and her husband were then both members of the first Icelandic delegation to visit the Soviet Union after the Second World War. This trip was also organized around the celebration of International Worker’s Day on 1 May, and Þóra had never before experienced such a ‘magnificent’ display as the military parade on Red Square.10 She echoed Kristinn’s fascination from 1934, emphasizing Soviet workers’ wellbeing and admiring the developing infrastructure. In line with postwar Soviet propaganda, Kristinn and Þóra both stressed the ‘peaceful atmosphere’ in the country and the admirable reconstruction that was taking place in the Soviet Union.11 Soviet effort during the Second World War had only strengthened Kristinn and Þóra’s support of socialism. In the immediate aftermath of the war, during August 1945, Kristinn and Þóra visited both Denmark and Sweden. They witnessed the celebrations of the end of the world war in Copenhagen and in Stockholm Þóra met women who had survived the Holocaust.12 The wartime experience and the growing realization

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Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 47

of the atrocities people had experienced in Nazi concentration camps were extremely important for both Þóra and Kristinn. It confirmed their antifascism and they both joined the postwar Soviet peace campaign: in 1950 Kristinn became active in the World Peace Council, and Þóra established an Icelandic branch of the Women’s International Democratic Foundation.13 Socialists all over the world found new energy advocating for the Soviet peace initiative, but in Iceland the ambivalent relationship with the United States during the postwar period gave local socialists a sense of urgency: in addition to maintaining peace, they also had to fight the allure of American modernity.14 For Þóra and Kristinn, preventing a new war and preserving the peace became a priority, and they devoted their energies to the Soviet information campaign and the cultural sphere. Kristinn and Þóra were in the forefront of this propaganda war in Iceland, fighting on behalf of Soviet ideology and the promise of socialism as a way of life for future generations. They believed in cultural diplomacy and cross-cultural exchanges as a way to attract more people to the socialist cause and they devoted their whole lives to securing Icelandic access to books, films and socialist art performances of any kind. Kristinn and Þóra often hosted Soviet and East European musicians, artists, scholars and professionals who visited Iceland as a part of transnational exchanges, and they were in close contact with the Soviet embassy staff in Iceland. They travelled extensively in the years after the war, visiting the Soviet Union repeatedly for leisure, relaxation, to meet cultural officials or attend party and peace congresses. They also took holidays in East Germany and Romania, at the invitation of local communist organizations such as the Writers’ Union or the national communist party. Kristinn and Þóra both participated in several transnational networks and (communist) international organizations, and the various sources, both public and private, left by Þóra and Kristinn help us understand how loyal communists negotiated the socialist project as it unveiled itself during the twentieth century.15 Because of their strong ideological beliefs, Þóra and Kristinn’s own subjectivity and sense of self developed in direct relation to the way the Soviet leadership behaved and what it dictated. Their subjectivity in large part depended on their belief in the superiority of the Soviet way of life and their conscious decision to agitate for communist values and socio-economic policy in Iceland.16 Their individual position was challenged repeatedly, however, both at home and abroad; most critically when international communism experienced some of its deepest crises, first in 1956, which had a lasting impact on the international communist movement, and later in 1968.

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1956 as a watershed moment While 1956 was certainly a landmark year, its significance at the time depended on the relative viewpoint.17 Starting with the Secret Speech in February and the resulting uprisings in Poland and Hungary during the summer and autumn, these events sent shock waves of varying degrees throughout the Soviet Union, the Eastern bloc and the international communist movement.18 Inside the Soviet Union, the resulting process of deStalinization inspired conflicting emotions; it has been argued that ‘1956 became a year of optimism and disillusionment, of painful revelations and gratifying debates, of hopes raised and disappointed’.19 On one hand, the party elite struggled with the extent of the reforms that followed the Secret Speech, allowing some public discussion in the beginning but quenching it once it was deemed to have gone too far. On the other hand, the general populace was equally confused and ‘1956 marked neither a simple turning  point nor a sharply drawn line between one era and the next’ in Soviet political life.20 At the time, much of the discussion about the succeeding upheavals in Poland and Hungary focused on the challenges they posed to the Soviet Union but those challenges extended to global support for the Union.21 Internationally, the anticommunist press used these events to show they had been right all along in their criticism of the Soviet regime; many supporters of the Soviet Union were on the defensive or tried to adapt to the changing discourse about Soviet socialism, while others reneged.22 Overlapping with the events in Hungary in October and November, the left wing press tried (to little or no avail) to divert attention on to the British and French military operation in Egypt, claiming that it showed the hypocrisy of the Western world.23 If controlling the narrative of 1956, inside and outside the Soviet Union, was difficult for the Soviet regime, observers of the Soviet Union also found it confusing to keep up with what was happening on the other side of the Iron Curtain.24 Several historians, most notably Tony Judt, have argued that 1956 was only the final straw for many supporters of Soviet socialism. According to Judt, 1956 was ‘a delayed response’ to the disillusionment many intellectuals had experienced ever since the 1952 Slánský trial in Czechoslovakia and the events of 1956 therefore provided the perfect opportunity for socialist sympathizers in the west to take a final step in distancing themselves from Soviet socialism and the way it was executed.25 Certainly, 1956 and the process of de-Stalinization ended up causing a rift in the international movement, with some denouncing the Soviet Union and others trying to shift the narrative in order to keep a part of their leftist identity.26

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Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 49

In his analysis of time frames and crises, David Runciman argues that unlike wars, crises do not have specific beginnings and ends. He claims that the timeline of a crises depends on ‘how it was experienced and from what perspective’27 and for the international communist movement, 1956 came in the wake of not only the Slánský trial, but also Stalin’s death in 1953 and the surge of antisemitism that had preceded it in the Soviet Union. Furthermore, although Soviet public opinion had been quenched by the end of the year, the crisis of 1956 did not end there. The consequent cultural thaw created the mental space for many to imagine an alternative reality and Soviet artists and writers continued to push the boundaries of censorship, culminating in the publication of One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksander Solzhenytsin in 1962.28 In terms of the temporality of changed discourses, this 1962 publication was yet another touchstone for how to deal with the Stalinist legacy, both inside and outside the Soviet Union. Kristinn and Þóra’s story provides us with ‘local particularities [that] challenge the homogeneity of global narratives’.29 In 1956, they were ‘closer to the crisis than others’30 but from their perspective the anticommunist criticism of the Soviet project was a continuity rather than a rupture. It rhymed with their everyday experience since the 1930s and it stayed a part of their reality, in 1956 as much as in 1962 when the world learned about life in the camps.31 Starting in 1956, Þóra and Kristinn adapted and negotiated the socialist project by relating it first to their Soviet origin story of 1934, when Kristinn first witnessed revolutionary socialism, and later seeking selective confirmation from Mao Zedong’s notion of communism in China. In the wake of the dual events of 1956, however, their emotional responses are indicative of both the confusion and the isolation they felt as their world view was challenged from within.

‘It is no fun being a socialist in Reykjavík these days’ As a member of the Icelandic Socialist Party, Kristinn attended the 20th Party Congress, but like the other foreign delegates, he had already left Moscow when Khrushchev delivered the Secret Speech on 25 February.32 The day before, however, on 24 February, Þóra wrote in a letter to her husband: My dear Kristinn, Today it has been exactly twelve days since you left and as far as I know, you are still in Moscow. Will this congress never end? Everyone is going crazy here because of the congress’ criticism of Stalin. I can’t be bothered to tell you about all the hysteria in the newspapers here as Hafsteinn [his friend] is leaving for [Copenhagen] soon and he will be staying in the same hotel as you

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and he can share the news from home with you. But anyway, I don’t care what they say in Moscow about my dear Stalin, I will always see him for a great person and I think it is fine that he has been a bit autocratic.33

Þóra was already defending Stalin before Khrushchev’s denouncement of him, because the very partisan Icelandic media had noticed Molotov’s and Mikoyan’s criticisms of past Soviet policy, especially Mikoyan’s acknowledgement of the many ‘slip ups’ in the Stalin era. After also recounting her conversations with the wife of the Soviet ambassador, her latest outings to the theatre and her daily life, Þóra returned to the criticism of Stalin, recounting how the conservative parties were calling for the dissolution of the Socialist Party. In this regard, Kristinn’s obituary of Stalin was now being used as proof that he was on the wrong side of history. She concluded this topic in a teasing way: ‘Yes, dear, I am not the only one looking forward to your return’.34 Kristinn first learned about the Secret Speech when he arrived in Copenhagen on his way home from Moscow.35 As Þóra had warned, his opponents were eagerly awaiting his homecoming, and one of the bourgeois newspapers even published a rare photo of him on the airstrip in Reykjavík upon arrival on 4 March 1956 under the headline ‘Did Communists receive new directives on Sunday?’ The caption of the photo pointed out that Kristinn had now arrived ‘with his hands full of swag from the Soviet Union’, which was a not-so-subtle way of hinting that in addition to his luggage, he was also carrying the latest propaganda from the East.36 Much to the dismay of the bourgeois media that ridiculed him and the obituary he had written about Stalin three years earlier, Kristinn mostly remained silent about the Secret Speech and did not engage with what he later claimed was ‘blind hatred for communism and the Russian Revolution’.37 Kristinn was worried that everything the Soviet Union had fought for would be tarnished and ultimately the Revolution would have been for nothing. Both Þóra and he fretted that the criticism of Stalin would go too far; in their world view, Stalin’s crimes had been a necessary sacrifice in order to create progress for workers. Over the next few months, Þóra and Kristinn discussed the ‘Stalin matter’ several times with their close friends in Iceland and in Europe.38 Kristinn attended a meeting of the World Peace Council in Stockholm in April and used the trip to speak to Soviet representatives, as well as Hilding Hagberg, the leader of the Swedish Communist Party, and his Danish equivalent Aksel Larsen who, according to Kristinn, was absolutely crushed.39 Kristinn felt relieved after having talked the issue through with his Soviet and Nordic comrades. He looked forward to returning home with a clearer understanding of the Secret Speech but was devastated when he found out that the local communist newspaper, Þjóðviljinn, had accepted the speech’s criticism of Stalin.

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Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 51

Upon returning home, Kristinn took to bed and Þóra wrote in her diary that he was ‘in shock because of the Stalin matter’.40 Later in the year, he found his bearings again. As the secretary of MÍR, the Soviet–Icelandic friendship society in Iceland, he delivered an address to members on 21 September in which he barely touched upon Khrushchev’s speech. He used the opportunity to recite the many events that had allowed the Soviet Union to showcase its alternative modernity in Iceland; MÍR had for example hosted a soccer team, ballet dancers and chess players, but also ichthyologists and forest scientists. Several Icelanders had been to the Soviet Union and there had been a steady exchange of magazines, books and information in general.41 The tone was optimistic; Kristinn and Þóra had both worked hard for all this activity to take place but, as it turned out, they would soon experience a down-turn in interest and opportunities to conduct cultural exchanges with the Soviet Union decreased dramatically. On 6 November, in a letter to her foster daughter, Þóra began with a few lines about practical family matters, postal packages and winter coats for her granddaughters, before diving right into world events: There is so much going on in our lives due to world events and the atmosphere is fraught with excitement, such as it was during the Winter War. The news from Hungary has paralysed all good socialists and one is heartbroken that these things can happen at all. Then there are the English and French attacks on Egypt, which the conservative media very politely call ‘police actions’. There is a dread over all of this and the news in the past few days reminds me of the events that led up to the last world war.42

Like this letter, Þóra’s diaries are informative about her everyday life as well as her position on Icelandic politics and world events. Her writings about her inner life reveal that being a socialist in Reykjavík was often a lonely endeavour: she sometimes felt ignored by some of her old friends and acquaintances, who held different political beliefs.43 These feelings of loneliness and isolation were especially evident during times when Soviet aggression was up for debate, such as during the Winter War in 1940, and now again in 1956, and she proclaimed in the letter to Halla that ‘it is no fun being a socialist in Reykjavík these days’; the letter continued: the conservatives are so belligerent, they are of course upset not to have a part in the government any more and they’re furious about the communists having a place there. Thus, it is perhaps understandable that they milk the events in Hungary but in all the excitement they barely mention the violence of the English and the French, which most liberal people condemn; the attacks on communists are very undiplomatic and would be more effective if they weren’t so obviously glossing over the violence of the Western powers.44

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Þóra’s foster daughter, Halla Kristjana Hallgrímsdóttir, was never a socialist and indeed not very political at all. Þóra, however, had perfected the art of writing letters and whether or not the recipient was interested in politics, she always balanced intimate personal matters and international political debates, putting them in local context. More than any of her other letters that have been preserved, those to her foster daughter show Þóra’s natural interest in the world around her and she seems convinced that her descriptions of world events and people’s reactions are also of interest to others. She continued the letter by describing how the situation in Hungary was affecting their home life and their friends: ‘People come by all the time, hurt, sad and angry about everything that is happening. I am making coffee all day … The only man who is solid as a rock is Kristinn, even though he is also hurting on the inside.’45 The invasion of Hungary overlapped with the Soviet celebration of the October Revolution and the day after Þóra’s letter, on 7 November, she and Kristinn attended the annual reception at the Soviet Embassy in Iceland. This was usually a joyful event, bringing together Icelandic communists and friends of the Soviet Union, but now, on the eve of the invasion of Hungary, a crowd of protesters had gathered outside the embassy. It was a rainy and windy night in Reykjavík, and the angry crowd harassed them and other guests as they left the party. The protesters also broke a window and cut down the Soviet flag at the embassy.46 Only the most loyal socialists attended the 1956 reception and judging from Þóra’s writings on the 51st anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 1968, again celebrated in the shadow of a Soviet invasion, she thought it disrespectful not to show up and extend her support to the Soviet project on this day.47 In 1968, however, hardly anyone in the Socialist Party joined her; the party leadership had already decided to sever all relations with the Soviet Communist Party and by the end of the year the Icelandic Socialist Party had consolidated fully with the electoral coalition People’s Alliance to form a political party with that name.48 Kristinn and Þóra mourned the Socialist Party and did not join the People’s Alliance, which they did not find progressive enough. Kristinn wrote in his memoirs about the difficulties Khrushchev’s Secret Speech had created for socialists outside the Soviet Union. In his view, it had only increased the hatred for communism and the Russian Revolution, especially in a country like Iceland where agitating for the socialist cause had always been an uphill battle and ‘the ignorant simplification of Stalin’s rule was repeated until people believed it’.49 Perhaps most interestingly, however, as mentioned earlier he claimed that even if he had known about some of Stalin’s crimes, there had been so many others to point out everything that had gone wrong in the Soviet Union that he did not find



Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 53

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it necessary to add fuel to the fire.50 Without saying it explicitly, his antiAmericanism, which manifested itself in his strong anti-imperialism and unfaltering faith in the Soviet Union, sustained this attitude. It would have been unacceptable to Kristinn to criticize Soviet actions, because it would have meant agreeing with the Soviet Union’s number one enemy: the United States of America – and Kristinn knew first-hand how difficult it was to keep up with the United States Information Services in Iceland.

Stalinism confirmed: the road to China A majority of the Icelandic population identified strongly with the Western way of life but took advantage of the vibrant cultural activities, both Soviet and American, that came with the cultural Cold War in the 1950s and later. Several artists, films and exhibitions from both superpowers made it to Iceland, both to Reykjavík and to various smaller towns around the country. For Icelandic socialist intellectuals, the military presence of the  United States and the perceived cultural power it brought in its train contributed in no small part to their decision to side with the socialist mission. Most certainly, Kristinn and Þóra were driven by hostility to America and they saw it as their moral responsibility to counter the ‘imperialist’ propaganda coming from the United States.51 MÍR struggled after 1956. Both the Secret Speech and the invasion of Hungary caused debates and questions amongst MÍR members and made it difficult for the friendship society to attract new members. Early in January 1957 Kristinn wrote in a letter to Moscow that [i]n the atmosphere of renewed tension and hate propaganda of the last months, which have destroyed a great deal of good will and of our constructive work and achievements, we of course have the greatest new difficulties to surmount, but therefore it is more necessary than ever to continue our work and to start a new offensive.52

Even if his written English does not reflect the fact that Kristinn was a very good stylist in his native language, it is clear that Kristinn was in a tough position. He was still ready to fight on behalf of Soviet socialism but the optimism of the previous year, when several successful cultural exchanges had taken place, had now been replaced with an austere realism. In this atmosphere, the time had come to depart from the otherwise important rule of inviting people of as many different political leanings as possible to travel to the Soviet Union and win them over to the socialist cause.53 Because of the general hostility towards the Soviet project now experienced in Iceland, Kristinn claimed that it would be wise to rethink

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this method of maintaining personal contacts between the Soviet and Icelandic peoples. He wrote: ‘for the time being we first of all shall invite members and activists of MÍR and other true friends of the Soviet Union and people of the working class, and these people we also think necessary to invite through the MÍR society’.54 Because of the Soviet invasion of Hungary, Soviet–Icelandic cultural relations were now at a crossroads.55 It was increasingly difficult to find people who would openly support the Soviet Union in Iceland and MÍR continued to struggle. Previously, it had been an important part of the Soviet mission to recruit new supporters to the socialist project but now it was safer to send only loyal communists to the Soviet Union. Kristinn was speaking from bitter experience when he continued that in order to create ‘respect and authority to our society and to the Soviet institutions as well, we emphasize as a tactic to make invitations to the Soviet Union a privilege to generous friends of the Soviet Union and to people who officially dare to work for the friendship between our two countries’.56 He did not want to risk sending people to the Soviet Union who would return with critical views, as that would reflect poorly on him since he was directly involved in selecting and recommending Icelandic individuals who visited the Soviet Union. With the USSR under attack from several directions, inviting only loyal communists was the safest strategy for securing an agreeable narrative after the visit had taken place.57 In 1958, Kristinn lamented that two of the most important and successful MÍR activities in Iceland, the frequent exchange of all kinds of delegations and screenings of Soviet films, were no longer of any value. The year 1957 was the first since the foundation of MÍR in 1950 in which no MÍR delegation or visitors were invited to the Soviet Union. Furthermore, the cinemas in Iceland had ‘nearly boycotted Soviet films and since the events in Hungary not [screened] any’. Kristinn claimed that Soviet films, especially children’s films, were still very popular but nevertheless ‘the cinema houses prefer to show American films which they get for [a] low price, and through the powerful American Information Bureau those films invade every town and district in Iceland and every society can get from it both apparats and films without any payment’.58 Kristinn only alluded in passing to the events in Hungary as a reason for MÍR’s difficulties but put most of the blame on lack of resources to fight the powerful United States Information Agency, ‘a very large and rich institute in Reykjavik with branches in other towns’. He listed the number of staff, the downtown location, their library and their prolific distribution of films and ‘all sorts of materials and information’ to the media, organizations and schools. Compared to this, Kristinn claimed, ‘the work conditions of MÍR with only one small room and a staff of two clerks looks very poor, and

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Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 55

certainly it is of the greatest importance to strengthen our position[;] the board of our society is very well aware of it’.59 When local infighting diminished Kristinn’s role in MÍR and financial trouble threatened the socialist publishing house he managed, he was more than pleased to accept an invitation from the Chinese authorities to visit that country. He and Þóra landed in Beijing in April 1959 and travelled around for almost six weeks. And just like their first visits to the Soviet Union in 1934 and 1951 respectively, they witnessed a May Day celebration and parade in Beijing, which made Kristinn forget all about the struggles he had experienced in the aftermath of the Secret Speech. Now, once again, he reflected happily on how fast socialism was developing after all and how the future seemed bright: ‘When will London and New York join this happy choir of celebratory life on earth?’ he asked.60 Twenty-five years after Kristinn’s first visit to the Soviet Union, his reactions to the elaborate Chinese displays of socialistic progress confirmed for him the superiority of revolutionary socialism. He established a direct link between Stalinist revolutionary progress in the 1930s and China in the era following the Secret Speech. When the Sino-Soviet split surfaced about a year later, the Icelandic Socialist Party officially kept a neutral position in the conflict. Like Mao, however, Kristinn rejected Khrushchev’s criticism of Stalin and, through his Chinese experience, found a way to stay loyal to Stalin and Soviet-style communism.61

Conclusion Overwhelmingly, the historical narrative accepts the lure of communism as an alternative to fascism in the context of the crisis-ridden 1930s. It is, however, more difficult to understand people’s loyalty to Soviet communism after the 1956 Secret Speech. While their experience of 1956 was one of continuity rather than rupture, Þóra and Kristinn reflected on this crisis year in varying temporalities. Most notably, towards the end of his life Kristinn published memoirs of the 1930s but he devoted some space to the challenges of 1956 as well, indicating their importance in the overall narrative of his sustained belief. His conclusion about his unwavering devotion to the Soviet Union, which is often overlooked, was his claim that there had been no need for him to engage with the criticisms of the Soviet Union in any serious way as there were enough people on the other side who would denounce socialism every chance they got.62 This shows quite clearly that Kristinn never deviated from his leading position in the propaganda war, where truth was a given casualty and ideological dogma was the main weapon.

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Þóra and Kristinn had been convinced of the superiority and righteousness of the Soviet project since the early 1930s. With everything that happened between those years and Kristinn writing his memoirs in the early 1970s, it is interesting that his most contemplative reflections on his devotion to the Soviet Union went straight to his first visit East, which had formed the foundation of his experiences. He could acknowledge that the Soviet project had gone through difficult times, but he held on to the conviction that what he had seen in 1934 had been real and extraordinary and he therefore justified Soviet actions, however deplorable they had been at times. The 1959 visit to China strengthened the foundational myth of his belief and he found an ally in Mao Zedong’s rejections of Khrushchev’s critique of Stalin as well as his discourse of peaceful coexistence, evening out the chosen narrative of socialist progress and world revolution. Both of my subjects were zealous in their support of the Soviet Union, to the point that this frustrated even their Icelandic comrades, many of whom tried to navigate the changes in Soviet narrative in a different way.63 As of 1956, Kristinn and Þóra were increasingly marginalized in the Socialist Party and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 was the final straw. In the summer of 1968, Þóra and Kristinn were in a sanatorium in Pushkino, right outside Moscow, and from there they closely monitored the situation in Czechoslovakia. On 21 August, Þóra wrote in her diary that Czech workers and the Czech government had ‘requested the help’ of the Polish, East German and Soviet military forces which had entered the country the day before. She continued by noting that the Czechs ‘seem not to have been able to control the conservative powers, upon allowing the increased freedom’.64 Nothing could have been further from the truth, but in her letters and diaries Þóra wrote repeatedly of the ‘conservative powers and their foreign henchmen’ or the ‘capitalist powers’, showing the strong reliance on anti-American discourse that prevailed in the Soviet Union for the duration of the Cold War.65 During their stay in Pushkino, Kristinn and Þóra interacted with socialists from all over the world. They all supported each other in confirming the official Soviet version of the events in Czechoslovakia. Þóra noted how Western newspapers were calling these measures ‘Stalinist’ but one of the other women in the sanatorium told her ‘we know that these measures were timely and accurate. The reactions of the capitalist newspapers prove to us that this was the right thing to do.’66 The reassurance that they received from their like-minded friends and acquaintances in socialist circles – in the Soviet Union and elsewhere – certainly helped maintain their faith in the socialist system. But other factors, such as their strong anti-Americanism and opposition to NATO in Iceland, also played a role. Their loyalty to

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Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 57

the socialist project grew stronger in the face of protest; the reactions of the capitalist side only confirmed their position. During the lifetimes of Kristinn and Þóra Soviet society changed considerably and the socialist project ran into challenges, both inside the Soviet Union and in the Soviet bloc. Because of the 1957–8 changes in Soviet cultural bureaucracy, which paved the way for official exchange agreements with foreign countries, an official agreement on Soviet-Icelandic cultural exchanges was signed in 1961. Kristinn E. Andrésson, with his wife Þóra firmly on his side, remained one of the most important advocates for the Soviet Union in Iceland, but his unwillingness to change or even adjust his attitude about Soviet socialism severely diminished the possibilities that he might have had an impact on Icelandic public opinion. Ultimately, Kristinn and Þóra both had very emotional responses to the shock of 1956 and worked hard to negotiate an acceptable narrative of what it meant for their life’s work, which they saw as an important part of the international revolutionary movement. Þóra and Kristinn’s marriage played an important role in their self-fashioning; Kristinn had more public personae but in Þóra’s letters and diaries it is clear that she shared his controversial views and supported him fully. Their mutual devotion, as witnessed in diaries and letters, helped maintain continuity in the face of constant ruptures as the fragile images of Soviet modernity and a socialist world order came apart in 1956 and the resulting turmoil. Þóra and Kristinn were newlyweds when Kristinn first went to the Soviet Union in 1934. They had found communism independently of one another but they kept a united front throughout their married life. They silenced outside criticism and put their inner conflicts to rest by choosing to believe that they had witnessed the successes of the Soviet revolutionary project on several occasions, and in several places. Working through the shock of 1956, they pieced together a narrative that extended from 1934 until 1959, when they settled in their ways. Even if this firm position marginalized them, both in Iceland and to an extent in the Soviet Union, they always had each other, making it easier to overcome the loneliness and social isolation they felt during times of crisis, and to carry on.

Notes  1 See for instance S. Radchenko, ‘1956’, in Stephen A. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 140–55.  2 I will adhere to the Icelandic tradition of calling people by their first names. For more on Kristinn and Þóra see R. Magnúsdóttir, ‘Living socialism: an Icelandic

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couple and the fluidity between paid work, voluntary work, and leisure’, Werkstatt Geschichte 79: Arbeit und Freizeit (2018), 29–41; R. Magnúsdóttir, ‘Intellectual activism during the Cold War: Icelandic socialists and their international networks’ in S. Autio-Sarasmo and B. Humphreys (eds), Winter kept us warm: Cold War interactions reconsidered (Helsinki: Aleksanteri Cold War Series, 2010), 154–69; R. Magnúsdóttir, ‘“Lítilmagnans morgunroði”?’: þættir úr sögu byltingarafmæla og 7. nóvember hátíðahalda íslenskra sósíalista á tuttugustu öld’, Ritið, 17:3 (2017), 87–110; R. Magnúsdóttir, ‘Þóra, Kristinn og kommúnisminn: hugleiðingar um ævisögu í smíðum’, Skírnir, 187:1 (2013), 116–40. This chapter is a part of a larger project, which culminated with the publication of a biography of the couple in Icelandic in 2021.  3 For a small selection of writings about Soviet subjectivity, see I. Halfin, Red autobiographies: initiating the Bolshevik self (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010); J. Hellbeck, Revolution on my mind (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006); C. Chatterjee and K. Petrone, ‘Models of selfhood and subjectivity: the Soviet case in historical perspective’, Slavic Review, 67:4 (2008), 967–86; A. Etkind, ‘Soviet subjectivity: torture for the sake of salvation?’, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 6:1 (2005), 171–86; A. Pinsky, ‘The diaristic form and subjectivity under Khrushchev’, Slavic Review, 73:4 (2014), 805–27.  4 See Introduction in this volume, p. XX.  5 The Manuscript Department of the National and University Library of Iceland (henceforth Lbs.). Lbs. 16 NF. Kommúnistaflokkur Íslands. Félagatal 1 ­ 930–1938 [the member’s registry of the Icelandic Communist Party, 1930–38].  6 K. E. Andrésson, Frá Reykjavík til Odessa: Ferðasaga (Reykjavík: Sovétvinafélagið, 1934): 42.  7 Ibid., 43.  8 K. E. Andrésson, Enginn er eyland: Tímar rauðra penna (Reykjavík: Mál og menning, 1971): 160.  9 Ibid., 315–16. 10 Þ. Vigfúsdóttir, ‘Í höfuðborg sósíalismans’, Þjóðviljinn, 7 June 1951, 3. See also her 1951 travel diary in Lbs. 25 NF. Box 28. 11 ‘Sovétþjóðirnar þrá framar öllu frið’, Þjóðviljinn, 23 May 1951, 7–8. 12 Þ. Vigfúsdóttir, ‘Konur á Norðurlöndum’, Melkorka 2:2 (1945): 22–6. 13 Lbs. 25 NF. Box 28. ‘The Diary of Þóra Vigfúsdóttir’, 16 March 1950. 14 During the Second World War, Iceland was occupied first by the British and then by the Americans. When Iceland joined NATO as a founding member in 1949, Þóra and Kristinn’s anti-Americanism climaxed. 15 The sources are mostly written and both public and private in nature, but they also left material sources in the form of souvenirs, books, language learning sets and LP records. Although mine is the first book-length study of their lives, Kristinn in particular left a trail of documents in several archives in Reykjavík, Moscow and Berlin and both Kristinn and Þóra left boxes of diaries and letters. 16 I have analysed the fluidity between Þóra and Kristinn’s perception of work and leisure in Magnúsdóttir, ‘Living socialism’. In the introduction to this volume,

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Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 59

the editors claim that a part of their agenda is to allow us to look into, for instance, ideas that illuminate people’s lives. Soviet ideology informed all aspects of the lives of Kristinn and Þóra: i.e. time spent on paid work, voluntary work and leisure. 17 See D. Runciman, ‘What time frame makes sense for thinking about crises?’ in P. F. Kjaer and N. Olsen (eds), Critical theories of crisis in Europe: from Weimar to the euro (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). 18 See for example P. Deery and R. Calkin, ‘“We all make mistakes”: the Communist Party of Australia and Khrushchev’s secret speech, 1956’, Australian Journal of Politics & History, 54:1 (2008), 69–84. 19 K. E. Smith, Moscow 1956: the silenced spring (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017): 3. 20 Ibid., 4. For detailed discussions of how the Secret Speech was navigated and controlled in the Soviet Union see also K. E. Loewenstein, ‘Re-emergence of public opinion in the Soviet Union: Khrushchev and responses to the secret speech’, Europe-Asia Studies, 58:8 (1 December 2006), 1329–45; S. Schattenberg, ‘“Democracy” or “despotism”? How the secret speech was translated into everyday life’ in P. Jones (ed.), Dilemmas of destalinization: negotiating cultural and social change in the Khrushchev era (London: Routledge-Curzon, 2006), 64–79. 21 J. M. Rainer, ‘1956: the mid-twentieth century seen from the vantage point of the beginning of the next century’, Europe-Asia Studies 58:8 (2006), 1189–98. 22 See here, for example, J. Ólafsson, ‘Witness to an accident: refiguring a Stalinist experience’, in V. Ingimundarson and R. Magnúsdóttir (eds), Nordic Cold War cultures: ideological promotion, public reception, and east–west interactions (Helsinki: Aleksanteri Cold War Series, 2015), 174–88. 23 This is, for example, obvious in the polarized Icelandic media. 24 Smith, Moscow 1956, 6. 25 T. Judt, Past imperfect: French intellectuals, 1944–1956 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992): 149. 26 Ólafsson, ‘Witness to an accident’, 175. 27 Runciman, ‘What time frame makes sense for thinking about crises?’, 5. 28 Ólafsson, ‘Witness to an accident’, 175. 29 S. Conrad, What is global history? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016): 131. 30 Runciman, ‘What time frame makes sense for thinking about crises?’, 5. 31 In Iceland, Nobel Prize laureate Halldór Laxness rewrote the narrative of his relationship with the Soviet Union in 1963, causing a commotion in Icelandic society. See Ólafsson, ‘Witness to an accident’, and also S. Ingimarsson, ‘Breaking with the past? Icelandic left-wing intellectuals and the era of de-Stalinization’, in Ingimundarson and Magnúsdóttir (eds), Nordic Cold War cultures, 154–73. 32 Quotation in heading from private archive. Letter from Þóra Vigfúsdóttir to Halla Hallgrímsdóttir, 6 November 1956. My translation from Icelandic. 33 Lbs. 25 NF. Box 15. Þóra Vigfúsdóttir to Kristinn E. Andrésson, 24 February 1956. My translation from Icelandic.

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34 Ibid. 35 Andrésson, Enginn er eyland, 312. 36 Tíminn, 6 March 1956, 1. 37 Andrésson, Enginn er eyland, 315. 38 Lbs. 25 NF. Boxes 29 and 30. ‘Diary of Vigfúsdóttir’, 1956, passim. 39 Andrésson, Enginn er eyland, 312. 40 Lbs. 25 NF. Box 29. ‘Diary of Vigfúsdóttir’, 13 May 1956. My translation from Icelandic. 41 K. E. Andrésson, ‘Ræða flutt á sjöttu ráðstefnu MÍR 21. september 1956’, Tímarit Máls og menningar, 17: 2–3 (1956), 168–77. 42 Letter from Vigfúsdóttir to Hallgrímsdóttir, 6 November 1956. My translation from Icelandic. 43 Lbs. 25 NF. Box 27. ‘Diary of Vigfúsdóttir’, 1940. 44 Letter from Vigfúsdóttir to Hallgrímsdóttir, 6 November 1956. My translation from Icelandic. 45 Ibid. 46 Lbs. 25 NF. Box 30. ‘Diary of Vigfúsdóttir’, 7 November 1956. 47 For socialist celebrations of the Russian Revolution in Iceland, see Magnúsdóttir, ‘“Lítilmagnans morgunroði”’. 48 K. Ólafsson, Um Kommúnistaflokkinn og Sósíalistaflokkinn. Draumar og veru­ leiki: Stjórnmál í endursýn (Reykjavík: Mál og menning, 2020): 467. 49 Andrésson, Enginn er eyland, 315. 50 Ibid., 72. 51 For more on the concept of the moral responsibility of Western intellectuals in the twentieth century, see T. Judt, The burden of responsibility: Blum, Camus, Aron, and the French twentieth century (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998). 52 State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), f. 5283, op. 20, d. 87, ll. 241–2. From Kristinn E. Andrésson to VOKS, 6 January 1957. Original letter in English. 53 R. Magnúsdóttir, ‘Menningarstríð í uppsiglingu: Stofnun og upphafsár vináttu­ félaga Bandaríkjanna og Sovétríkjanna á Íslandi’, Ný Saga, 12:1 (2000), 29–40. 54 GARF, f. 5283, op. 20, d. 87, ll. 241–2. 55 In the summer of 1956 upon return an Icelandic delegation of seven high-profile artists and intellectuals had been vocal in their criticism of the Soviet Union. J. Óskar, Týndir snillingar (Reykjavík: Fjölvaútgáfan, 1979): 223–8. 56 GARF, f. 5283, op. 20, d. 87, l. 242. 57 This extended to the overall Soviet propaganda mission; by this time, the Soviets had realized that their foreign information strategy was outdated and they found themselves preaching to the converted. See R. Magnúsdóttir, Enemy number one: the United States of America in Soviet ideology and propaganda, 1945–1959 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). 58 GARF, f. 9575, op. 18s, d. 42, ll. 111–13. From Kristinn E. Andrésson to Mrs Popova, SSOD, 30 July 1958. Original letter in English. 59 Ibid.

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Making sense of 1956: Vigfúsdóttir and Andrésson 61

60 K. E. Andrésson, Byr undir vængjum (Reykjavík: Heimskringla, 1959): 53. 61 See also Radchenko, ‘1956’, 152. 62 Andrésson, Enginn er eyland, 72. 63 See Ólafsson, ‘Witness to an accident’ and Ingimarsson, ‘Breaking with the past?’ 64 Lbs. 25 NF. Box 32. ‘Diary of Vigfúsdóttir’, 21 August 1968. My translation from Icelandic. 65 Lbs. 25 NF. Box 32. ‘Diary of Vigfúsdóttir’, 22 August 1968. My translation from Icelandic. 66 Ibid.

3 Colonial masculinity: monarchy, military, colonialism, fascism and decolonization Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Diana M. Natermann

It was the year 1960 and sub-Saharan Africa was in the midst of a decolonizing frenzy. The newly independent west African state Togo was celebrating the end of French rule and a new beginning as a sovereign state.1 Interestingly enough, Sylvanus Olympio,2 Togo’s first prime minister, decided to include a former colonizer of Togo to the list of international guests to the celebratory events: Duke Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg (henceforth: Duke, 1873–1969). Together with the financial support of the German Foreign Ministry, the 87-year-old Duke, the former colonial governor of Togo between 1912 and 1914, participated in the ­independence festivities as guest of honour. The first question that comes to mind is: how was it possible that a former colonizer and imperialist was invited back to the arena in which he had been active colonizing? If one were being cynical, one might suggest that since Germany had only been an imperial power for roughly thirty-five years it had not had the time to commit as many colonial atrocities as some other European powers. In any case, in order to provoke Togo’s latest colonial ruler France, Olympio opted to invite the Duke.3 This decision may, on one hand, have given France a symbolic slap in the face but, on the other hand, it aimed to revive the joint German-Togolese past and establish future-oriented binational relations. Either way, within just fifty years the Duke transformed from an active colonizer to a figure supportive of decolonization and African independence. A second query is: which personal abilities allowed the Duke to (re) gain Togo’s favour in 1960? Can the answer to this question be found in his imperial career? Based on these questions, in the following an attempt is made to connect the concept of colonial masculinity with the passing of time.4 The aim is to uncover how the Duke’s gendered socialization and upbringing (as a male member of Germany’s high nobility), combining with a specific form of imperial masculinity, paved the way for a prosperous and ongoing, international yet Germany-oriented career. Did certain masculine traits attained within an imperial world order lay the foundations for a ­successful

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Colonial masculinity: Duke Adolf zu Mecklenburg 63

global career irrespective of changes in the political order? Secondly, I address questions that engage with the combination of certain masculine abilities and the passing of time. Was the Duke, for instance, in a position to apply his colonial-masculine traits and values to further his career through different systems because, while politics changed, ideas of masculinity did not? May we perceive, then, the Duke’s masculinity functioning as a type of glue or currency that connected the different layers of time between the 1890s and the 1960s? If so, does his case allow us to think differently about gender in global history and possibly ask new questions? Twentieth-century colonial masculinity is a specific kind of masculine socialization in the imperial context that finds its roots as far back as the fifteenth century and adds racist notions to white masculinity.5 Europe’s increasing expansion to non-European territories was undertaken almost entirely by men, who thereby created mono-gendered societies abroad that were commonly based on militaristic models. These models went beyond aspects of soldierly life and the societies they created included an imaginary, idealized world that allowed Western, white men to experience adventures, have sexual encounters in exotic lands and/or gain exorbitant riches while at the same fulfilling a patriotic duty by going abroad and often risking their health for a national cause. In addition to intra-­ European ideas of heterosexual manliness, colonialism not only subtracted the white female from colonial society to be replaced by non-white women, but also added race into the mix of gendered norms and hierarchies. Terms like the ‘effeminate [other]’ were introduced and the white man was defined as the rational eye man whilst the colonial subaltern became the irrational skin man.6 All of these characteristics apply to the Duke: he used his military training and hunting skills to organize and lead travels/expeditions abroad that included discovering new terrains and experiencing adventures. He had sexual encounters as governor of Togo, and he used all of the above to position himself within German society, apply his colonial skills to expand his personal networks and provide himself with new career opportunities. His expeditionary experiences helped him establish a reputation as an Africa specialist, modern aristocrat and manly man at the same time. He liked to use his travel experiences; for instance, he would have photographs taken at purportedly manly moments, such as Figure 3.1, a picture that was taken during his West Africa expedition in 1910–12. Despite the Duke’s colourful career, aristocratic background, living through watershed moments in modern European history like the two world wars and becoming a delegate to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after 1945, there are surprisingly few publications,

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Figure 3.1  ‘His Highness with a killed rhinoceros’, Chad, 1910/11. Photographer:  Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg. Inv. No. 2016:13:914, MARKK Fotografische Sammlung, Bestand Mecklenburg. Courtesy of MARKK Fotografische Sammlung, Hamburg.

e­specially critical or academic ones, devoted to him.7 The majority of publications about the Duke deal with his own works and were published around the same time that these publications saw the light of day.8 Most were reviews of a non-academic nature, such as newspaper articles. Exceptions are three u ­ ncritical biographies by R. Bindseil, O. Gebhard and R. Junack.9 Until recently possibly the most informative biographical account of the Duke’s life was an essay from 2006 by A. Röpcke.10 Luckily, in early 2019 Jan Diebold’s doctoral thesis was published, constituting the first modern academic biography of the Duke.11 It is a thorough study that focusses on the Duke’s role(s) as a twentieth-century colonial (and to a degree postcolonial) expert on central Africa, Togo in particular. Direct engagement with the Duke’s living descendants, however, would have enriched the book’s source work. Fortunately, I had the privilege to see the contents of the von Mecklenburg family’s private archive myself in October 2017.12 One example of the findings produced by taking an oral history approach is a comment by the Duke’s grandson Heinrich XV Prinz Reuß mentioning that at one point his grandfather had several teeth pulled out to avoid the need for a dentist

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Colonial masculinity: Duke Adolf zu Mecklenburg 65

on an expedition.13 This anecdote exemplifies the Duke’s dedication to his expeditionary career and the enacting of traits alleged to be manly, e.g. the ability to endure pain and willingness to go all the way to achieve a goal.14 The family archive also includes private and official letters, photographs and sentimental objects/souvenirs from the Duke’s time in the military until his IOC times, film reels of the Duke on boats with swastika flags from his time as a lobbyist for the Nazi regime in South America, handwritten lists of photographic collections from Africa that were later copied and passed on to the MARKK – Museum am Rothenbaum Kulturen und Künste der Welt15 – in Hamburg, and more.16 A diverse combination of sources thus helps to construct a bridge between the different eras of the Duke’s life, and paint a picture of social, professional and political survival as practised by the Duke from his early military training until his final position with the IOC. This bridging is particularly interesting from a gendered German and a global history angle, mainly because a global biography such as that of the Duke enables us to use temporality and gender as connectors between Germany’s numerous historical ruptures during the last two centuries. The Duke’s life story is thus a well-suited context in which to present, discuss and analyse global developments from a biographical and gendered point of departure.

The Duke The Duke was both witness to and an active participant in radical societal and political changes on a global scale. Thanks to his longevity, privileged upbringing and societal standing he was not a mute passer-by but instead actively participated in these shifts, albeit from a mostly non-political ­position; officially he never sought a political career, as his older halfbrother Johann Albrecht did. As the Duke had two older half-brothers,17 he had a title but no hereditary position managing his father’s Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg. Rather than being interested in a desk job and ­following  more classical means of career building, the Duke’s interests were of an adventurous nature. He neither finished his university studies nor felt drawn to a diplomatic career until his more mature years. Instead, as a younger man (until his forties), he preferred to travel, hunt and network. While this summary might paint a picture of a carefree individual, such was not the case. His achievements give the impression that the Duke was an ambitious man and, indeed, his position as third-born son allowed him certain liberties not open to his brothers. Simultaneously, however, the Duke was confronted with societal changes within Europe influencing

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the perception of positions supposed appropriate for young men of noble standing. Previously, popular office and administrative professions had been occupied by Germany’s enriched bourgeoisie, thereby turning formerly respectable employments into ones no longer tolerable for German aristocrats. Owing to the emergence of an egalitarian and more democratic world view that aimed to reward merit rather than continue granting privilege based on birth, the Duke was subjected to a Zeitgeist moving away from regarding nobility as inherently superior, socially, and towards facilitating the creation of a nation state that established rights for its inhabitants.18 Times were rapidly changing and young noblemen like the Duke were required to redefine their societal position, in maverick ways. Nonetheless, as is mentioned in Diebold’s work, the Duke’s noble background undoubtedly helped enhance his career as a colonial traveller and author. What is missing in the scholarship is an analysis that combines colonial masculinity and its long-term survival through different eras and layers of time during the Duke’s life. In the following, I will portray the Duke’s steps up the military and imperial career ladders, followed by an application of the concept of colonial masculinity to the Duke’s case, meanwhile assessing the compatibility of the concept with writing global biographies in the German academic landscape. I will offer an analysis in chronological order of the Duke’s different life stages – his military and imperial experiences until the First World War, the interbellum years, the Second World War and his life after 1945 – concluding with a section on colonial masculinity.

Becoming a ‘manly’ man: life as soldier, traveller and imperialist Elaborating upon the Duke’s schooling, training and early career choices helps to facilitate an understanding of his gendered abilities – for instance shooting, big game hunting, expeditions – and how these manly talents ultimately helped him to hone his career and reputation within different political and social models. After a privileged upbringing and education that consisted of private home-schooling and visiting the local Vitzthumsche Gymnasium in Dresden, he celebrated his graduation by going on his first trip abroad.19 This voyage to the Orient in 1894 probably laid the practical groundwork for his later non-European travels. Being an avid horseman, the Duke rode from Jerusalem to Damascus, crossed the Taurus Pass and continued on to Constantinople and Ankara. After visiting Bulgaria his ride – more than 2,500 km on horseback – ended in Budapest. Upon his return, the Duke joined the Prussian army as a lieutenant. Given his upbringing, this was a logical career path to choose. As a young

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Colonial masculinity: Duke Adolf zu Mecklenburg 67

soldier he even won the army’s largest and most prestigious horseback race in Hoppegarten, Berlin, on 13 June 1898.20 However, after a serious head injury at another race soon after in Hamburg, Kaiser Wilhelm II, a family friend, ordered him to refrain from future horse races.21 Despite leaving the cavalry after this serious riding incident, the Duke remained in the army until 1904.22 As an officer, he continued to pursue his love for travelling and took a five-month tour to Genoa, northern Africa and Ceylon in 1902. His resignation from the army was followed by travels in Africa, which he visited for the first time in 1905 when he travelled through the regions around Lake Victoria. This experience laid the foundation for his later fame as an explorer and Africa connoisseur. Possibly this was also the moment that he realized how an imperial career could replace his gradually ending military career and, moreover, let him continue to indulge his masculine skills within the mono-gendered societies of Germany’s colonies. As early as 1904 the Duke began planning an expedition to central Africa. To achieve this aim, he started making contacts, acquiring financial help from both private and public investors as well as investing some of his own funds. Three years later, the Africa Expedition of 1907–8 was his first research expedition as a group leader.23 He led a group of nine Germans plus an unrecorded number of porters into the Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa to then cross central Africa from east to west.24 Only two years later, in 1910, the Duke left Germany for Africa yet again for another one-year expedition through the Chad Basin, along the northern Congolese rivers to the Nile in the Sudan. The expedition group consisted of eight men who divided into smaller groups to extend their research all the way into the Bahr-el-Gazal area, into southern Cameroon and the islands in the Gulf of Guinea. The two tomes and thousands of glass negatives resulting from this 1910/11 expedition remain relevant to this day from a visual and culture-historical standpoint.25 The texts from the published travelogues,26 accompanying diaries hand-written by the Duke and one companion, the expedition’s hand-drawn sketches and water colours as much as the photos it took remain precious historical sources that allow twenty-first-century researchers to acquire a solid image of what early twentieth-century ‘othering’ entailed.27 Also enlightening are the lists of donors who helped finance the Duke’s travels in Africa. (Unlike the 1907–8 expedition, which was partly selffunded, he did not require his own funds for his second trip.28) These lists inform us about individuals, companies, lobbyists, politicians and others interested in African affairs. Owing to the major success of his first Africa expedition, his second was even sponsored by Kaiser Wilhelm II via the latter’s foundation (Dispositionsfonds).29 Wilhelm’s support raised the Duke’s public profile even further, thereby opening additional doors for

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(financial) support. The Duke had become a public figure with a direct connection to the German Emperor and this affiliation raised his social standing and public prestige. Supporting the Duke was now interpreted as working towards the Emperor’s interests. His upbringing and military career had allowed the Duke to position himself as an explorer by deploying his noble masculinity and to use his acquired abilities to gain a foothold in Germany’s imperial project. The two expeditions of 1907–8 and 1910–11 helped him create for himself a reputation as Africa specialist which ultimately got him the position of Governor of Togo in 1912,30 and consular honours for the French colony Dahomey and the British Gold Coast colony in 1913.31 All three titles and positions proved short-lived once the First World War broke out. Even so, the Duke’s manly experiences and know-how, gathered as a soldier, traveller and colonial officer, laid a solid foundation for his later career steps during the interwar years and in post-1945 Europe. Moreover, even though he had not been an Africa specialist prior to his expeditions, he became one by proxy: on one hand by enabling and organizing Africa expeditions, and on the other, by collecting and shipping African objects to Germany. The Duke got his career going by establishing himself as an Africa expert via masculine abilities. Once established as Governor of Togo, his knowledge of and proclaimed love for Africa did not translate into any kind of transformative policy-making that would set him apart from his predecessors. Instead, he embraced the status quo and continued business as usual in, for instance, punitive measures towards the colonized (see later in this section). One of the few instances in which the Duke took an active interest in ongoing political debates as Governor of Togo was by participating in Germany’s debates on Mischehen – biracial marriages. As Governor, he attended a meeting in Lomé on 18 September 1912 to adjudicate the Mischehen debate from a German–Togolese standpoint. The meeting’s outcome was to generally forbid biracial marriages.32 This subject attracted vivid political interest because allowing biracial marriages would convey German citizenship to mixed-race children fathered by German men in the colonies. To avoid non-white German citizens making inheritance claims or claiming voting rights, biracial marriages were declared illegal even when the women concerned were Chrisian (as was often the case in German South West Africa/Namibia).33 Ultimately, this was one of the most racist debates held during German colonial times and it led to one of the country’s first pieces of biopolitical legislation.34 The Mischehen debate was not, however, new to the Duke or to other German colonizers. A first attempt to deny legal recognition to mixed marriages dates back to 1905 in German South West Africa. The Duke had been aware of this issue via his brother in the German Imperial Office

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(Reichskolonialamt) as well as through his own imperial position. At a time when social classes were redefining themselves in Europe and hierarchies were shifting from nobility vs non-noble to status based on ‘race’, the Duke’s power position on the periphery (Dahomey/Togo) and likewise, as a colonial, his credibility in the metropolis (Berlin/Germany) were potentially being questioned. Having made it to a position of power and public recognition (governorship), he did not want to bite the hand that fed him. After all, German citizenship and inheritance laws were supposed to benefit those (men) who did the colonizing and who could be identified as white.35 At the highpoint of racial categorization and ‘eugenics’, non-white/ biracial offspring were seen as weakening the white nation’s male virility and female fertility. While inheritance laws and the financial power linked to them were of course also of great interest to the German state, the idea of impure Germans was debated more emotionally among large parts of Germany’s different social strata, including Christian churches and even women’s clubs.36 Furthermore, it can be assumed that the Duke’s social capital and traditions supplied him with a world view regarding extramarital sexual relations as normal or at least a tolerated open secret. However, granting legal standing to the result of these relations – extramarital offspring – was incompatible with his upbringing and his colonial world view. Accordingly, in October 1913, he introduced a law in Togo that forbade the traditional adoption of the father’s family name by (extra)marital children of German men with non-white women in the colonies.37 According to Peter Sebald, the Duke supported this particular ban because he himself had fathered a biracial child in Togo.38 The Duke’s only legitimate child, his daughter Woizlawa-Feodora, would not be born until 1918. Despite being in awe of Africa and of Togo in particular – the Duke spoke the local language Ewe fluently – he supported racist biopolitical legislation and did not openly question forced labour or corporal punishment for colonized peoples, both of which were everyday dreadful occurrences in colonial Togo. It was not unusual that a single day in Atakpamé might see more than fifty men sentenced to twenty-five whiplashes simply because they had not provided the correct tax data. The Duke was aware of these harsh punishments for simple bureaucratic transgressions, but he did not object.39 During a visit in October 1913 by Wilhelm Solf, who was German Secretary of State and Director of the Imperial Colonial Office, the Duke organised a parade of Askaris and arranged for a display of local African dances.40 During the visit, representatives of local tribes handed over an official paper in which they complained about the daily brutalities and reprisals committed against them by colonial officers. A simple matter like not greeting a German official in public could lead to corporal

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­punishment. Yet, despite the official complaint and other moments of discontent with German rule expressed during the Duke’s time as Governor, he took no measures to change the status quo. Generations later members of the Konkomba and Kabiyé tribes still spoke about the mistreatments and beatings under German rule.41 While the Duke was on home leave from May 1914 onwards, the First World War broke out and after a few initial skirmishes in Togo between the German police forces and British and French troops, Germany officially lost its Togolese colony to the UK on 27 August 1914. Nonetheless, the Duke remained connected to Togo both personally and professionally for decades to come. After the war, for instance, he helped Togolese men find their bearings while studying in Germany and raised funds for two schools in Lomé.42

Back to his roots: the interwar years, the IOC and independent Togo As Germany lost its colonies after 1918, the Duke’s position became insecure. Just as after his horse-racing accident he again had to adjust, find a way to survive and once more gain a secure professional standing. As before, he seemingly profited by investing in his manly activities: he returned to his roots and took on male-bonding activities like chairing men’s social clubs in Mecklenburg, travelling to Dutch Indonesia to hunt big game, car racing and (later) lobbying for the Nazi regime in South America. During the interwar years, the Duke mostly stayed in Germany and took on a few official positions: he acted as vice-president of the German Colonial Society (his brother Johann Albrecht was the president) from 1918 onwards, and in 1921 he became the president of the Kolonialkriegerdank – an institution that supported former German colonial soldiers.43 As of 1934 the Duke became the patron of the German Colonial Exhibition in Cologne.44 It is uncertain whether he travelled abroad between 1918 and 1923, after which he embarked upon a ten-month trip to the former Dutch East Indies (Indonesia).45 Following the disastrous financial repayment and restitution imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, and the global economic crisis resulting from the 1929 Wall Street Crash, heavy damage to Germany’s economy had caused mass unemployment and democratic distrust. These major historical events partly facilitated the rise of the National Socialist Party in the 1930s as well as the Nazis’ more commonly known racial policies. The latter, in particular, led to a degree of romanticism with regards to Germany’s former African colonies becoming part of Nazi propaganda.46 The alleged shame of losing Germany’s colonies to other European powers

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was reinvigorated by the Nazis, who aimed to make the country a global imperial player yet again. The doctrine of Lebensraum was not limited to central and eastern Europe but included reappropriation of the German Empire’s former colonies.47 In this regard, it is not surprising that a highly experienced former colonial traveller like the Duke was asked to join the Nazis’ cause as a representative abroad. As a result, between 1934 and 1939 the Duke spent much of his time in South America seeking to improve existing trade networks and to enable (new) political talks on behalf of the Werberat der deutschen Wirtschaft (German Advertising Standards Council), a subdivision of Joseph Goebbels’ Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda). The Duke met Goebbels on 19  June 1933 to discuss German foreign propaganda in Africa.48 During one of the Duke’s Africa trips his nephew Friedrich Franz accompanied him (Franz was a member of both the Nazi party – NSDAP – and the SS from 1931,49 and from 1934 an active member of the NSDAP Foreign Organisation Branch) and together they visited former German colonial territories. This voyage was a political one, even though the Duke himself was not an NSDAP member. The Duke also once met Adolf Hitler personally and did not object to the political changes happening in Germany.50 Apart from remaining loyal to his Mecklenburg roots through, for instance, his membership of local men’s clubs such as the Landsmannschaft Mecklenburg and the Herrengesellschaft Mecklenburg,51 the Duke joined several other social, political and sports clubs between the 1920s and the 1940s.52 His love for motor racing resulted in his presidency of the German Automotive Club (GAC) from 1929 to 1934 and as president he voiced his and the GAC’s support of the Nazis’ political agenda in March 1933, enabling the GAC to be included in the Nationalsozialistische Kraftfahrkorps (National Socialist Motor Corps) on 7 October 1933.53 The Duke was also a member of the Jägerschaft Mecklenburg (Hunting Society of Mecklenburg), and presided over the Reichsjagdbund (1928–34) where he maintained personal contacts with the later Reichsjägermeister (Reich Minister of Hunting) Hermann Göring.54 Other engagements included managing the Deutscher Schützenbund (German Shooting and Archery Foundation), the Doberaner Rennverein (Racing Club of Doberan, 1923–45) and presiding over the Golf Club Heiligendamm (as of 1925) and Tennis Club Blau-Weiß. He even planned to found a Mecklenburgian social club in former German SouthWest Africa after a visit there in 1953, to support the still apparent German roots there while the former colony was under South African mandate. All these activities link with a specific understanding of a patriarchal culture, the characteristics of which consisted in manly activities like hunting, athletics and physical strength attributed to sports, and supporting militaristic

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ideas connected to a sense of national duty for the greater good.55 The Duke combined all those traits and could thus move from one era to the next, always finding ways and means to survive socially and financially. In line with his interest in sports, the Duke was a member of the IOC from 1926–56, and his sports-related involvement reached its first pinnacle when he became a member of the organizing committee for the Olympic Games of 1933 in Berlin. As president of the German Olympic Committee (GOC) from 1949–51, his aim was to ensure that the postwar GOC could regain its international standing.56 In 1953, to honour the Duke’s involvement and success in reanimating Germany’s professional sports landscape, he received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany from German Federal President Theodor Heuss.57 In addition to this national acknowledgement, international recognition came in the form of a lifelong honorary membership of the IOC, granted during the XVIth Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956. What stands out here is that despite (or because?) of his connections to former high-ranking Nazis, the Duke did not suffer from these affiliations personally or professionally after the Second World War. It seems that, once again, his manly attributes and ability to make connections using them allowed him to hold on to his core personality traits yet develop further professionally. Even in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Duke remained active as an Africa expert and was regularly consulted on central African matters. Within the bipolar world order of the Cold War era the African continent became one of the geographical areas most fought over. Ideological wars along with the perceived need for long-term access to resources turned the decolonizing sub-Saharan countries into a playing field for West vs. East ‘great games’ – capitalism vs. communism – and both sides believed it crucial to be able to influence Africa’s new, independent, native leaders. In this context, once again, the Duke’s imperial past proved career-enhancing.

Colonial masculinity As I wrote elsewhere: ‘In a time of constant societal change within Europe, the colonies were transformed into a place where the acquisition [or maintenance] of manliness was possible by means of traditional gender roles as well as supplying old-fashioned individuals with the opportunity for social mobility.’58 Whilst the era of High Imperialism was driven mostly by colonizers from the middle and lower social strata who hoped to improve their lot by trying their luck in the colonies,59 the Duke represents the other side of the coin. His case was one where male attributes linked to German aristocracy became enmeshed with what is referred to as colonial masculinity.

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From Mrinalini Sinha’s ground-breaking work on colonial masculinities in British India one becomes aware of how certain dynamics of nineteenthand twentieth-century nationalism and High Imperialism are ‘best captured in the logic of colonial masculinity’.60 In addition to nationalist agendas, and despite its mono-gendered context, colonial masculinity should be understood as heterosexual. This latter point was made beautifully clear in the French colonial context by Robert Aldrich.61 Like the British men in Sinha’s or the French men in Aldrich’s work, German men of the imperial generations found themselves within national(ist) and heteronormative debates on colonizing as a manly patriotic duty to increase the German Empire’s international power position, as much as debates devoted to the issue of the white man’s burden.62 The ‘strong German man vs. the weak and uncivilized African male’ trope was a recurring topic, but so was the need to further German interests – among other ways by learning from British colonizing styles and simultaneously improving them. An entry by the Duke in his diary during the 1910–11 Africa expedition exemplifies this need to learn from the British in order to civilize the non-white subaltern. He compares the more liberal or less racist colonizing approach in southern Nigeria (French) to that of northern Nigeria (British), and combines this analysis with the impression that Africans are used to being whipped/disciplined: With inner gladness I saw that the northern Nigerian [colonial] administration has learned from the mistakes of southern Nigeria, since it is common knowledge that negroes there do not respect the white [man]. Thus, 2 people walked in front of our caravan, whipping those into place with a kiboko if they were not showing their respect to us by bowing and kneeling. And yet I barely saw a single tearful face. They did not mind the disciplining but welcomed it.63

Colonial masculinity also meant that the Duke could test in the colonies, for instance, new professions that he would not be able to adopt in Europe, and that he was willing to compare and learn from more experienced colonizers such as the British. This opportunity was inherently linked to a racialized and racist strand of colonial masculinity that was not displayed so intensely in European circumstances. Given the premature end of his military career, Africa became his best bet to prove himself professionally. Like the German army, the Duke’s expeditions were mono-gendered. This context was what the Duke knew best and it gave him the comfort and self-confidence to delegate to others, to make connections and thus to further his career within a colonial society. Gaining the governorship of Togo equalled (finally) receiving public approval for the Duke’s many years of military service and colonial endeavours. He even seems to have settled for the status quo of colonial norms.

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This can be seen in the positions he took in the debates on mixed marriage and the mistreatment of colonized subjects. He had no interest in stirring up a hornet’s nest by politically going against the wishes of his Berlin superiors and his direct and indirect peers in the colonies. Allowing the legitimizing of mixed-race children, for instance, could have undermined his superior position as a white man in colonial Africa. What also stands out here is that he did not seem to be too interested in his role as a father to his illegitimate Togolese child. He sired one legitimate child, a daughter named WoizlawaFedora. This supports the claim that in a colonial setting, presenting masculine traits was important to him, but in Germany he seemed content with not having a traditional heir to his name as long as she was legitimate. After the death of his first wife he could have tried to wed a young noblewoman with the aim of producing a male heir. Instead, he married his late brother’s older widow.

Final remarks The Duke’s life story links global modern history to a case study of an influential historical witness and participant. In conjunction with the concept of colonial masculinity, this chapter has looked at how the Duke managed to stay afloat during periods of varying ruptures within German history. A gendered biographical analysis such as the current one allows us to connect otherwise seemingly disconnected national and global historical events with each other. It takes into account the passing of time and how particular skills from the past can help the transition into different times despite societal and political changes in particular. This case study has enabled an analysis of political, social and cultural developments between the 1870s and the 1960s by showing how a career based on manly military and colonial experiences functioned as a reliable aid to navigating one’s professional and personal survival during changing eras. The Duke repeatedly saw himself confronted with losing positions due to injury, to regime changes or to loss of (some) wealth. The acquisition of gendered imperial knowledge turned out to be the Duke’s survival tool to weather gradual and steady economic and social transformations within Europe and their influence on the role of nobility. By repeatedly leaving his home country, the Duke set the tone for a decades-long career. His specialization in African and military affairs allowed him to float from one era and political system to the next, thereby granting him a method of survival. Putting official job-related training aside, this was also thanks to his masculine traits and engagements. Applying these attributes seemed to come easily to the Duke for, initially, they aligned with his

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main interests since his boyhood. Pursuing a military career, making time to go big game hunting, lobbying for national causes to alter governments and political institutions, taking on management functions in (men’s) clubs: all these activities helped him maintain and further his career. Returning to the Togo episode: this was just one of several periods in the Duke’s life that showcase his ability to transform his persona over time from colonizer to decolonizer in accordance with the era’s respective needs while remaining true to his masculine self. During his lifetime, the Duke was a known figure thanks to his activities as a pro-imperialist soldier, an explorer of Africa and Governor of Togo, author of books and articles, German national representative in South America during the 1930s, Honorary Consul to Togo and representative member of the IOC as a West German citizen after 1945. Today, his biography enables us to analyse colonial masculinity from a global perspective and to pay attention to the fluidity of eras and their respective sub-layers of time. Finally, this chapter has portrayed how a person’s biography, the passing of time and especially different temporal layers, can be used to research social, political and structural changes during certain eras in modern human history. As this chapter has also shown, time can often be layered and it is precisely this layered nature that can complicate the notion of a watershed moment when witnessed by one person. Thus, this chapter has aimed to combine approaches in order to ask further questions related to modern German history, colonial masculinity and survival.64 Accordingly, the Duke’s life story is both idiosyncratic and exemplary for a Zeitgeist. It shows how a person of privilege dealt with ever-changing national and global developments and found ways to always stay at the top of the social ladder, be it as a member of high nobility, a fundraiser for expensive extraEuropean expeditions, a national representative, a member of numerous interest groups, a diplomat, a volunteer or a sports delegate.

Notes  1 Togo declared its independence from France on 27 April 1960.  2 Sylvanus Epiphanio Olympio (6 September 1902 – 13 January 1963) was a Togolese politician who served as prime minister, and then president, of Togo from 1958 until his assassination during the 1963 Togolese coup d’état. He came from the influential and rich Olympio family. He graduated from the London School of Economics, then worked as general manager of Unilever’s African operations. After the Second World War, Olympio pushed for Togo’s independence and his party won the 1958 elections, making him its first prime minister. His power was fortified when Togo achieved independence and he

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became the first president of Togo in 1961. A. M. Amos, ‘Afro-Brazilians in Togo: the case of the Olympio family, 1882–1945’, Cahiers d’Études Africaines, 41:162 (2001), 293–314.  3 J. Diebold, ‘Hochadel und Kolonialismus im 20. Jahrhundert. Die imperiale Biographie des “Afrika-Herzogs” Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg’, in K.  Jandausch, M. Manke, M. Schoebel and R. Wiese (eds), Quellen und Studien aus den Landesarchiven Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns (Vienna: Böhlau, 2019).  4 See M. Sinha, Colonial masculinity: the ‘manly Englishman’ and the ‘effeminate Bengali’ in the late nineteenth century (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995). See also J. Tosh, Manliness and masculinities in nineteenth-­ century Britain:  essays on gender, family, and empire (Oxford: Routledge, 2016); R. Habermas, Skandal in Togo. Ein Kapitel deutscher Kolonialherrschaft (Frankfurt: Fischer, 2016); S. Maß, Weiße Helden, schwarze Krieger. Zur Geschichte kolonialer Männlichkeit in Deutschland 1918–1964 (Vienna: Böhlau, 2006).  5 R. Kramm, Sanitized sex: regulating prostitution, venereal disease and intimacy in occupied Japan, 1945–1952 (Oakland: University of California Press, 2017).  6 D. M. Natermann, Pursuing whiteness in the colonies: private memories from the Congo Free State and German East Africa (1884–1914) (Münster: Waxmann, 2018): 35; C. Classen, The deepest sense: a cultural history of touch (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2012): xii.  7 Selected (non-)critical publications: H. Langer, Leben unterm Hakenkreuz. Alltag in Mecklenburg 1932–1945 (Rostock: Temmen, 1996); W. Pade, ‘Zwischen Wissenschaft, Abenteurertum und Kolonialpolitik: Adolf Friedrich Herzog zu Mecklenburg’, in M. Guntau (ed.), Mecklenburger im Ausland. Historische Skizzen zum Leben und Wirken von Mecklenburgern in ihrer Heimat und in der Ferne (Bremen: Temmen, 2001); A. Röpcke, ‘Der alte Herzog im jungen Togo. Die letzte Afrikareise des Herzogs Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg’ in Verein für mecklenburgische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, Mecklenburgische Jahrbücher vol. 122 (Schwerin: Verein für mecklenburgische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, 2007), 313–17; K. Stöckel, Berlin im Olympischen Rausch. Die Organisation der Olympischen Spiele in Berlin (Hamburg: Diplomica Verlag, 2009): 12.  8 A. F. zu Mecklenburg, Ins innerste Afrika: Bericht über den Verlauf der wissenschaftlichen Zentral-Afrika-Expedition 1907/08 (Leipzig: Lindner, 1909); Im Hinterlande von Deutsch-Ostafrika (Cologne: Herrmann & Ferdinand Schaffstein, 1910); Quer durch den Kongostaat (Munich: Verlag der Jugendblätter, 1910); foreword in H. Pfeiffer (ed.), Heiss war der Tag. Das Kolonialbuch für das junge Deutschland (Berlin: Neufeld & Henius, 1933); Kolonialer Aufbau mit dem ganzen Volk. Das Buch der Deutschen Kolonien (Leipzig: Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, 1937).  9 R. Bindseil, Adolf Friedrich Herzog zu Mecklenburg (1873–1969). Ein Manager der Afrika-Forschung und Ruanda-Reisender des Jahres 1907 (Kaiserlicher Gouverneur von Togo 1912–1914) (Bonn: self-published, 1992); O. Gebhard,

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Durch Steppe und Urwald. Abenteuer und Erlebnisse der Afrika-Expedition des Herzogs Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg (Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1911); R. Junack, A. F. Herzog zu Mecklenburg. Leben und Wirken (Hamburg: Krüger & Nienstedt, 1963). 10 A. Röpcke, ‘Adolf Friedrich Herzog zu Mecklenburg (1873–1969), “der alte Afrikaner”’, in Verein für mecklenburgische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, Mecklenburgische Jahrbücher vol. 121 (Schwerin: Verein für mecklenburgische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, 2006), 167–207. 11 Diebold, Hochadel und Kolonialismus. 12 In October 2017 I had the opportunity to go to Büdingen, Germany, where some of the Duke’s descendants live. Accompanied by two of his grandchildren and one great-grandchild I accessed their private archive: Natermann, Pursuing whiteness, 13. 13 Transcript of dinner conversation with Erik Reuß and sister in Büdingen, Germany, October 2017. 14 J. Severin, ‘Ausweisungen als Element der (Re-)Produktion kolonialer Maskulinität während der deutschen Kolonialherrschaft in Deutsch-SüdwestAfrika (1884–1915)’, in A. Heilmann, G. Jähnert et al. (eds), Männlichkeit und Reproduktion (Wiesbaden: Springer, 2015), 235–50. 15 Renamed in 2019. Previously known as Hamburg’s Ethnological Museum. 16 At the time I helped the family examine and organise various boxes and suitcases filled with their grandfather’s belongings. I was lucky enough to be allowed to document everything. In the future, these belongings will be moved to the Landeshauptarchiv Schwerin. 17 Friedrich Franz III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg was the first-born son of their father Friedrich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg and Duke J. A. Herzog zu Mecklenburg was born second. 18 M. Funck, ‘Vom Höfling zum soldatischen Mann. Varianten und Umwandlungen adeliger Männlichkeit zwischen Kaiserreich und Nationalsozialismus’, in E. Conze and M. Wienfort (eds), Adel und Moderne. Deutschland im europäischen Vergleich im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Cologne: Böhlau, 2004), 205–36. 19 Junack, Herzog zu Mecklenburg, 4. 20 Hofnachrichten, Illustrierte Nachrichten, 111:2871 (Berlin, 7 July 1898), 13. 21 Junack, Herzog zu Mecklenburg, 7. 22 Rangliste der Königlich Preussischen Armee und des XIII. (Königlich Württembergischen) Armeekorps für 1905 (Berlin: Mittler, 1905): 326. 23 Germany was one of Europe’s last states to acquire an empire. Following the Berlin/Congo Conference of 1884–5 Germany transformed into an empire with African and Asian colonies (Cameroon, Namibia, Tanzania, Togo, Papua New Guinea, Tsingtao). After several years of public, economic and political discussions, Chancellor Bismarck and Wilhelm II gave in to demands by businessmen, lobbyists and traders from Germany and joined Belgian King Leopold II in acquiring foreign territories. Together they organized the Congo conference to discuss the fate of the still uninhabited lands in sub-Saharan Africa. D. van Reybrouck, Congo (New York: Harper Collins, 2015): 53–6.

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24 The other members were Senior Lieutenant (Oberleutnant) W. von Wiese und Kaiserswaldau (second expedition leader), Lieutenant M. Weiß (topographer), E. F. Kirchstein (geologist), Dr H. Schubotz (zoologist), Dr J. Mildbraed (botanist), Dr J. Czekanowski (anthropologist), Dr W. von Raven (medical doctor), Sergeant Czeczatka and F. Weidemann: Mecklenburg, Ins innerste Afrika, 5–11. The expedition started on 17 June 1907 in Bukoba on the western coast of Lake Victoria, before passing the Kivu Lake into the Congo. A.F. zu Mecklenburg: ‘Ins Innere von Afrika’, in Schweriner Volkszeitung (09 April 2016). At the time the 1907–8 expedition became famous for the new route it took; recently, the expedition became notorious again because it shipped 1,107 human skulls back to Germany. Western museums and institutions hold vast collections of human remains originating from former colonies, some (like those ‘collected’ by the Duke’s 1907–8 expedition) robbed from graveyards and taken without the consent of the colonized, and so prompting recent demands for restitution. This expedition’s zoological collection was given to Berlin’s Zoological Museum and the Botanical Museum of Berlin received most of the other biological material. Mecklenburg, Ins innerste Afrika, 474–5. 25 A. F. zu Mecklenburg, Vom Kongo zum Niger und Nil, Berichte der deutschen Zentralafrika-Expedition 1910/11 (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1912). 26 Ibid. 27 The MARKK was given the 1910/11 expedition’s 3,500 photographic glass negatives and copies of the Duke’s travelogue and diaries. 28 The 1907–8 expedition received generous funding from the German Colonial Office, German Colonial Society, Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences and the Ethnological Museum, Berlin. The fact that such major institutions supported his expedition helped the Duke gain financial backing from further cities, museums and individual investors from Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Leipzig. More famous private contributors were the families of Baron von GoldschmidtRothschild, Krupp and Woerman. Mecklenburg, Ins Innerste Afrikas, 13–4. 29 Mecklenburg, Vom Kongo zum Nil, 22. 30 S. Milius, ‘Mecklenburger Herzog als Gouverneur in Togo’, available at www. svz.de, posted 24 November 2016 (accessed 10 August 2020). 31 Personalien, ‘Exequatur Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg’, in Reichs-Kolonialamt (ed.), Deutsches Kolonialblatt. Amtsblatt für die Schutzgebiete in Afrika und in der Südsee, no. 5, 1 March 1913 (Berlin: Mittler & Sohn): 220. 32 Protocol of the 18 September 1912 meeting in the Governor’s House in Lomé, in French and German, ‘Memoire online – Documentation sur le statut des métis de pères Allemands au Togo entre 1905 et 1914. Présentation de documents allemands avec traductions ou résumés en français’, ed. Essosimna Tomfei Marie-Josée Adili, available at www.memoireonline.com/02/13/7061/m_ Documentation-sur-le-statut-des-metis-de-peres-Allemands-au-Togo-entre1905-et-1914-Presentation19.html (accessed 29 July 2018). 33 A. L. Stoler, Carnal knowledge and imperial power: race and the intimate in colonial rule (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002): 41–78; C. Essner, ‘“Wo Rauch ist, da ist auch Feuer”. Zu den Ansätzen eines Rassenrechts

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für die deutschen Kolonien, Rassendiskriminierung, Kolonialpolitik und ­ethnisch-nationale Identität’, in W. Wagner (ed.), Referate des 2. Internationalen Kolonialgeschichtlichen Symposiums 1991, Bremer Asien-Pazifik Studien vol. 2 (Münster: Lit, 1992): 145; B. Kundrus, Moderne Imperialisten. Das Kaiserreich im Spiegel seiner Kolonien (Vienna: Böhlau, 2003); H. Gründer, “...da und dort ein junges Deutschland gründen”. Rassismus, Kolonien und kolonialer Gedanke vom 16. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (Munich: DTB, 1999): 230–1; J.  Zimmerer, Deutsche Herrschaft über Afrikaner. Staatlicher Machtanspruch und Wirklichkeit im kolonialen Namibia (Hamburg: Lit, 2001); F. Axster, Die Angst vor dem Verkaffern – Rassenreinheit und Identität im deutschen Kolonialismus (Hamburg: Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, 2002); A. L. Stoler, Race and the education of desire: Foucault’s ‘History of Sexuality’ and the colonial order of things (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995): 55–94; L. Wildenthal, German women for empire, 1884–1945 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001): 79–130. 34 Kundrus, Moderne Imperialisten; T. Schwarz, ‘Die Mischehendebatte im Reichstag 1912: Hybridität in den Verhandlungen zwischen deutscher Biopolitik, Anthropologie und Literatur’, in Dokilomunhak, 19 (2002), 323–50. 35 M. Schindler-Bondiguel, ‘Koloniale Vaterschaft, zwischen Marginalisierung und Hegemonie. Männlichkeiten in der entstehenden imperialen Gesellschaft Frankreichs (1870–1914)’, in M. Dinges (ed.), Männer–Macht–Körper. Hegemoniale Männlichkeiten vom Mittelalter bis heute (Frankfurt: Campus, 2005), 122–40. 36 T. Schwarz, ‘Bastards. Juli 1908: Eugen Fischer bringt die “Rassenkunde” nach Afrika’, in A. Honold and K.R. Scherpe (eds), Mit Deutschland um die Welt. Eine Kulturgeschichte des Fremden in der Kolonialzeit (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2004), 373–80; E. Hubrich, ‘Die Mischehenfrage in Den Deutschen Kolonien’, Zeitschrift für Politik, 6 (1913), 498–506; Wildenthal, German women for empire, 79–130. 37 W. Wagner, Rassendiskriminierung, Kolonialpolitik und ethnisch-nationale Identität: Referate des 2. Internationalen Kolonialgeschichtlichen Symposiums (Berlin: Lit, 1992): 116. 38 P. Sebald, Togo 1884–1914: eine Geschichte der deutschen “Musterkolonie” auf der Grundlage amtlicher Quellen (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1988): 268. 39 M. Schröder, Prügelstrafe und Züchtigungsrecht in den deutschen Schutzgebieten Schwarzafrikas (Münster: Lit, 1997): 60. 40 Askaris were African soldiers belonging to the German colonial troops. The dancing was filmed by the German Imperial Office. See Institut Jugend Film Fernsehen München (ed.), Zentrale Filmografie Politische Bildung, vol. II (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 1982), 48; W. Struck, Die Eroberung der Phantasie: Kolonialismus, Literatur und Film zwischen deutschem Kaiserreich und Weimarer Republik (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010): 51. 41 Gründer, ...ein junges Deutschland gründen, 142–4. 42 Anon., ‘A. F. Herzog zu Mecklenburg’, Der Spiegel 29 (1961) (accessed 28 December 2019); Junack, Herzog zu Mecklenburg, 51.

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43 Anon., ‘Herzog Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg der neue Vorsitzende des Kolonialkriegerdanks’, in Kolonialkriegerdank e.V. (ed), Der Kolonialdeutsche (Berlin: 1 June 1921). 44 His companions for this exhibition were the Reichsleiter Franz Ritter von Epp (NSDAP Office of Colonial Policy) and Heinrich Schnee (former governor of German East Africa/Tanzania): U. van der Heyden and J. Zeller, Kolonialismus hierzulande: Eine Spurensuche in Deutschland (Erfurt: Sutton, 2007): 15. 45 Junack, Herzog zu Mecklenburg, 25. 46 K. Linne, Deutschland jenseits des Äquators? Die NS-Kolonialplanungen für Afrika (Berlin: Ch. Links, 2008): 26–45. 47 S. Baranowski, Nazi empire: German colonialism and imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011): 141; M. Mazower, Hitler’s empire: Nazi rule in occupied Europe (London: Penguin, 2013): 431; W. D. Smith, ‘Friedrich Ratzel and the origins of Lebensraum’, German Studies Review, 3: 1, 51–68 (February 1980). 48 Langer, Leben unterm Hakenkreuz, 65. 49 B. Kasten, Herren und Knechte: Gesellschaftlicher und politischer Wandel in Mecklenburg-Schwerin 1867–1945 (Bremen: Edition Temmen, 2010): 427–8. 50 Langer, Leben unterm Hakenkreuz, 70. 51 Ibid., 69–70; S. Malinowski, Vom König zum Führer. Sozialer Niedergang und politische Radikalisierung im deutschen Adel zwischen Kaiserreich und NS-Staat (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2004): 441. 52 N. N., ‘Ein Kavalier des Sports. Zum 90. Geburtstag des Herzogs Friedrich Adolf von Mecklenburg’, www.zeit.de (accessed 11 March 2021). Hochstetter, Motorisierung und “Volksgemeinschaft”. Das 53 D. Nationalsozialistische Kraftfahrkorps (NSKK) 1931–1945 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2005): 195, 210. 54 Deutscher Förster, in Wochenschrift für die Interessen des Försterstandes 15 (Berlin: Steub & Bernhard, 1933): 270. 55 The Duke also wrote and published on the importance of engaging in sports from an early age: A. F. zu Mecklenburg, Treibt Sport! Ein Weck- & Mahnruf an Deutschlands Jugend (Leipzig: Grehtlein & Co., 1908). 56 Stöckel, Berlin im Olympischen Rausch, 5–9; Die deutschen IOC, ‘Mitglieder seit 1895’, www.dosb.de (accessed 6 March 2021); A. Krüger, ‘Deutschland und die olympische Bewegung (1945–1980)’ in H. Ueberhorst (ed.), Geschichte der Leibesübungen, vol. 3, Leibesübungen und Sport in Deutschland, part 2, Vom Ersten Weltkrieg bis zur Gegenwart (Berlin: Bartels & Wernitz, 1982): 1069–70. 57 The Order of Merit is Germany’s only federal honorary medal. It was instituted by the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany on 7 September 1951, and has been awarded to more than 200,000 individuals, of both German and other nationalities. Stöckel, Berlin im Olympischen Rausch, 12. 58 Natermann, Pursuing whiteness, 109. 59 L. Colley, ‘Going native, telling tales: captivity, collaborators and empire’, Past & Present 168 (2000): 184.



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60 Sinha, Colonial masculinity, 1. 61 R. Aldrich, Colonialism and homosexuality (London: Routledge, 2003). 62 U. Lindner, Koloniale Begegnungen. Deutschland und Großbritannien als Imperialmächte in Afrika 1880–1914 (Frankfurt: Campus, 2011). 63 MARKK, Herzog A. F. von Mecklenburg-Expedition | HER 2.1, 213. 64 A. Nützenadel and W. Schieder (eds), Zeitgeschichte als Problem. Nationale Traditionen und Perspektiven der Forschung in Europa (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004).

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Natalia Aleksiun

In her oral interview for the University of Southern California (USC) Shoah Foundation, Anita Karl, who was born in 1938 in Lwów (Lemberg, Lviv in present-day Ukraine), recalled her close-knit family’s experiences before the Holocaust. Her relatives lived together, except for one uncle who became a family legend. As the eldest of six Karl brothers, Joel (Julius) Karl (1900–73) moved to Vienna to study medicine. His orthodox father Marcus worried that a separation from the family home would present Joel with temptations and a weakening of his religious observance would follow. However, ‘when my uncle explained to him that he would do it for the good of humanity, then my grandfather Marek [Marcus] agreed and gave him a written permission as it was used to do in those years, and so Joel Karl, who was the eldest of the brothers, went to Vienna and began his study in medicine’, Anita recalls.1 Joel Karl’s graduation from the Medical Department in Vienna, and his subsequent career running a popular sanatorium in the city, embodied his personal transformation as an ‘Ostjude’ (eastern European Jew) who transcended his Hasidic background through his encounter with Vienna. Following the Anschluss (annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany) in 1938, Joel Karl applied for entry to numerous countries and was able to emigrate to Peru with the assistance of a childhood friend from Lwów. Having arrived in the new country, Joel Karl learned Spanish, took on an additional specialization and established a successful medical practice in Lima.2 Thus, Anita Karl’s anecdotal account recalls her uncle’s life by underlining two geographic shifts: from eastern Europe to Vienna, where he sought secular education and achieved success before his escape from persecution, and from Vienna via further emigration to South America. Between these two ruptures – tied to broad historical processes – she alludes to a life shaped by the medical profession. After his forced departure from Austria, Karl found further professional success in Peru. Indeed, it was his training in Vienna which allowed him to practise medicine on two continents and in several languages. In his niece’s account, Karl’s story is global, sketching

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a trajectory leading from Galicia to Vienna, and finally to Latin America. While retelling her own survival as a child during the Holocaust, Anita Karl made sure to recall both of her uncle’s moments of transformation. Karl’s story draws on an implicit temporal framework – a life lived in multiple geographic, linguistic and political contexts. Defined throughout by his medical profession, Karl’s life can be understood via two primary frameworks of global periodization: on one hand the constant appeal of secular education, professionalization and aspiration to upward mobility, and on the other the dramatic crisis of his forced emigration as a Jew from Europe – the rupture of the Holocaust. This framing of Joel Karl’s life serves as a point of departure for a reflection on the biographies of other Jewish students who arrived in Vienna to study medicine during the tumultuous interwar years. Rather than focussing on one individual life story, this chapter seeks to examine how a whole cohort chose to recall their lives and what they sought to present as transformative, seminal experiences. Whether in oral interview, memoirs or short testimony, these people positioned themselves between eastern Europe (lived in or imagined), Vienna and their new localities. Medical knowledge proved seminal for Karl, as well as for numerous others, while they were also expected to focus on retelling the atrocities of the war. Jewish medical students who had studied in Vienna lost their families in the Holocaust, while during the same period their medical studies made them members of an international cohort of experts. And thus the time spent in Vienna proved central for their sense of selves, as Jews and as professionals. How do they locate their genealogy as at the same time eastern European Jews and physicians trained in interbellum Vienna ‘within the larger temporal matrix’, with time overwhelmingly shaped by the experience, memory and narration of the Holocaust?3 In this chapter, I look at how Jewish medical students in Vienna mobilized their memories of the time spent at the university, as individuals acutely aware of their overlapping identities: future physicians, Jews, eastern European Jews in Vienna – sons and daughters of the Jewish elite and of traditional Jews, coming from Galicia, from Budapest, from the Pale of Settlement. In what ways did they perceive their own biography through the lens of the charged and constructed category ‘Ostjuden’? In particular, I am interested in what they made of these experiences truncated by the rise of Nazism and their forced departure from Vienna. What does this rupture mean for these students’ individual biographies, and in particular their choice to study medicine at a Viennese university? Did they frame their student lives as members of a group bound together as Jews? What does the chronology of their accounts reveal about their identity as a cohort both in Vienna and after emigration? How did they affect ­historical change

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and how were they changed in return? In order to address these questions, I will focus on three key narrative tropes: their recalling of the role of gender; their encounters with the medical faculty, fellow students and with the city itself; and, finally, their encounters with antisemitism. Using university records, memoirs, testimonies and oral interviews, I seek to delineate the contours of their biographies recalled from a distance of time and space. Indeed, in taking this collective approach to the students’ personal accounts, time and periodization emerge as crucial categories for examining self-image and self-fashioning as they organize thematic building blocks of life narrative in a variety of spaces. Ultimately, these biographies reveal the process of the construction of coherent life stories across multiple crises of global proportions.

Choosing Vienna Crucially, the biographies addressed the life-changing decision to enrol in the University of Vienna’s medical department, equipping the future physicians with linguistic aptitude and internationally respected medical knowhow and prestige, and inscribing them in the institutional culture. This then, introduces the biographies’ readership to the first of the three turning points I mentioned. Speaking in Polish, just a few years after his emigration to Israel from Poland in 1961, Ludwik Landau briefly described his circumstances before and during the First World War: I was born in Zbaraż in 1889 as a son of Chaskel Landau and Betty de domo Roniger. I studied medicine in Vienna, spent the First World War on the Russian and Italian fronts, and then worked as junior assistant [sekundariusz] in a hospital in Vienna. In 1918, I returned to Zbaraż, where I worked as a municipal physician until 1939.4

As Karl had been, Landau was eager to connect his life story not only to his home town and to the place where he survived the Holocaust but also to locate himself spatially and temporally at a prestigious university and medical department. This narrative continued to be important for a middleaged man and a recent immigrant who had only shortly before begun practising medicine in Israel. Joel Karl’s decision to study medicine in Vienna saw him follow in the footsteps of Jewish medical students before and during the First World War, especially during the early years of the twentieth century. Their collective choice reflected the reputation of the Medical Department, which attracted Jewish students throughout the twentieth century.5 Following

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the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna continued to draw in Jewish students, the ‘numerus clausus exiles’ – who were forced to study abroad by quotas limiting their access to university education in their home countries.6 The category ‘Ostjuden’, to which these students belonged, applied to men and women coming from the former Russian Empire, but also to those who came from territories that had been under the Habsburg monarchy before the First World War. Therefore, for some the decision to study in Vienna did not entail crossing a border. For instance, Karl came from Galicia which, until 1918, had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This was also the case for Jewish students from Bukovina and Hungary. But the category Ostjuden was fluid and could also be applied to medical students who had been raised and educated in Vienna, and the children of Jewish refugees who had fled there during the First World War. Still, they remained part of broader – now transnational – family networks within the Second Polish Republic, Romania and Hungary. In Vienna, they were perceived as ‘other’, as eastern European Jews and thus as doubly foreign.7 Jewish students seeking university education in the interwar period were part of a broader academic diaspora in western and central Europe. Not only were they drawn to Vienna because of existing family networks and the prestige of the medical school, but also as a result of difficulties they encountered in their home countries in the aftermath of the First World War. The Jewish medical students formed part of the cohorts of medical practitioners who gained their diploma and their medical skills outside their native countries, in Austria, Germany and Czechoslovakia during this turbulent time. What imprint did this period leave? Family accounts pertaining to Joel Karl, for instance, do not elaborate on his experiences in Vienna or on the personal meaning of his university years. These testimonies exemplify the challenges of analysing available material to establish accounts of daily encounters, personal thoughts, feelings and self-­ identification. Individual accounts by former medical students, or recollections of their family members also leave out many of the more mundane elements of these global biographies, focussing on their successes or the difficulties they had to overcome. For eastern European Jewish students encountering Vienna and university, life was hardly a linear process. The medical students – both local and newcomers – had at once to navigate scholarly life and to make sense of their new surroundings. Diverse geographic trajectories encouraged Jewish men and women to attend the Medical Department in Vienna. For some, the choice was dictated by convenience, if in Vienna they could call on family networks or rely on the expertise of relatives who had studied medicine before them. As a result, many were encouraged to stay after the completion of their studies, and attempted to build their practice in

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Vienna, while others returned home. Some arrived specifically to study, others were able to draw on the relative advantage of having been born, or formerly educated, in Vienna after their parents or grandparents had relocated there, and thus linking the transformative effect of Vienna to a previous generation. One of the most compelling examples of fashioning Vienna as a city of intellectual, cultural and economic opportunities is the memoir of Zila Rennert (née Rakowitzky). Born into an affluent, ‘stateless’, Russian Jewish family that escaped Russia in 1919 and settled in Vienna, Rennert (1908–76) was able to study medicine because – as she stressed in her memoir – ‘there [were] no numerus clauses or limitations imposed on the number of foreign students’.8 Moreover, in order to avoid paying higher fees and registering afresh each year, the family was able to be naturalized.9 So, what were the markers of difference for eastern European Jewish students in Vienna? The University of Vienna’s student files for the Medical Department in the early 1920s are filled with names of Jewish students from Galicia, particularly eastern Galicia (today’s western Ukraine). Asked to declare their mother tongue, many eastern European medical students listed ‘Jüdisch’ or ‘Deutsch’; for example, Ignac Eker from eastern Galicia who registered both.10 It seems that, for some of these incoming students and especially for those whose parents had already settled in Vienna, German was indeed their mother tongue. As such, their ‘difference’ may have been perceived by others only through their Jewishness and their eastern European origins. Miriam Berger (born Miriam Bloch in Delatin in 1910) arrived in Vienna in 1920 with her mother, after her family had escaped from the Russian front via Hungary. While her father Chajim Bloch served as a military rabbi, her mother lived with the children in Atzendorf in Lower Austria, employing her linguistic expertise when working for the censor office: she spoke German, Polish and Yiddish.11 In Vienna, Berger attended the Chajes Gymnasium and, upon graduation, enrolled at the university to study medicine. She recalled: But at home we talked German … Maybe I talked a little bit, you know, I was 4 years old, when the war started. Maybe I talked a little bit [of] Polish. But then, I went to a German school, so I forgot it completely.12

The cultural capital of Jewish students entering medical school differed; while many had already been educated in general gymnasia in Vienna, others faced a steeper learning curve. Indeed, Miriam Berger alluded to the cultural adjustment at the university, having graduated from a Jewish institution: You know, I came from a Jewish school in Vienna. I attended the Chajes Gymnasium. And when I came to the University, it was a completely new



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world for me. You know, because I was only accustomed to the Jewish influence. And I didn’t feel too good. And that’s about it. It took some time to get accustomed altogether.13

Even though this and other autobiographical accounts stress different aspects of a learning curve in Vienna, they share the foregrounding of a discernible intellectual ambition. Discussing the social background of Hungarian Jewish medical students in Vienna, historian Ágnes Kelemen has suggested that they may have often stemmed from intellectual families, since such a background increased both the willingness and the capability to study abroad. At the same time, it seems that family networks and opportunity played a significant role in the broader category of eastern European Jewish medical students enrolled there.14 Medical studies abroad promised many Jewish students from eastern and east-central Europe a career in a free profession – medicine could be practised outside official state institutions of public health, and therefore offered a chance for further mobility. At times, this motivation compensated for the students’ difficult situations. Psychiatrist Miklós Kun recalled his time as a student of medicine in Prague and in Vienna: ‘I was poor, yet satisfied.’15 Life and study in Vienna exposed young Jews to a broader array of culture, which in turn became a marker for upward mobility. In particular, students from families who had converted to Catholicism may have already experienced that upward mobility, and a degree of social acceptance. On the spectrum of ‘difference’, this threshold was particularly low for those students whose grandparents had settled in Vienna and converted to Catholicism, and their personal accounts focus on taking advantage of the city as a cultural hub without the need for self-adjustment. Born into a Jewish family that had converted to Christianity, Rudolf Bock entered the Medical School in 1933, and remembered the excitement of the vibrant cultural and social life of Vienna during the first half of the 1930s: ‘I could go now to the opera, the theatre, concerts, and the museums in Vienna and soak up some of the culture for which we now travel thousands of miles and pay hundreds of dollars’.16 In her memoir, Fanny Stang (née Knesbach) reflected on a different kind of experience as an eastern European Jew who had been raised and educated in Vienna. Her parents had moved to the city from eastern Galicia. While she had a ‘working’ knowledge of Polish, Yiddish and Czech, and her father Osias Knoblech knew Polish, Russian and German, her mother decided German would be Fanny’s first language.17 The family lived a lower-middleclass life: her father ran a small shop which he had to keep open on Shabbat, and her mother worked to supplement the budget. Still, Stang maintained

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that her father combined traditional views on child-rearing with middleclass aspirations. As she noted, ‘three things ranked as absolute necessities in family life: a Hebrew tutor for my brother once he reached his third (!) birthday, domestic help for my working mother and rented rooms in the country during school holidays for his children’.18 As with other Jewish medical students who had roots in eastern Europe, the Stang family stayed connected to its place of origin. Stang recalled visiting her paternal grandparents in Stanisławów (Ivano Frankivsk in present-day Ukraine) but found herself mostly estranged and ‘returned to Vienna with a number of newly formed prejudices against traditional ways’.19 However she may have been perceived by others, she recalled herself later in life as a Viennese. Interestingly, at the same time she argued her case for further education by referring to her Jewish heritage because ‘[l]ife-long study is after all one of the pillars of Judaism’.20 In her memoir, the irony of this approach did not escape her. For both male and female Jewish medical students, the appeal of Vienna changed over time, especially during the interwar period, from a focus on prestige to simply the search for a medical department willing to accept Jews. In her study of Hungarian medical students in Prague and Vienna during the interwar period, Kelemen suggests that ‘one’s geographical origin also played a role in the choice of university when looking at the pattern to be found in the collective story of migrants’.21 And yet, the numerus clausus (quota) was hardly the only motivation for Hungarians to study abroad. Even those targeted by the numerus clausus had multiple reasons to emigrate.22 Without a doubt, the antisemitic atmosphere in east-central Europe contributed to the motivation to study medicine abroad, with Vienna occupying an important place.23 Igor Kling (Ignacy Klinghoffer) – a native of Borysław in eastern Galicia who was raised in a comfortable household and whose father was a public figure as the manager of a drilling company – did not remember any personal experience of antisemitism during his comingof-age. Kling did speak of what he called ‘secondary antisemitism’ when his older sister Helena was unable to study medicine in Poland, and accordingly enrolled in the University of Vienna and later in Brussels.24 Importantly, the female medical students recalling their university youth allude to gender being a more crucial factor in shaping their experience than their Jewishness (and antisemitism) or their east European roots. Fanny Stang remembered the moment of enrolment as her own, personal triumph as a woman: It was the eighth of October 1932. Armed with my Legitimation [student card], a dark-green booklet which contained the university stamp and an excessively austere photograph of myself, I climbed the short external ­staircase to the sacred Aula [auditorium]. Sacred, indeed, for here the writ of the Republic’s



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police force did not run, as we were soon to learn. I started my medical studies full of triumph, apprehension and eager expectation. I had left the confining walls of a girls’ school and was, for the first time, entering a mixed though male-dominated society. I was curious and wary and determined to refute any notion that women were incapable of competing with men in the scientific field. I had resolved to succeed or die. Literally! … I registered for anatomy, chemistry, physics and biology which were all obligatory and came to thirtysix hours. I added X-ray interpretation in honour of Madam[e] Curie in my second term but found it physically impossible to attend.25

However, even in the classes taught by progressive professors such as the Social Democrat Julius Tandler, female medical students experienced gender-based discrimination and were often ignored or scolded.26 Several personal accounts allude to difficulties that female Jewish students faced in the course of their medical training. Zila Rennert comments that women who decided to enrol in the Medical School at the time ‘had to be strong’.27 Miriam Berger recalls that some professors did not approve of female medical students, but she also notes that this was not her personal experience because ‘you didn’t have too much contact with the professors anyhow, because there were assistant professors and so on’. Yet at examinations, ‘some were not very nice, they made remarks and so on, you [would be better] in the kitchen and things like that …’28 Dora GrossMoszkowski – born in 1901 in Kraków, Poland – struggled to be accepted into the medical school as both a woman and a foreigner.29 Accordingly, most personal accounts by female medical students, which were formulated decades after their experiences and are often reserved in tone, bring to the surface their personal perseverance as women, rather than as foreigners or Jews, in facing resistance to their chosen path within both family and academia. Their discussion of ambivalence towards female students may also suggest that the allure of the University of Vienna – even before the rise of Nazism – had its limits. This observation thus introduces a more nuanced texture to temporal shifts in their lives.

Anatomy lessons While the rise of Nazism and exodus from Vienna are the key moments that truncated the students’ biographies another set of definitive experiences turns up in the autobiographical accounts recorded later in life: dissections. In memoirs describing medical training in Vienna, anatomy lessons emerge as a staple of the ‘transformative experience’, and as a turning point for the laypeople hoping to become physicians. Indeed, in the autobiographical accounts, anatomy lessons become a universal representation of a long and

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halting process. Not only were these classes a mandatory part of the students’ training at the university, but anatomy also introduced young adepts of medicine to new liminal spaces, as they encountered medical cadavers and were asked to perform new exercises. In one account, Rudolf Bock recalled his initial immersion in anatomy classes in detail, revealing that this remained the most crucial experience of his medical studies: I did enjoy the 8 am anatomy lecture in the huge amphitheatre of the Anatomical Institute on Währingerstrasse. I never had much trouble with this subject since I was blessed with a very good visual memory and learned most of it by simply looking at pictures in the Atlas. Of course, we had also a great deal of dissecting to do, at least [two] hours daily. I still remember the feeling of disgust I had when we novices were standing in line to receive our first specimen for dissection. The rickety elevator came up from the basement and the orderly, a huge orangutan-faced man[,] opened the door. He started distributing the pieces, a wrist with a hand, an elbow, a shoulder, an ankle – and so on, slopping the heavily carbolic[-]acid[-]smelling specimen into our hands with the smile of a sadist. It was the initiation rite, so to [speak], but only a few of us felt like throwing up. The moment we sat down at the dissecting table with our Atlas and started to identify the various structures, we began to feel happily intrigued with what we were doing.30

Likewise, Fanny Stang’s recollection of dissections reflected on the difficult emotions and sensory experience, as well as the practical aspects of the training: We started by dissecting out the bones and tendons of the major joints. The early specimens handed to us hardly seemed human, for the skin looked like black leather and they reeked of preserving fluid. They aroused none of the  revulsion I had secretly feared. In the second year we progressed to the whole body and worked in teams of six, three busy students on either side like ants. In our third year Heartha and I found ourselves sharing a stillborn baby. We dissected without gloves but all of us wore the ubiquitous yellow Billroth apron. To counter the smell many students smoked. I tried but couldn’t reconcile myself to picking up a cigarette with fingers fresh from a corpse. There was the usual display of dissecting-room bravado: students (even girls) who would munch a sandwich while dissecting.31

Not only was participation in the classes a symbol of becoming part of the professional medical community, but also a performance and a source of personal achievement: You couldn’t go on to your next assignment until you had passed the weekly quiz (always on Friday evening, alas) and proved you could name each groove and bump and explain the function of the parts you had dissected. Each step led me to new discoveries. I still recall my feeling of triumph when I succeeded in exposing almost all of the numerous branches of the facial nerve.32

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Even the personal accounts, which tend to gloss over their daily experiences as students, still include anecdotes about studying anatomy. Indeed, participating in dissections appears to be the one detailed subject for humorous anecdotes, meant to ease the tension of encounters with cadavers.33 In her memoir, Zila Rennert juxtaposes the need to engage in dissections with her girlish appearance. Although she was already 18, she wore clothes that made her look younger, and therefore she was initially stopped by the janitor at the Institute of Anatomy. She had to show her student ID and receive special permission from the assistant. She recalled the smell of formalin and the sight of limbs to be dissected. She struggled not to show any signs of being intimidated by the sights and smells.34 She also reflected on the ways in which students tried to cope with the fear of death epitomized by the cadavers, by eating sandwiches in the midst of dissections and going dancing while still wearing white aprons smelling of formalin.35 Thus, the experiences in the Institute of Anatomy may have been so memorable because such examinations were also dreaded by students in the early years of medical school and – as David Lehr (1910–2010) whose family came from Bukovina – noted in his unpublished memoir, he ‘had long dubbed the Anatomy exam as the “donkey bridge”, because a donkey could never pass this enormous, extremely difficult, oral and practical examination’.36 The anatomy lessons stuck in memories not solely because of their shocking qualities, or because passing the exams was proof of a personal triumph, but because it was a formative and unique experience of the medical profession; it forged the students into a community having special knowledge, but may also be seen as a symbolic signifier of gaining the expertise that allowed them to transcend otherwise insurmountable hardships and dislocations. Alternatively, the experience shifted the attention from their identity as refugees (and later, Holocaust survivors). Anatomy lessons provided their life stories with a disturbing turning point, which belonged to normal chronology, making their lives relatable to those of future cohorts of medical students. Recalling dissections in prewar Vienna showed professional aptitude and perseverance but also provided a neutral time framework. At the same time, the topic of anatomy lectures allowed the former students to introduce the subject of antisemitism.

Encountering and narrating antisemitism Even where gender issues and the dissections may have prevailed in individuals’ memories and provide a neutral bridge to challenges that were not tied to their Jewishness, the experiences of students in the city of Vienna and in the medical department were eventually defined by antisemitism and

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more specifically by the rise of Nazism. Many of the arrivals belonged to local Jewish professional elites. For example, Ignacy Eker, who began his medical training in Vienna in 1937 and only two terms before graduating had – as a Jew – to leave the University after the Anschluss, was born in Lwów in 1918 to pharmacist Shmuel Eker, a member of the Podhajce city council.37 Eker was part of a large cohort of Jewish students, many of eastern European origin, who were not able to complete their training. Following the Anschluss, 287 men and women who were enrolled in the Medical Department were ejected from the University – including Eker. While some were allowed to take their examinations, they were no longer allowed to practise in the German Reich.38 Self-fashioning their life stories, men and women who studied medicine in Vienna before the Anschluss struggled with the determinist view of their encounters with antisemitism. These encounters had shaped their experience upon arriving in the city and enrolling at the university. When reflecting on this, former students seemed conflicted about their immersion in studies and thus missing the ominous political change taking place in Europe with the rise of Nazism. Bock noted in his memoirs that he was so engrossed in his studies that he hardly noticed the news from Germany, the increasingly tense political atmosphere in Austria or the growing number of Nazi sympathizers among fellow students.39 Others considered their university experiences as crucial for understanding the pervasiveness of antisemitism before others did. David Lehr noted that his mother had ‘led a sheltered life in the Jewish community of Vienna and had thus never been exposed personally to Nazi thinking and Nazi terror as I was almost daily in a decade at Gymnasium and medical school’.40 He noted: Anyone who came to the University building on such days to attend lectures or to register had to run the gauntlet, single file, across the entire length of the Aula, while being closely inspected by hundreds of Nazi students on both sides of the gauntlet. Whenever they recognized a Jewish face, they grabbed that particular student and after beating him with their brass knuckles and steel whips, pushed him down the stairs in front of the University building. These stairs were somewhat like those of our Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue. Jewish students stayed away from lectures during such demonstrations, but they could ill afford to miss a predetermined registration date, which would mean, at best[,] a heavy loss of time.41

Indeed, Lehr’s memoir offers several vignettes of his encounters with antisemitism at the University: In 1934, when I had to enter the main building of the University in order to register at the Dean’s office for my final medical exams, the giant marble entrance hall, the Aula, was packed with University students in full Nazi

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stormtrooper uniforms with brass knuckles or leather and steel whips in their hands, screaming in a wild yet well-coordinated chorus, which reverberated into the famous Ringstrasse: ‘Judah verecke. Tod den Juden.’ This means: ‘Judah croak, death to the Jews’. Such meetings of students in Nazi uniforms were then strictly forbidden by law. But the police [were] powerless. Unless specifically invited by the Rector the police [were] not permitted to enter the autonomous grounds of the University.42

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He recalled: On this particular day, in the early fall of 1934, I walked the gauntlet formed by tightly packed Nazi students with terror in my heart, as I pressed forward with feigned outward calm, looking straight ahead and pretending to be unconcerned. Fortunately, I passed muster of the hundreds of hate-filled Nazi faces as I moved along the Aula and safely reached the office of the medical school dean.43

The encounter with antisemitism, especially when recalled in memoirs written after the war, tends to flatten the experience, as these students survived the Holocaust in Europe. This may be the reason for these accounts going into far less detail about their prewar encounters. After all – looking back – these stories could hardly compare to what came afterwards. Even so, in numerous other accounts antisemitism appears as a unifying aspect of the collective biography. It is present when former Jewish students, in their memoirs, mention fights between medical students. Indeed, memoirs of Jewish medical students, especially those who began their studies during the 1930s, detail assaults they either witnessed or experienced. For example, László Farádi recalls physical conflicts.44 Farádi passed as a non-Jew, and this is what allowed him to study with Professor Franz Chvostek ­(1864–1944), a well-known professor of internal medicine and an antisemite.45 A study by Birgit Nemec and Klaus Taschwer suggests a chronic presence of antisemitic violence at the University centred in the Medical Department.46 Here, lectures in anatomy reappear in a different role, as Taschwer and Nemec note in their accounts the violent antisemitic incidents and intimidation which occurred at the Institute of Anatomy as early as 1922.47 David Lehr, who entered the medical school in the autumn of 1929, notes incidents in which ‘blood flowed on both sides’. He sarcastically recalled one particular event in the fall of 1929 as his ‘initiation into some of the “intellectual pleasures” of University life’. Upon arriving at the Anatomical Institute, he found the entrance hall … filled with students from Professor [Ferdinand] Hochstetter’s department and like-thinking students from other departments of the medical school. As soon as Professor Tandler started his lecture, a well-rehearsed, massive chorus could be heard through the closed doors of the amphitheatre: ‘Judah verecke’

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(Judah croak) and ‘Hinaus mit den Juden und den Roten’ (out with the Jews and the Reds). These words screamed again and again, almost without pause, completely drowned out Professor Tandler’s voice. He stopped his lecture and waited for about ten minutes. When the chorus continued unabated, he left the lecture hall and sent a message[,] through an assistant, that we should sit quietly until this demonstration had ended, in order to avoid any clashes or bloodshed.48

Lehr remembered an even more intimidating experience in the spring of 1930. The vestibule of the amphitheatre at the Institute of Anatomy was again filled with Professor Hochstetter’s students: In order to reach the entrances to the lecture hall, we had to literally push and squeeze our way through this massive crowd like through an overfilled subway car in the rush-hour in Times Square. There was something palpably threatening and sinister about this sullen and silent mob. We could not avoid noticing that many participants in this ominous demonstration [had] arrived with bats, sticks, brass knuckles, beer bottles and sundry heavy objects. This was a lynch mob, ready for action.49

As a result, Professor Tandler interrupted his lecture and female students were advised to leave through emergency exits. Male students who remained were attacked with ‘bottles, sticks and nondescript heavy objects’ thrown at them ‘through the gaping holes over the [double] entrance door[s]’.50 Lehr described assaulted medical students preparing for even more violence: Some of our student leaders were certain that our opponents were preparing to ram the entrance doors, so that they could get us with their clubs and brass knuckles. We were, of course, totally unarmed. What happened then was terribly sad. Some of our students vandalized their own lecture hall by ripping the banisters off the staircases on both sides of the amphitheatre and arming themselves with the wooden support pillars. Others dismantled chairs in the well of the auditorium and prepared to use parts of these chairs as clubs.51

Fanny Stang’s memoir cites several violent incidents she witnessed in which Jewish students were attacked and one incident in which her anatomy class with Professor Tandler was interrupted in the summer term of 1933. Members of student fraternities sang the Horst Wessel Lied – the anthem of the Nazi party – and ‘then started to come down the aisle in two tight gangs screaming: Juda verrecke! They were hitting out at Jewish-looking students and fights started in the crowded auditorium.’ While Tandler defended his  students, ‘[o]ther professors carefully ignored such incidents’.52 Stang also remembers witnessing members of a student fraternity abusing her classmate David, the son of a well-known rabbi, who was bleeding from his eye. This put him in danger of being arrested as a rioter upon leaving the University.53 She experienced a sense of powerlessness, observing ‘groups of

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students, Nazis and sympathizers emerging, neatly capped, hands unobtrusively in their pockets, talking and laughing’.54 In addition to the general accounts of violent assaults, memoirists recall personal betrayals and the loss of friends who, even before the Anschluss, stopped wanting to associate with former Jewish classmates.55 Stang recalls drifting apart from her best friend from the Mittelschule: ‘When I last ran into her at the university, she turned her head away. As she passed, I saw a silver swastika glitter on her lapel.’56 Like other memoirists from Vienna on the eve of the Anschluss, Stang struggled with the tension between her experiences as a student of culture and entertainment, and of political radicalization and impending doom, or moments when ‘we forgot that the Horst Wessel Lied had been sung by white-stockinged Nazi students in lecture rooms on hallowed academic soil. We wiped from our memory those hateful Schmiss-embroidered faces. We tried to forget that some of us had been beaten with fists reinforced by chains.’ For Stang, this bright side of her university experience was represented by masked balls, especially the medical students’ ball, ‘famed for its glamour’, where ‘most girls wore evening gowns but there was a sprinkling of fancy dress in honour of carnival. I adored my little black mask, at once provocative and protective’, she later wrote, ‘at midnight the professors in full evening rig entered in procession and masks were removed but nobody changed back to dull normality.’57 In reading these memoirs and testimonies, I suggest that while gender, education, geography and religious commitment separated them during their period at the University of Vienna, these Jewish students formed an emotional community. Composed through the lens of their experiences following Anschluss, their autobiographical accounts seek to explain the collapse of a secular, cultured Austria and the embrace of Nazi ideology by non-Jewish society. Accordingly, the setting of the testimonies is crucial for our understanding of the authors’ narration of their collective experience. Indeed, it is the global ripples of individual lives – the result of ­emigration – that has enabled the authors to struggle with their own singularity as witnesses, while at the same time painting a collective fate. These biographical accounts were – after all – constructed with a readership in mind, whether as an interview for a larger project such as those run by the Shoah Foundation Visual Archive or Yad Vashem, or as a memoir for reading, whether published or unpublished. The authors must have asked themselves what in their lives was worth telling and what was the moral of their struggles and successes. For this reason, absent aspects of the stories require our attention. Most noticeably, domestic space is virtually undescribed in these accounts. Neither men nor women organized their self-representation in a way that laid bare their intimate lives. This silence may be linked not only to

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the cultural norms of this generation raised in east-central Europe but also to what they lived through after leaving the University, and to their new homelands: in western Europe, in the United States and in Israel. In fact, it is the evocative power of the scenes of violence that shapes the experiences. Much about these experiences is recounted with the inevitable benefit of hindsight. Recording their experiences in Vienna, these individuals were aware of the impending rise of Nazism and the forthcoming mass murder, as well as of their own – future – departure from the city and possibly from the continent. Zila Rennert’s memoir offers a telling example, as she reflected on her initial encounters with ‘Nazis’ as early as 1927–8 – medical student colleagues whom she still considered at the time to be ‘friendly’ and who would accompany her home and flirt with her, although they were aware of her Jewishness. ‘I did not turn away from them [simply] because they did not share my political views. A few years later unfortunately they all became Nazis and at that point I broke all contacts with them and did not greet them again.’58

Global lives over time and space Sebastian Conrad reminds us that ‘our understanding of any event or process will vary depending on the temporal order of analysis. In principle, any occurrence can be interpreted within different and multiple time frames.’59 The protagonists of the current collective biography organized the memories of their past into a binding narrative based ‘before’ and ‘after’ the caesura of the Holocaust, which resounded in their new lives in altogether different places after the war. Accounts of Jewish medical students in Vienna, composed for the most part decades after the war in the United States, England and Israel, stress the global dimensions of their lives. A global identity was part, not only of their east European roots but also of their various emigrations. They stressed the hardship and the achievement of adjusting to new countries and showcased how they were able to rebuild their medical practices after emigration and in particular after the Holocaust. From this perspective, their daily lives and in particular their social relations and informal networks became secondary narrative threads and were relevant primarily in the context of seeking refuge. The long shadow of the Holocaust also probably contributed to rendering their prewar misfortunes irrelevant. Yet there is another possible reason for the uncanny silence in the memoirs and interviews which, for the most part, gloss over social and familial networks linking the students with their or their families’ backgrounds in eastern Europe. Former students, especially those educated in Vienna, may not have been eager to discuss their eastern

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European roots and may have chosen not to be identified with the category ‘Ostjuden’. Biographies of Jewish students from eastern Europe who studied medicine in Vienna can also raise questions about the role of cultural and religious identity, which suggest connections between men and women from diverse backgrounds. While they came to Vienna because of its prestige and its relative openness to Jewish students, their family backgrounds, cultural, social and economic basis, and approaches to gender and class may have been quite different. Thus, the departure from Vienna and the challenges of becoming a refugee or of surviving the Holocaust under the German occupation ultimately shaped the way medical students recall their university experiences and reflect on antisemitism in forming a collective identity. While their dreams of becoming physicians are important, and also their experiences of anatomy classes forming a turning point in achieving this, their life stories ultimately become part of the narrative ‘from Vienna to the new homelands’.

Concluding remarks Piecing together clues from university files, memoirs and family anecdotes highlights the complexity of the biographical patterns which emerge from the experiences of young Jews seeking medical training in Vienna. It also showcases aspects of the experiences they shared and chose to recall. In those accounts, their identity is constructed ex post facto and shaped primarily by their life during and after the Holocaust, as refugees and survivors. It is likely that these accounts rest on a range of later identity shifts: those who were unable to emigrate seem more closely connected to their eastern European roots, and those who were persecuted for being Jewish highlight this aspect of their intersectional identity. Whether raised in Vienna or moving there to enrol in its medical school, the students fashioned themselves primarily as physicians who overcame tragedy – either real or metaphorical – and made strategic movements between cultures as required. These life experiences also bring into focus the subjective and fluid definition of ‘eastern Europe’ as it was understood at the time, and as it is understood today in different contexts: political and cultural, scholarly and popular, often imbued with value judgement. Life stories recalled by former medical students also engage in the uses, construction and d ­ econstruction – whether conscious or not conscious – of the pejorative Ostjuden associated  with it. These terms, like other geographical divisions and social groupings, were still in circulation at the time of writing the memoirs and

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giving oral testimonies. They are used in contemporary sources and in later scholarship. While seemingly convenient, shorthand terms in large-scale analysis create much uncertainty when considered in relation to individual lives. Lives recalled between the two watershed periods of the Holocaust and the Cold War allowed these authors to organize their collective narratives. A close reading of these accounts showcases their trajectories of migration and uprootedness. The collective lens also suggests that, while personal stories show many individual variations, the east–west encounter – either experienced or perceived as such – is shared by many. So, in taking a collective approach to these students’ personal accounts, time and periodization emerge as crucial categories for examining self-image and self-fashioning.

Notes  1 USC Shoah Foundation Institute, testimony of Anita Karl, Oral History, VHA Interview Code: 9899.  2 Ibid. See also M. Karl, Escape a la vida (Lima: Imprenta Charito EIRL, 1989): 25, 179–180. For Joel Karl’s birth record and the date of his death see Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych (AGAD), F 300, S 2130, P 48, A 1141 (Jewish Records Indexing, JRI – Poland); JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR), Cemeterio Israelita de Lima.  3 S. Conrad, What is global history? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016): 141.  4 Yad Vashem Archive (henceforth YVA), H 0.3,1770, p. 1, 26 June 1961, Ramat Gan, Israel.  5 The work of Erna Lesky on the school during the nineteenth century shows how profound was this reputation. See E. Lesky, The Vienna Medical School of the 19th century (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976).  6 In particular, Judith Szapor, Michael Miller and Ágnes Kelemen have focussed on Hungarian students, especially Hungarian Jewish students driven out of Hungary by numerus clausus. For the concept of ‘numerus clausus exiles’ see M. L. Miller, ‘Numerus clausus exiles: Hungarian Jewish students in inter-war Berlin’, in Research reports on central European history, vol. 1: The numerus clausus in Hungary: studies on the first anti-Jewish law and academic antisemitism in modern central Europe, ed. Victor Karady and Peter Tibor Nagy (Budapest: Pasts Inc. Centre for Historical Research, History Department of the Central European University, 2012), 206–18. See Á. Kelemen, ‘Migration and exile: Hungarian medical students in Vienna and Prague, 1920–1938’, in János Kenyeres, Miklós Lojkó, Tamás Magyarics and Eszter Eva Szabó (eds), At the crossroads of human fate and history: studies in honour of Tibor Frank on his 70th birthday (Budapest: School of English and American Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Eötvös Loránd University, 2018). See also J. Szapor, ‘Between selfdefense and loyalty; Jewish responses to the numerus clausus law in Hungary,

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1920–1928’, in S.I.M.O.N. Shoah: Intervention. Methods. Documentation, 6/2019, 21–34.  7 On the origins of the category see M. Raggam-Blesch, Zwischen Ost und West: Identitätskonstruktionen jüdischer Frauen in Wien. Schriften des Centrums für Jüdische Studien.Vol. 10 (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2018): 72–5. See also G. E. Berkley, Vienna and its Jews: the tragedy of success, 1880s–1980s (Cambridge, MA: Abt Books/ Madison Books, 1988): 149–161,168–169; B.  F. Pauley, ‘Political antisemitism in interwar Vienna’, in Hostages of modernization, vol.  3/2: Austria – Hungary – Poland – Russia, ed. Herbert A. Strauss (Berlin and Boston, MA: De Gruyter, 1993), 811–35; D. Rechter, ‘Staat, Gesellschaft, Minderheit: Die Judenfrage im österreichischen Habsburg’ in M. Hettling, M. G. Müller and G. Hausmann (eds), Die ‘Judenfrage’ – ein europäisches Phänomen? (Berlin: Metropol Verlag, 2013), 205–27.  8 Z. Rennert, Trzy wagony bydlęce. Od pierwszej do drugiej wojny światowej – podróż przez Europę Środkowa lat 1914–1946 (Warsaw: ŻIH, 2016): 85.  9 Ibid., 85–6. Two years later she married a Polish Jewish engineer and as a result lost her Austrian citizenship. 10 See David Eker, oral interview with the author, June 2018. 11 Miriam Berger (Mira Broder), interview conducted by Michaela Raggam, transcript 28 August 2000, New York, 1–4. I would like to thank Michaela Raggam for sharing this transcript with me. 12 Berger (Mira Broder), interview by Raggam, 4. 13 Ibid., 9. 14 Kelemen, ‘Migration and exile’, 237–8. 15 M. Kun, Kedves Hilda, Egy elmeorvos az elmebeteg huszadik században (Budapest: Medicina, 2004): 31, cited in Kelemen, ‘Migration and exile’, 222. 16 YVA, 0.33, 5892, R. H. Bock, In God’s hands: an autobiography: 13. 17 Fanny Stang, Fräulein Doktor (Sussex: The Book Guild, 1988): 11, 25. For an obituary of Stang see www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b694 (accessed 9 March 2020). 18 Stang, Fräulein Doktor, 44. 19 Ibid., 80. 20 Ibid., 88. She noted her father’s opposition to the idea of studying medicine, linking it in her book with the Jewish communal culture: ‘father had brought some of his cronies up from the synagogue. A few had sons at the university. They were against girls studying, I knew. Out of self-interest, I suspected unkindly, for they might well have been genuine obscurantists. They probably resent their doctor sons’ potential dowries being diminished by university fees wasted on girls, I thought as I eavesdropped for a few minutes. “If she wants to be a Frau Doktor, she can marry my son. He’ll qualify in a year or two.” That joke was haunting me.’ See ibid., 91. 21 Kelemen, ‘Migration and exile’, 223. 22 Ibid. 23 See Á. Kelemen, ‘The exiles of the numerus clausus in Italy’, Judaica Olomucensia (2014), 56–103.

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24 USC Shoah Foundation Institute, testimony of Igor Kling, VHA Interview Code 985, 13 February 1995. 25 Stang, Fräulein Doktor, 95. 26 Ibid., 96–7. 27 Rennert, Trzy wagony bydlęce, 86. 28 Berger (Mira Broder), interview by Raggam, 8. 29 Leo Baeck Institute Archives (henceforth LBIA), ME 834, Dora Gross Moszkowski, ‘Life story’: 9–10. In the text online there is no hyphen, but a married woman would have hyphenated her name and so I use GrossMoszkowski in the text. 30 YVA, 0.33, 5892, Bock, In God’s hands, 12–13. Also see R. H. Bock, Gratefully looking back: a doctor’s special journey (Riverside, CA: Ariadne Press, 2002). 31 Stang, Fräulein Doktor, 96. 32 Ibid., 96. 33 See the account of Edith Hacker (née Popper) (1910–2002), LBIA, Austrian Heritage Collection, ME 1185, oral history interview with Edith Hacker. She attended the Medical School in Vienna (1929–35) and worked as a Hospitantin (assistant physician) in a hospital in Favoriten until 1938. Edith was also a member of the Austrian Social Democratic youth organization Jungfront. In 1934, she was arrested and locked up for a day. In March 1938, she fled from Vienna to France (Paris), and then to England (London), arriving in New York in March 1940. 34 Rennert, Trzy wagony bydlece, 86. 35 Ibid., 87. 36 LBIA, LBI Memoir Collection, ME 1202, David Lehr, Austria before and after the Anschluss: personal experiences, observations and comments (New York, 1998, self-published): 40. See also his obituary: https://issuu.com/newyorkmedi calcollege/docs/chironian-fall-winter_2011/34 (accessed 9 March 2020). For information about his father Salomon see ‘Bukoviner abroad’, at www.jewish gen.org/yizkor/Bukowinabook/buk2_197.html (accessed 9 March 2020). 37 See Gedenkbuch für die Opfer des Nazionalsozialismus an der Universität Wien, at http://gedenkbuch.univie.ac.at/index.php?id=435&no_cache=1&person_ single_id=10546&person_name=&person_geburtstag_tag=not_selected&per son_geburtstag_monat=not_selected&person_geburtstag_jahr=not_selected &person_fakultaet=not_selected&person_kategorie=not_selected&person_ volltextsuche=&search_person.x=1&result_page=25 (accessed 31 January 2018). 38 See the record of Berta Amstetter (born in 1913 in Zedowice), at http:// gedenkbuch.univie.ac.at/index.php?id=435&no_cache=1&person_sing le_id=22779&person_name=&person_geburtstag_tag=not_selected& person_geburtstag_monat=not_selected&person_geburtstag_jahr=not_selected &person_fakultaet=4&person_kategorie=1&person_volltextsuche= Polen&search_person.x=1&result_page=1 (accessed 31 January 2018). 39 Bock, In God’s hands, 13. 40 LBIA, Lehr, Austria before and after the Anschluss, 10–11.

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41 Ibid., 11. 42 Ibid. 43 Ibid. 44 László Farádi, Diagnozis az életemrol (Budapest, Gondolat: 1983): 65–66, 70–71, 86. 45 Farádi talks about him primarily as a doctor (though he does note that Chvostek excluded women students, and discusses at length how this was enforced). 46 See Birgit Nemec and Klaus Taschwer, ‘Terror gegen Tandler. Kontext und Chronik der antisemitischen Attacken am I. Anatomischen Institut der Universität Wien, 1910 bis 1933’, in Oliver Rathkolb (ed.), Der lange Schatten des Antisemitismus. Kritische Auseinandersetzungen mit der Geschichte der Universität Wien im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen and Vienna: Vienna University Press, 2013), 147–71. 47 Ibid., 149. 48 LBIA, Lehr, Austria before and after the Anschluss, 40–41. 49 Ibid., 42. 50 Ibid., 43. 51 Ibid., 44. 52 Stang, Fräulein Doktor, 100. 53 Ibid., 104. 54 Ibid., 106. 55 See LBIA, Lehr, Austria before and after the Anschluss, 41. 56 Stang, Fräulein Doktor, 57. 57 Ibid., 103. 58 Rennert, Trzy wagony bydlęce, 88. 59 Conrad, What is global history?, 146.

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Part II

Exceptional normal

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5 Just an African radical? A Zambian at the edge of the Third World Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Ismay Milford

It is rumoured that Zambian anticolonial activist Munukayumbwa Sipalo (1929–94) was at Bandung – that is to say, that he attended the famous Asian-African Conference of statesmen in the Indonesian city in 1955.1 The claim is not surprising: Bandung’s vast symbolic capital has made it the object of a politics of citation ever since, not least in accounts of postcolonial nationhood.2 Whether Sipalo was there is another question. I have not found archival sources to place him in Indonesia, and it is clear he was not an official delegate or observer, even if he was among the crowds outside the conference hall.3 In the months that followed this near-mythical event, however, Sipalo certainly was a central actor in three similarly transnational but little-documented anticolonial meetings in Omdurman, Cairo  and  Bombay – and one rather famous one in Belgrade. While the Bandung anecdote recurs in accounts of Sipalo’s life, these other conferences are absent.4 This discrepancy is central to understanding what Sipalo (whether or not he was at Bandung) can tell us about the global force that I refer to here as the Third World political project – that is, the coordinated, antiimperial and non-aligned, internationalist endeavour with which Bandung is routinely associated.5 The analytical tool ‘exceptional normal’ is key to this intervention. Fellow activist Simon Zukas described Sipalo as ‘just an African radical’.6 His comment evokes a broader history of African nationalism in the context of Third Worldism and global decolonization, of which Sipalo was a normal – as in representative, typical – feature. Sipalo assumes a similar role in histories of Zambia. And, as I will explain, the Bandung rumour fits comfortably into this picture of a normal African radical. However, the meetings in Omdurman, Cairo, Bombay and Belgrade do not. It is by following Sipalo to these events, in this chapter, that an exceptional aspect of his biography emerges. Sipalo was an elite, male actor and a regular feature in the canon of Zambian nationalism, but he was intermittently marginalized from both the global Third World project

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and Zambian nationalist politics. It is the interplay between these processes that is exceptional, relative to the picture of African nationalism that Zukas evoked. By bringing out this exceptionality in this chapter, through Sipalo we can highlight histories of the Third World project that might, after all, turn out to be normal: normal in that they are quotidian, unglamorous, not at all legendary; normal in that they come from the wellpopulated edges of a political project whose internal power dynamics were deeply unequal. These stories, of the unglamorous and the unequal in the Third World political project, are precisely what is called for in a recent wave of scholarship on global decolonization in the Bandung era.7 Historians have begun stripping back the self-styled narratives of media-savvy landmark conferences and looking beyond the speeches of the era’s leading statesmen, such as Sukarno, Jawaharlal Nehru, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Kwame Nkrumah.8 As a result, we are now seeing the breadth of the initiatives – exchanges of publications, students, artwork and skills – that defined this postwar period of heightened cooperation and connectivity between decolonizing countries.9 This activity was driven by a professed antiimperialism, a level of commitment to Cold War non-alignment and a wide range of visions for a global order that differed, sometimes radically, from the one that had supported European exploitation of people and resources across Africa, Asia and the Americas.10 Crucially, the Third World project was a movement with its own internal contestations, the shape of which are coming into focus through research on actors whose ideas and labour were pushed out of Bandung’s own myth-making.11 The story that thus emerges, of decolonization and the Cold War – perhaps the defining global phenomena of the second half of the twentieth century – is more complex, more conflict-ridden, less state-centric and less heroic than the conventional narrative. Here, I suggest that global biography is one important method in this collaborative historiographical endeavour and, in particular, that subSaharan African actors, who continue to feature little in the revisionist Bandung scholarship, offer situated stories of the unequal power dynamics of the Third World political project.12 Biography, as methodology and genre, has played a prominent role in writing scholarly and public histories of ­twentieth-century sub-Saharan Africa.13 If the life stories of anticolonial father-figures were once a component of postcolonial nation-making, historians of Africa have led the way in using biography as a critical method for challenging dominant nationalist narratives, either through alternative subjects or through an emphasis on performance and memorialization.14 Yet rarely have biographies of African men and women been used as a prism through which to survey and thus challenge how we understand and

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Just an African radical? Munukayumbwa Sipalo 107

narrate global structural forces, due both to pervasive delineations between sub-fields and to a recognition that the continent has been marginalized in global governance and the global economy.15 My understanding of global biography relates to this methodological move, not to any claim that ‘global’ is the best way to describe Sipalo’s life, or that his life qualified as more global than any other. Sipalo’s life spanned a period of fundamental changes in Zambia’s relationship to the world. In 1924, a few years before Sipalo’s birth, the protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, as Zambia was then known, was taken under British Colonial Office administration, having been under the jurisdiction of the British South Africa Company since the turn of the century. The late 1920s witnessed the beginning of large-scale exploitation of the central African copper belt. The copper industry would mark Zambian political terrain in the following decades, especially when the stakes of multinational mining companies in African politics played out violently in neighbouring Congo during the 1960s.16 Sipalo came of age in the aftermath of the Second World War, when demands for socioeconomic opportunities and democratic rights grew across the continent – and indeed the decolonizing world. In Northern Rhodesia, these demands appeared to face a setback with the imposition of the settler-governed Central African Federation in 1953, encompassing Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland  (present-day Malawi) and Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe).  Opposition to the Federation became a rallying anticolonial call both within the region and internationally.17 In December 1963, the Federation collapsed beneath multiple pressures from across the Cold War world. Zambia won independence in October 1964 and remained involved in independence struggles across southern Africa for the next three decades. This chapter begins by outlining how Sipalo has been cast as ‘just an African radical’ in the Zambian setting, how this narrated role interacts with his global biography and how his exceptionality emerges in the interplay between the national and the global. The next two sections open up this space of exceptionality. Concretely, this takes us to Sipalo’s departure from Northern Rhodesia in 1953 to study in India and to two pan-African conferences. I then explore Sipalo’s increasingly visible place in a complex anticolonial network of people, organizations and publications around 1960, following him to Accra and to the climax of his global biography at the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade, prior to his retreat from public life.18 Throughout, I place particular emphasis on how Sipalo interpreted, performed and sought to challenge his shifting relationship to the Third World project. His conferencing and publishing activities provide a critical counterpoint to the myth of Bandung.

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A normal radical in defence

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On the day before Zambian independence in October 1964, football commentator Dennis Liwewe broadcast a radio commentary of an imagined football match ‘Zambia vs British Colonials’. Sipalo was a key player, personally preventing two critical British goals: the sweeper who is the back bone of the Zambian defence is Munukayumbwa Sipalo … [Alexander] Chamberlain has only Munukayumbwa Sipalo to beat! Sipalo slide-tackles Chamberlain, the ball bounces out of bounds for Britain’s seventh corner! … Sir Roy Welensky heads the ball into Zambia’s penalty area in a dangerous situation! Commotion in front of Zambia’s goal area! Away! Sipalo clears it away in a dangerous situation!19

There was clear entertainment value in the football match analogy, especially on the eve of independence celebrations. Needless to say, Zambia won Liwewe’s choreographed match and it was the incoming prime minister, Kenneth Kaunda, who scored the single, winning goal. For our purposes, however, Liwewe’s commentary directs us to think about how individual lives serve narration, at multiple scales, and how notions of normal are constructed in the process. The normal with which I begin this chapter is about these questions of narration and representativeness, rather than about the ordinary lives of a majority. Liwewe’s commentary concerned the birth of a nation and Sipalo, as a member of the Zambia team, served this narrative. In this sense, the broadcast echoed categories of analysis common to more conventional forms of political commentary at the time and in the decade or so that followed: a group of (male) players were to represent the united nation and lead the struggle against the colonial state, albeit each with their own match personalities – Sipalo as steadfast, uncompromising and radical, for example.20 Stories of players, team and match were thus self-reinforcing: each worked to confirm that the other was normal, even natural.21 Since Liwewe’s broadcast, Sipalo’s name has appeared in histories of Zambian politics that emphatically deconstruct the myth of national(ist) unity, highlighting regional, generational and personal conflicts.22 Yet still he appears as normal, representative. Sipalo was born in 1929 to missioneducated parents in the Mongu district of Barotseland, a historically powerful, semi-autonomous kingdom in the south-west of the country: he is often mentioned among a group of Lozi politicians from this region.23 He left Barotseland to attend Munali Secondary School, along with several other members of Zambia’s political elite including Kenneth Kaunda. In debates over the direction of nationalist party politics in the 1950s and 1960s, Sipalo represented a younger, more radical, socialist-leaning group.

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Just an African radical? Munukayumbwa Sipalo 109

It was in this respect that he was ‘an African radical’, whose life paralleled that of other activists in other national liberation struggles across the continent, who, broadly speaking, pushed for unconditional, immediately timetabled, full independence, rather than gradual concessions and colonial-led constitutional reform. As Lozi and radical, Sipalo moved in and out of the core of nationalist party politics. He was briefly secretary-general of what would later become independent Zambia’s ruling United National Independence Party (UNIP), and at various moments in the 1960s held positions as Minister of Natural Resources, of Labour, of Agriculture and of Health.24 At other times, he was ostracized and kept out of the way, due to fears that he was a liability to the image of a respectable political party, notably during Zambia’s critical 1962 elections and after 1968.25 Even as historians understand more about the contested nature of Zambian nationhood, then, Sipalo remains a representative, normal, feature. As I suggested in the introduction, however, Sipalo’s reputation as ‘just an African radical’ – as a normal manifestation of African radicalism – was never fully contained within national borders. This reputation also relied on references to the broader context of global decolonization and Third Worldism, like the symbol of Bandung. Indeed, Sipalo’s extensive physical mobility over the course of the 1950s was critical to the construction of his status as a radical. This construction is worth tracing. First, it is frequently asserted that Sipalo was ‘radicalized’ in Nehru’s India.26 Sipalo was in his mid-twenties when he won an Indian state scholarship to study Law in Delhi  in 1953. He had already applied, unsuccessfully, for a scholarship to study in South Africa, another of the few possible destinations for higher education for east and central Africans. His Indian scholarship  was obtained through the Indian High Commissioner in Nairobi, Apa Pant, who was in contact with the Barotseland ruling elite. Pant’s  efforts to  connect with young scholars in the region was part of Prime Minister Nehru’s broader interest in revitalizing long-standing links across the Indian Ocean for a postcolonial era.27 Illustratively, an African Studies department – the first in Asia – opened at the University of Delhi in 1955.28 It was on his return to Northern Rhodesia in 1957, following his Indian sojourn, that Sipalo’s reputation as a normal African radical emerged. Initially, he devoted himself to political organizing in Mongu, the district of his birth. That same year, he penned a political tract entitled ‘The path’, outlining plans to organize a political vanguard of ‘well-trained, trusted and selected young men’ who would communicate secretly by way of messengers and a handshake.29 Individual dedication was central to the imagined potential of this secret network: the motto would be ‘Sacrifice, service,

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s­ uffering’ while members were to be on guard against ‘informers, betrayers [and] traitors’.30 Soon after, Sipalo was a leading figure in a radical breakaway from what had until then been the main nationalist vehicle, the Northern Rhodesia African National Congress.31 This new breakaway party, the Zambia African National Congress, was soon banned. Sipalo (along with Kaunda) was imprisoned for nine months in 1959–60 on the grounds of sedition. During this time, a peer from his school days, Mainza Chona, founded a replacement party, UNIP. On his release, Sipalo took on a leading position in UNIP, and seemingly adopted a more cautious line in his public statements. One 1960 speech, for example, revolved around non-violence, UNIP’s official policy: ‘of course I am referring to Mahatma Ghandi’, he explained.32 Nevertheless, his writing, which at times was circulated without official UNIP authorization, often rebelled against the party line. One 1961 pamphlet, ‘UNIP on solidarity’, alleged sabotage within and from outside the party through a ‘whisper campaign’.33 Shortly afterwards, he wrote in private correspondence (with echoes of Mao Zedong): ‘A revolution is not an invitation to dinner, it is a straight-forward issue. In dealing with a tiger (colonialism and imperialism) there are only two ways[,] either you kill it or it kills you.’34 A year later, in December 1962, Sipalo narrowly survived an assassination attempt when a petrol bomb was dropped through his letterbox.35 Sipalo’s political trajectory in Zambia following his return from India in 1957 was thus the substance for the construction of his role as ‘just an African radical’ – crystallized by the time Liwewe caricatured it in 1964. This role was important for the narration of the Zambian ‘team’ and their ‘match’ against the colonial state. It was a role in the national story, even though this same radicalism saw Sipalo periodically marginalized from Zambian politics, and even if it relied on evoking the global history of the Third World, through references to Gandhi, Nehru, Mao or Bandung. In this chapter, however, Sipalo will do more than serve the narration of a normal African radicalism in the context of the Third World project: by following Sipalo out of Zambia and locating him in the complex relationship between the national and global spheres, beyond a politics of citation, his exceptionality emerges.

Conferences that never happened In 1955–6, in the months following Bandung, Sipalo organized two conferences that never happened. These conferences have been overlooked by historians of the Third World project and in accounts of Sipalo’s

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life – unsurprisingly, given their apparent failure. Sipalo’s thwarted ambitions, however, demonstrate the exceptional aspect of his global biography, beyond references to Bandung that reinforce the role of a normal African radical. Sipalo’s desire to make a conference happen was very much in keeping with the prevailing priorities of twentieth-century global antiimperialism. During the 1950s, both in India and in Northern Rhodesia, he was witness to the growing importance of formal anticolonial meetings which crossed national-colonial borders, Bandung being the much-cited archetype. However, organizing a pan-African conference in a territory still under colonial rule was difficult, as leaders in east and west Africa alike discovered during the early 1950s.36 On such occasions, for example in 1953 in Lusaka, the capital of Northern Rhodesia, colonial governments refused to issue potential delegates passports or hosting colonial states refused them entry.37 The success of anticolonial conferences in India and Indonesia, on the other hand, demonstrated the advantages of a newly independent county acting as host. Such potential hosts were emerging on the African continent in the mid1950s. In this context, Sipalo invited ‘all African youth and national organisations’ to a five-day All African Youth Festival in Omdurman, Sudan, to be held between 19 and 23 December 1955.38 Sudan was not to gain full independence until 1956, but was internally self-governed. While the conference name may have been a reference to the Soviet-sponsored World Youth Festivals, this meeting was to take place under the auspices of the Africa Bureau, based in Delhi.39 Sipalo had formed this Africa Bureau a year previously, and ran it together with Kenyan and Ugandan students in Delhi. The small, informal venture sought to collate and disseminate information on African politics, notably through a periodical, Resurgent Africa. Its activities overlapped, firstly, with those of an increasingly vocal African student population in India channelled through the African Student Association (formed in Delhi in December 1953) and, secondly, with increasingly vigorous anticolonial coordination among Asia’s independent states, notably through the Asian Socialist Conference (ASC), to which we will return.40 Sipalo’s invitation to the All African Youth Festival at Omdurman was ambitious: the meeting could have been the first of its kind to take place on the African continent. It anticipated sixty delegates representing nearly as many African countries and claimed to have ‘the moral sympathy of the African Asian states’ as well as the practical backing of the Sudanese and Egyptian governments. The conference aims were explicitly pan-African, covering discussion of ‘the position of Africa and its people in the world today’ with a view to promoting ‘cooperation among the peoples of Africa’ through a ‘permanent organisation’.41 This was a far-sighted vision for a group of students in Delhi: the idea of a permanent organization attached

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to regular pan-African conferences became a reality three years later, in the form of Nkrumah’s famous All-African People’s Conference and its Permanent Secretariat. But Sipalo’s Omdurman conference never happened. This was seemingly due to a combination of reluctance on the part of the Sudanese government (anxious not to endanger full political independence, which was unilaterally declared on the very day that Sipalo’s conference should have begun) and the difficulty of funding and securing passports for delegates. Nevertheless, Sipalo did not abandon the idea. In 1956, he secured funding to attend a seminar organized in Prague by the Soviet-sponsored International Union of Students, where he chaired one session.42 He used the opportunity to travel to Moscow and Budapest, from where (just weeks before the Hungarian uprising) he wrote to colleagues in Northern Rhodesia that plans for a Pan-African Youth Conference were ‘up again’, likely buoyed by financial support from the international youth and student movement.43 He secured an Egyptian visa and headed to Cairo to begin preparations. Cairo, which already had a tradition of hosting radical exiles, was an obvious choice for the conference, especially since the 1952 Egyptian revolution that had brought Gamal Abdel Nasser to power. All the same, in early 1956 Sipalo could not have known the extent to which Cairo would assume new symbolic power just a few months later and become a hub for African liberation movements in the late 1950s.44 Now extending his remit beyond ‘youth’, Sipalo sent invitations for a ‘Special Committee of all the Liberation Movements in Africa’ to meet in Cairo in August 1956.45 He was the sole signatory of the invitation, but there was clear continuity with the failed conference the previous year. The aims of the meeting remained broadly the same, as did the plan to divide the conference into a Political Committee, a Cultural and Education Committee and so on. Sipalo elaborated on these aims and included a list of organizations invited to send delegates – mainly political parties. The pan-African basis for the meeting was also further justified: ‘In exploiting Africa, European powers have shown a remarkable amount of unity … We cannot fight with united European powers unless we ourselves are united.’ But once again, the conference did not happen, at least at its intended scale: it was overtaken by an international crisis following Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal on 26 July 1956, just a week before Sipalo’s meeting was to be held.46 The sheer breadth and scale of the networks Sipalo constructed in the three years after arriving in India in 1953 was exceptional. Even before he made a decisive, formal entrance into Zambian party politics, his networks embraced Cold War student groups in Europe and high-ranking officials of newly independent states. Yet Sipalo’s capacity for organizing a large-scale

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international conference was far removed from that of Indonesian president Sukarno, the figurehead of the Bandung Conference. There was an element of unlucky timing in Sipalo’s plans, given the international context of the Suez crisis, yet this same timing would have made these meetings watersheds in the history of pan-African coordination. Ultimately, it was  the lack of Egyptian and Sudanese backing that prevented the meetings happening, even as these same states fashioned themselves as patrons of anti-imperial liberation.47 Through Sipalo’s story, we are thus privy to the exclusionary power dynamics of the Third World project: statesmen in newly independent nations not only held the media limelight but were also gatekeepers for the participation of colonial subjects. In this social field, Sipalo’s possibilities for effective negotiation were limited: his conferences relied upon these statesmen, to allow participants across their borders and to provide legitimacy and practical support. Deflated, Sipalo wrote to a colleague in 1957 that ‘[t]he Sudanese and the Egyptians have disappointed’.48

Global patrons from Bombay to Belgrade Just three months after the Cairo conference that never happened, Sipalo had something of a breakthrough. Still with a pan-African conference in mind, he found a platform with an audience of anticolonial patrons and supporters to whom he could present the priorities of African liberation movements from countries still under colonial rule. This was the Second Anti-Colonial Bureau of the ASC, held in Bombay in November 1956. There was continuity here with Sipalo’s work in previous years: his Delhi Africa Bureau and its political wing, the African Liberation Committee, worked closely with the ASC. Founded in Rangoon in 1953, shortly before Sipalo arrived in Asia, the ASC had a dedicated Anti-Colonial Bureau. The 1956 Bombay meeting represented the peak of the activities of this Bureau: the ASC’s work and prominence dwindled soon after, in large part because of the existential crises faced by its members, Asian political parties who were often in opposition in newly independent countries pushing for strong, centralized states.49 At the Bombay conference, African delegates were few: many faced the same border restrictions and passport refusals that had prevented panAfrican conferences in previous years. Sipalo seems to have been the most prominent sub-Saharan African delegate and the only one to address the conference, with three hours in the timetable allotted for the presentation of his two-page memorandum on behalf of the African Liberation Committee.50 In this memorandum, Sipalo argued that African liberation

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movements deserved external support – the sort of support he had struggled to secure from Egypt and Sudan:

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It is our firm belief that world-peace [sic] and dynamic co-existence lie in the freedom of all the oppressed masses and the Peoples of Africa have been hitherto the most oppressed on Earth. While we realise the fact that the entire responsibility of freeing Africa from the most iniquitous of all colonial exploitation lies in the hands of the African people, we would fail our fatherland if we did not seek external support.51

The audience for this vision of interconnected struggles (around a hundred delegates and observers) included individuals and organizations that would prove critical to Sipalo’s opportunities for negotiation in the coming years. Among them were Kurt Kristiansson, the Swedish secretary-general of the (democratic socialist) International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), and Joseph Murumbi, a Kenyan-Goan internationalist exiled from Mau Mau-era Kenya and secretary in London of the Labour Left lobbying group, the Movement for Colonial Freedom (MCF).52 It was some years before these networks became manifest in Sipalo’s work – and before a seat at the table of Third World leaders materialized. Following the Bombay meeting, Sipalo travelled back to Northern Rhodesia, briefly detained and declared a prohibited immigrant in Kenya en route.53 We saw what happened next in the first part of this chapter: Sipalo was a central actor in the breakaway of the radical wing of the nationalist movement and the early days of UNIP. His role as ‘just an African radical’, with cursory reference to his India days and alleged Bandung attendance, was solidified. Wider developments during this period paved the way for Sipalo’s reinvigorated participation in the high-profile activities of the Third World political project. As UNIP (and its rivalry with other nationalist parties) grew, party officials increasingly recognized the value of external support from independent governments. This happened in tandem with the growing capacity of independent states in Africa to host international conferences (pan-African and Afro-Asian). The founding conferences of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organisation in Cairo, December 1957, and of the AllAfrican People’s Conference (AAPC) in Accra, December 1958, were both followed by regular secretariat meetings and offshoots in the years that followed. By mid-1960, Sipalo was a regular presence on the conference circuit, exceptionally managing to evade colonial attempts to limit the international mobility of outspoken anticolonial activists, despite the apparent confiscation of his passport.54 In April 1960, he attended the Positive Action Conference in Accra and the second conference of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organisation in Conakry; in March 1961, he led the UNIP

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­ elegation, which included one of few women delegates Margaret Mbeba, d to the Third AAPC in Cairo.55 Sipalo’s exceptional familiarity with the workings and patrons of the Third World political project (exceptional relative to other Zambian activists) allowed him to construct a convincing case that UNIP’s (and Zambia’s) plight should be at the top of the Third World agenda. Sipalo’s speech at Cairo outlined a fundamentally interconnected series of struggles across the African continent: he lamented that 1960, the supposed ‘year of Africa’, had witnessed the massacre of Black protesters in the South African township of Sharpeville, the murder of democratically elected Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and civilian deaths at the hands of colonial police in Angola.56 All these events received considerable media coverage and prompted widespread protests across and beyond Africa.57 Sipalo located Northern Rhodesia and the Central African Federation centrally within this pattern, applying to the Federation an analogy increasingly evoked by anticolonial activists, that it was the ‘parallel of Hitlerism and Gestapo, the authoritarianism of the Fascists’. He called on independent states to boycott all trade with the Federation and to ban Federal flights from their airspace, a tactic that was never to gain traction in the way it would against the South African state.58 In the months that followed this March 1961 Cairo conference, Sipalo’s attempts to put Zambia on the agenda of the emerging Third World diplomacy reached their climax. This work took several forms. On one hand, Sipalo now attempted to capitalize on the networks he had been building since 1953. Stationed in Accra, he met Kwame Nkrumah personally, with the immediate aim of obtaining spaces on Ghanaian training courses for Zambians, but with the broader intention of keeping the Central African Federation at the forefront of the pan-African agenda.59 He wrote to the AAPC requesting that it, and all independent states represented within it, exert more pressure on the British government to cease support for the Federation.60 At the same time, he kept in regular contact with Cold War youth organizations like IUSY well into the mid-1960s and attended meetings in London of the MCF – both contacts he had made in Bombay.61 The crucial counterpart to this work was Sipalo’s commitment to publishing. By 1961, UNIP party publishing had gained momentum, with newsletters published out of Cairo, London, Los Angeles and Lusaka.62 It was seemingly thanks to Sipalo that IUSY donated a much-needed typewriter to the party’s youth wing that year.63 Just like Resurgent Africa of Sipalo’s Delhi days, however, the question remained how to secure a readership and a stable circulation, especially given precarious finances. Sipalo thus set his sights on one of the best known pan-African periodicals of the time, the Voice of Africa, published from Accra by Nkrumah’s Bureau for African

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Affairs, and circulated in Europe and the USA as well as across the continent.64 He built closer links with the magazine than most non-Ghanaians, briefly acting as associate editor.65 Between mid-1961 and mid-1962 he contributed frequent articles that highlighted escalating police brutality and increased oppression in the Federation, issues he insisted were being overlooked amid the media attention directed at the Congo crisis and the Algerian war of independence.66 Sipalo’s quest for an influential international audience for his writing peaked at the founding conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade in September 1961. His presence at the conference is difficult to explain: quite likely his links with Cairo, Accra and Delhi helped. The traces of his involvement survive in the form of a conspiracy pamphlet that he circulated, within or outside the conference. An artefact of Cold War competition to influence liberation movements, the pamphlet was published in Cairo. It claimed to reproduce a letter (that was probably a Soviet forgery) detailing British plans to protect UK power and interests in Africa while granting nominal self-government to African territories. There is continuity with Sipalo’s global ambitions despite this specific Cold War context: he and his colleague Reuben Kamanga, who headed UNIP’s Cairo office, wrote in the foreword that they ‘want[ed] this document to reach all the corners of Africa and the entire world so that all freedom loving peoples may help us rid ourselves of this terrible menace of Colonial Rule’.67 The high-profile setting for the pamphlet’s circulation belied yet another disappointment. The pamphlet received limited attention in the international press, although it was partly reproduced in Voice of Africa and banned (along with other publications from Cairo) in Northern Rhodesia.68 Moreover, it is unclear whether party leadership approved of the pamphlet and its foreword. It has been suggested that UNIP officials placed Sipalo in Accra to keep him out of the way of party work in Northern Rhodesia and moved him to the UNIP London office in the middle of 1962, ahead of critical elections, without giving him any say in the matter.69 His global lobbying around 1960, exceptional in its reach, was thus a product of his marginalization in Zambian nationalist politics. By the time Zambia won full independence in October 1964, the most physically mobile period of Sipalo’s career was behind him. Nevertheless, it was during the late 1960s and into the 1970s that Zambia assumed a leading role in the coordinated action of postcolonial states.70 Through alliances in the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity, Zambia continued to place pressure on settler and colonial regimes, notably in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola and Mozambique (which, except for South Africa, all bordered Zambia) and maintained a broader anti-imperial stance, calling out US aggressions in Vietnam, for example. Lusaka hosted

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the third Non-Aligned Conference in 1970, and Kaunda was chairman of the Organisation of African Unity in 1970–71. The anti-imperial coordination – and Zambia’s role in it – that Sipalo had championed in previous decades thus played out in the international arena, even as he was increasingly marginalized as a political player in his national setting. In 1966, Sipalo released a statement for the occasion of the second anniversary of Nehru’s death, saying that, a decade after leaving India, his ‘thoughts return to [Nehru] from time to time’ and that India must continue on the path of non-alignment and peaceful coexistence that Nehru had set out.71 Soon after, Sipalo lost his position in the party and his parliamentary seat. He was accused of being involved in the misappropriation of public funds in 1970 and appeared in court in 1971 charged with theft.72 He died in 1994, the same year that the promise of international cooperation across the continent was for many observers renewed, as South Africa held its first democratic elections.

Conclusion Conventional archival sources and published accounts give almost no insight into Sipalo’s personal life. I have found no reference to family members who survived him. Fellow activist Simon Zukas recalled that Sipalo suffered from alcoholism and spent time in and out of rehabilitation institutions from the 1960s.73 The taboo surrounding addiction in public office and the disruption that illness brings to an individual life may partly explain the dearth of information about Sipalo’s life beyond its public, political facade. There thus remain significant gaps in Sipalo’s biography, especially in relation to his life before he left for India in 1953 and after he became less visible in Zambian parliamentary politics after 1968. In one of the few scraps of information about his adolescence, a master at Sipalo’s colonial secondary school described him as ‘diffident’ and ‘lonely’, with ‘little imagination’ and a ‘flair for History’.74 His global biography of the 1950s and early 1960s, in which he pursued remarkably ambitious political publishing and conferencing, often seemingly single-handedly, fits awkwardly with this picture. The intention of this chapter, however, has not been to paint a coherent picture of Sipalo as an individual. Rather, Sipalo demonstrates how biography can serve as a productive tool for writing global histories, not as illustration or decoration, but to open up a new perspective on the Third World political project. This project, as I have described it here, is increasingly recognized as a global force in the history of decolonization and the Cold War during the second half of the twentieth century. As the expansiveness

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of this political project comes into focus, historians emphasize parallel and competing threads within the histories of Afro-Asianism, pan-Africanism and non-alignment, recognizing the multiplicity of political worlds that the Third World project encompassed. Understood through the analytical tool exceptional–normal, Sipalo’s biography offers an important contribution and corrective to recent scholarship on this global force. The ‘normal’ we began with was the narrative of African nationalism in the context of the Third World project, in which Sipalo was ‘just an African radical’ – a normal, typical feature of this story. Sipalo’s relationship to the global project was a matter of citation. Yet, by probing this relationship to the global, through a string of largely inconsequential projects, the exceptional aspect of Sipalo’s biography emerges. For a Zambian activist of his generation, and even for a nationalist party office-holder, Sipalo’s physical connections to the people and places that punctuate conventional histories of the era was exceptional: he met three of the biggest personalities of the moment, Nehru, Nasser and Nkrumah, certainly in the context of conferences mentioned here and quite likely in individual encounters; he can be linked to two of the most famous (and mythologized) gatherings of the period, the Bandung conference of 1955 and the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, even if he was not a delegate to either. Yet these well-remembered highlights had their counterpart in the activities of historical actors, like Sipalo, who worked in the shadow of them, seeking opportunities for a platform, often without aligning themselves to a particular leader or organization. Sipalo’s participation in the Third World project, as I have demonstrated, happened in uneasy interplay with Zambian nationalist politics, from which he was periodically excluded. As we document this activity, previously absent from published accounts of both Sipalo’s life and the Third World project, we see that it was also part of something normal – normal, now, not in terms of narrative and representation but as the necessary counterpoint to mythologized accounts of the Bandung era. If grand declarations covered by the global press were the better-recorded part of the Third World project, conferences that never happened and pamphlets dismissed as conspiracy theories were also normal – normal as in quotidian, unglamorous, not at all legendary. Moreover, detailing these historical disappointments and dead ends shows us another aspect of the Third World project that was normal – normal in that it was experienced by many, like Sipalo, who attempted to participate in it, and negotiate its agenda, as colonial subjects (notably from sub-Saharan Africa) rather than as statesmen in Cairo or Delhi. Even as an elite actor, if we consider his education and physical mobility, Sipalo was unable to bring into being an



Just an African radical? Munukayumbwa Sipalo 119

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event or publication that would later appear consequential. The exclusive nature of Third World organizing would have been felt more strongly still by those many colonial subjects without scholarships or passports, by those without the weight of a dominant political party or ethnic group behind them, and by women. It is this more expansive picture of what was normal in the Third World political project that Sipalo’s exceptional, thwarted initiatives make visible.

Notes  1 Interview with Sikota Wina, Lusaka, 18 September 2017; interview with Simon Zukas, Lusaka, 14 September 2017. See also B. Kakoma, ‘Sipalo’s beleaguered nationalism’, Times of Zambia (27 October 2000), available at http://allafrica. com/stories/200010270354.html (accessed 29 January 2018).  2 C. J. Lee, Making a world after empire: the Bandung moment and its political afterlives (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010): preface to the 2019 edition, xx.  3 Inexplicably, the settler-governed Central African Federation was invited but declined. In Bandung, ‘the streets were packed with crowds’, according to R. Wright, The color curtain: a report on the Bandung Conference (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1956): 133.   4 As far as I am aware, there is no book-length or academic biography of Sipalo. One detailed account is the newspaper article, Kakoma, ‘Sipalo’s beleaguered nationalism’. See also R. Segal, R. Ainslie and C. Hoskyns, Political Africa: a who’s who of personalities and parties (London: Stevens and Sons, 1961): 246.  5 On Third World as political project, see M. T. Berger, ‘After the Third World? History, destiny and the fate of Third Worldism’, Third World Quarterly, 25:1 (2004); V. Prashad, The darker nations: a people’s history of the Third World (New York: New Press, 2008).  6 Interview with Zukas.  7 Afro-Asian Networks Research Collective, ‘Manifesto: networks of decolonization in Asia and Africa’, Radical History Review, 2018:131 (2018).  8 Notably, R. Vitalis, ‘The midnight ride of Kwame Nkrumah and other fables of Bandung (Ban-Doong)’, Humanity, 4 (2013); N. Shimazu, ‘Diplomacy as theatre: staging the Bandung conference of 1955’, Modern Asian Studies, 48 (2014).  9 See two special issues from the Afro-Asian Networks Research Collective, Journal of World History, 30 (2019) and Journal of Social History, 53:2 (2019). 10 A recent exploration of such visions is A. Getachew, Worldmaking after empire: the rise and fall of self-determination (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019). 11 G. McCann, ‘Where was the Afro in Afro-Asian solidarity? Africa’s “Bandung moment” in 1950s Asia’, Journal of World History, 30 (2019). 12 Ibid.

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13 On the commercial popularity of biography in South Africa, see N. J. Jacobs and A. Bank, ‘Biography in post-apartheid South Africa: a call for awkwardness’, African Studies, 78 (2019). 14 Among recent examples, I. G. Shivji, S. Yahya-Othman and N. Kamata, Development as rebellion: a biography of Julius Nyerere (Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota, 2020); T. Lipenga, Lomathinda: Rose Chibambo speaks (Lilongwe: Logos Open Culture, 2019); A. Angelo, Power and the presidency in Kenya: the Jomo Kenyatta years (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020). On ‘father-figure’ biographies, see H. Charton and M.-A. Fouéré, ‘Héros nationaux et pères de la nation en Afrique’, Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire, 118 (2013). 15 See I. Milford, G. McCann, E. Hunter and D. Branch, ‘Another world? East Africa, decolonisation, and the global history of the mid-twentieth century’, Journal of African History 62:3 (2021). Notable examples to the contrary include R. Sandwell, ‘The travels of Florence Mophosho: the African National Congress and left internationalism, 1948–1985’, Journal of Women’s History, 30 (2018); J. R. Brennan, ‘The secret lives of Dennis Phombeah: decolonization, the Cold War, and African political intelligence, 1953–1974’, The International History Review, 43 (2021); H. Dee, ‘Clements Kadalie, trade unionism, migration and race in Southern Africa, 1918–1930’, PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2020. 16 M. Larmer, ‘At the crossroads: mining and political change on the KatangeseZambian Copperbelt’, Oxford Handbooks Online (2016), available at https:// doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935369.013.20 (accessed 17 March 2020). 17 I. Milford, ‘Federation, partnership, and the chronologies of space in East and Central Africa’, The Historical Journal, 63 (2020); Z. Groves, ‘Transnational networks and regional solidarity: the case of the Central African Federation, 1953–1963’, African Studies, 72 (2013). 18 This trajectory is described in greater detail in I. Milford, ‘Harnessing the wind: east and central African activists and anticolonial cultures in a decolonising world, 1952–64’, PhD thesis, European University Institute, 2019. 19 A transcript of the (damaged) tape appears in M. S. Tembo, ‘Dennis Liwewe – Zambia vs. British Colonials’, Times of Zambia (30 April 2014), available at https://allafrica.com/stories/201404301163.html (accessed 4 February 2020). Roy Welensky was the prime minister of the Central African Federation; Alexander Chamberlain was a district commissioner. 20 W. K. Sikalumbi, Before UNIP (Lusaka: Neczam, 1977): 117; R. I. Rotberg, The rise of nationalism in central Africa: the making of Malawi and Zambia, 1873–1964 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965): 291–305; G.  Mwangilwa and S. M. Kapwepwe, The Kapwepwe diaries (Lusaka: Multimedia Publications, 1986): 40. 21 A summary of scholarship on and in the service of nationalism is provided by M. Larmer and B. Lecocq, ‘Historicising nationalism in Africa’, Nations and Nationalism, 24 (2018). 22 M. Larmer, Rethinking African politics: a history of opposition in Zambia (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011): 27–8; O. J. M. Kalinga, ‘Independence n ­ egotiations

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in Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia’, International Negotiation, 10 (2005): 241; G. Macola, ‘Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula and the formation of ZANC/ UNIP: a reinterpretation’, in J.-B. Gewald, M. Hinfelaar and G. Macola (eds), Living the end of empire: politics and society in late colonial Zambia (Leiden: Brill, 2011): 56–9; K. Vickery, ‘Odd man out: labour, politics and Dixon Konkola’, in ibid.: 117–20; S. Sishuwa, ‘“A white man will never be a Zambian”: racialised nationalism, the rule of law, and competing visions of independent Zambia in the case of Justice James Skinner, 1964–1969’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 45 (2019): 515. 23 G. L. Caplan, The elites of Barotseland, 1878–1969: a political history of Zambia’s Western Province (London: Hurst, 1970): 200–17; J. Hogan, ‘“What  then happened to our Eden?”: the long history of Lozi secessionism, 1890–2013’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 40 (2014). 24 On his activity as Minister of Labour, see D. Money, ‘“Aliens” on the copperbelt: Zambianisation, nationalism and non-Zambian Africans in the mining industry’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 45 (2019): 869. 25 F. Soremekun, ‘The challenge of nation-building: neo-humanism and politics in Zambia, 1967–1969’, Genève-Afrique/Geneva-Africa, 9 (1970): 11, 15. 26 Larmer, Rethinking African politics, 27; Kakoma, ‘Sipalo’s beleaguered ­nationalism’. 27 McCann, ‘Where was the Afro’; G. McCann, ‘From diaspora to third worldism and the United Nations: India and the politics of decolonizing Africa’, Past & Present, 218 (2013). 28 ‘African Studies Dept.’, Times of India (8 August 1955), 1. 29 UK National Archives (UKNA), Kew, Papers of Foreign and Commonwealth Office and predecessors (FCO) FCO 141/17744, copy of Sipalo, ‘The path’, nd [1957?]. 30 Ibid. 31 Sikalumbi, Before UNIP, 117–29. 32 British Library, Methodist Sound Archive, 1CDR0010462, recording of public rally, date and place unknown [c. 1960]. 33 In Cooperative Africana Materials Project  (CAMP), Microfilm 134861, Rhodesia and Nyasaland Political Ephemera. 34 British Library Endangered Archives Project (hereafter EAP), Records of ANC of Zambia and Records of UNIP of Zambia, EAP121/2/5/5/7, Sipalo to Kenneth Kaunda, 6 December 1961. Mao famously stated ‘a revolution is not a dinner party’ in Report on an investigation of the peasant movement in Hunan (March 1927) and referred to imperialism as a ‘paper tiger’ (outwardly powerful but ultimately weak) in several interviews. 35 Voice of Zambia, 1:17 (February 1963): 5, in CAMP 134861. See also Kakoma, ‘Sipalo’s beleaguered nationalism’. 36 On the west African case, see M. Sherwood, ‘Pan-African conferences, ­1900–1953: what did “pan-Africanism” mean?’, The Journal of Pan African Studies, 4 (2012).

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37 Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, Papers of the Africa Bureau, AB/241/11, Fenner Brockway to Mary Benson, 25 November 1953. 38 International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam (IISH), Papers of the Socialist International (SI), File 513, Sipalo to ‘all African youth and national organisations’, nd. 39 Zambia National Archives, Lusaka, Simon Zukas Personal Papers, HM/PP/1, Sipalo to Moses Kotane, 13 September 1955. 40 On these links, see Milford, ‘Harnessing the wind’, ch. 2. 41 IISH, SI 513, Sipalo to ‘all African youth and national organisations’. 42 UKNA, FCO 141/17744, report on Munukayumbwa Sipalo, nd [1957]. 43 EAP121/1/5/13, Sipalo to Kenneth Kaunda, 15 May 1956. 44 R. Abou-El-Fadl, ‘Building Egypt’s Afro-Asian hub: infrastructures of solidarity and the 1957 Cairo conference’, Journal of World History, 30 (2019); I.  Milford, ‘“Shining vistas” and false passports: recipes for an anticolonial hub’, Afro-Asian Visions Blog (2017), available at https://medium.com/afroasian-visions/shining-vistas-and-false-passports-recipes-for-an-anticolonialhub-f631e19b1046, accessed 29 March 2021. 45 EAP121/1/5/13, memorandum on the conference of the ‘Special Committee of all the Liberation Movements in Africa’, Cairo, 1–7 August 1956. 46 Kenya National Archives (KNA), Nairobi, Murumbi Africana Collection (MAC), MAC/CON/205/6, ‘Background to the Anti-Colonial Bureau’. 47 S. Manoeli, Sudan’s ‘southern problem’: race, rhetoric and international relations, 1961–1991 (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), ch. 8. 48 UKNA, FCO 141/17744, Sipalo to Elijah Agar, 6 July 1957. 49 S. L. Lewis, ‘Asian socialism and the forgotten architects of post-colonial freedom, 1952–1956’, Journal of World History, 30 (2019): 85–6. 50 ‘Present trend must be checked: UN’s future at stake, says U Ba Swe’, Times of India (5 November 1956), 1; ‘Engagements for today’, Times of India (2 November 1956), 6. 51 KNA, MAC/CON/205/6, memorandum presented by the African Liberation Committee. 52 ‘Present trend must be checked’, 1; EAP121/1/5/14, Kristiansson to Sipalo, 23 April 1958. On Murumbi, see I. Milford and G. McCann, ‘African internationalisms and the erstwhile trajectories of Kenyan community development: Joseph Murumbi’s 1950s’, Journal of Contemporary History (2021), available at https://doi.org/10.1177/00220094211011536 (accessed 19 November 2021). On IUSY, see I. Milford, ‘More than a Cold War scholarship: east-central African anticolonial activists, the International Union of Socialist Youth, and the evasion of the colonial state (1955–65)’, Stichproben, 34 (2018), 19–43. 53 EAP121/1/5/8, Kenneth Kaunda to U Hla Aung, 31 January 1957. 54 UKNA, FCO 141/17744, letter from E. D. Hone (Northern Rhodesia secretariat), 24 October 1957. 55 Segal, Ainslie and Hoskyns, Political Africa, 246. 56 KNA, MAC/CON/187/3, Sipalo’s speech to the Third AAPC.

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57 ‘Resignation of UN chief urged: African leaders demand Lumumba’s release’, Times of India (12 December 1960), 7. 58 KNA, MAC/CON/187/3, Sipalo’s speech to the Third AAPC. 59 EAP121/2/5/5/7, Sipalo to Oldman, 13 December 1961. 60 EAP121/2/5/5/7, Sipalo to Nathaniel Welbeck (Bureau of African Affairs), 9 August 1960; Sipalo to AAPC, 3 March 1961. 61 On IUSY, see EAP121/2/5/5/1, Charles Kauraisa to Sipalo, nd [c. 1964]. On MCF see Special Collections of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Papers of the Movement for Colonial Freedom (MCF), COM2 Box 5, minutes of the East Africa Committee meeting, November 1962. 62 See copies of Voice of UNIP (Lusaka), Voice of Zambia (London), Voice of Northern Rhodesia (Cairo), Northern Rhodesia News Survey (Los Angeles) for various dates in the period 1960–64, in CAMP 134861. 63 EAP121/2/5/5/1, Sipalo to IUSY, 10 June 1961. 64 M. Grilli, Nkrumaism and African nationalism: Ghana’s pan-African foreign policy in the age of decolonization (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018): 181–6. 65 Sipalo is listed as associate editor in Voice of Africa, 2:1 (January 1962). 66 See ‘British racist imperialists exposed in Northern Rhodesia’, Voice of Africa, 2:1 (Jan 1962); ‘Federation of Rhodesias and Nyasaland’, Voice of Africa, 2:2 (Feb 1962); ‘Why I hate Federation of Rhodesias (part 2)’, Voice of Africa, 2:3 (March 1962), ‘Why I hate Federation of Rhodesias (part 3)’, Voice of Africa, 2:4 (April 1962); ‘Why I hate the Federation of Rhodesias (last instalment)’, Voice of Africa, 2:7 (July 1962). 67 Sipalo and Kamanga, foreword to British secret plan of Africa discovered: Africa is not a geographical extension of Europe! (Cairo: UNIP International Publicity Bureau, 1961). 68 Voice of Africa, 1:10 (October 1961); CAMP 134861, Sikota Wina, ‘Report on the International and Publicity Bureau’, nd [1962?]. 69 CAMP 134861, Wina, ‘Report on the International and Publicity Bureau’; interview with Zukas. 70 J. Dinkel, The Non-Aligned Movement: genesis, organization and politics (1927–1992) (Leiden: Brill, 2018), ch. 4. 71 K. K. Sastry, ‘Zambian minister lauds Nehru’s ideals’, Times of India (26 May 1966), 10. 72 ‘Zambian ministers accused’, Guardian (10 November 1970), 4; ‘Zambian officials cleared’, Guardian (2 January 1971), 2. 73 Interview with Zukas; S. Zukas, Into exile and back (Lusaka: Bookworld Publishers, 2002): 103. 74 UKNA, FCO 141/17744, report on Munukayumbwa Sipalo [nd, probably 1957].

6 Exceptionally normal (post-)Ottomans: how failure shaped the futures of Balkan heroes Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Isa Blumi

The activities of people navigating the changes during the last years of the Ottoman Empire (1878–1920) still register in our modern world. As political and socio-economic transformation overwhelmed the eastern Mediterranean, the manner in which people responded would turn many into heroic figures. Characterized as distinct from his or her peers, the retrospective nationalist hero proves valuable to historians in search of stories that provide cover for otherwise contradictory forces birthing their nations.1 The resulting accounts strategically fuse the indispensable hero into a narrative that also, necessarily, disguises the contradictory associations such personalities kept while navigating the daily, often mundane, trials of survival. Perhaps most evident with retrospectively celebrated ‘national heroes’ during the late Ottoman Empire are the strategically excised fact that many lived the very common experience of growing up in polyglot, multi-ethnic, religiously diverse communities. While not unique to the region, the narrative tropes that present an uncomplicated nationalist elite emerging from a preordained Ottoman collapse seem the particular domain of Balkan historiography. As such, the need in post-Ottoman narratives to disqualify the project of late Ottoman patriotism (Ottomanism) because of the empire’s ethnic, religious and geographic diversity unnecessarily isolates the most patriotic Ottomans from a global context that still allowed for multiple forms of social and political identity. The process of neglecting what made the hero normal in this Ottoman context (emphasizing only their rare moments of exceptionalism) shuts out different interpretations of what such people actually did in moments of transition. One key area of obfuscation is disqualifying the Ottoman Empire as historically doomed, an anachronistic frame that leads to a programmatic reading of individuals, which has methodological consequences.2 Fortunately, scholars have studied contemporary movements found elsewhere with less need to establish an exclusivist, ethno-national agenda behind their otherwise ‘universalist’ objectives. From José Rizal’s a­ narchist

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alliances, via Lenin’s Bolshevism even to masonic lodges, there was an acknowledged ecumenical spirit in the way people coalesced to defy the narrowing spectrum of ethno-nationalism tainting most research on the late Ottoman Empire.3 The following counter-reading of Fan S. Noli’s (1882–1965) biography seeks to challenge similarly these entrenched logics that naturalize exclusivist identity politics. Characterized as a quintessential progressive agent for change sculpting Albanians to form a pluralistic ethno-national state, Noli was not only an accomplished diplomat and man of the arts, but also the founder of the Albanian Orthodox Church (AOC). For this, he is both a towering figure in a generation of accomplished Ottoman-Albanians, and a rare example of a hero who survived the purges of the postwar Enver Hoxha regime.4 But this representation of Noli remains partial. The following constitutes an antibiography that highlights several perhaps uncomfortable paradoxes that complicate the telling, not just of Noli’s, but of many Albanians’ experiences during the period 1900 to 1920. For one thing, Noli experienced life during times when ethnic and religious ambiguities were far less unusual. We need to detach him and those around him from their retrospective heroic roles and reveal apparently contradicting political, cultural or social loyalties in order to avoid the anachronism required to interpret an individual’s actions as unmitigated patriotism. This may be done by dislocating Noli from a retrospective particularity and setting him amid the documented calculations and actions of men in various geographic, socio-economic, ideological and cultural contexts. Doing this highlights how the celebrated idol of post-Ottoman Albania actually proves much less principled and thus less heroic. Indeed, the struggles of those instrumental to Noli’s transition from a poor, marginal, young migrant into someone with several possible future trajectories were informed by a desire to reform and thus preserve the Ottoman Empire. Noli’s patrons, in other words, worked to recruit an otherwise unexceptional young man to help realize modest ambitions to help the empire protect the homeland by securing a foothold in a rising Tosk Albanian diaspora in the United States.5 The distinctive and incongruent factors contributing to other men’s calculations shaped Noli’s own orientations, rendering his accomplishments, even if exaggerated later by historians, far from exceptional. They were part of a complex interplay of failed strategies and fortuitous adjustments to contingencies arising in moments of transition beyond the ability of anyone to predict. Rethinking Noli’s young adult life in this way can challenge the retrospective analysis of some of those around him (or lack thereof) while also testing the limitations of the biography-as-method itself. This is

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necessary, for the manner by which his, at times, c­ omplicated situation is translated onto (or erased from) the historical canvas is itself the product of many relational conjunctures that are informatively normal. It is crucial to look through the lenses of intrigues that hampered young men like Noli from realizing more mundane ambitions such as simply performing in the theatre, a passion Noli discovered while living as a poor migrant in Athens. The fact that Noli actually failed to be anything more than a backstage hand and occasional editor of satirical newspapers means his many ‘failed futures’, as I term them, demanded he accept unanticipated new roles on behalf of those paying him. How we reconsider these larger social contexts in eastern Thrace, Greece, Egypt or the United States upsets normative claims about Noli’s destiny as a hero. Put differently, the following biography of Noli explicitly sheds light on what political theorist William Connolly understood to be a political life’s secrets. It is the paradox of Noli’s unfulfilled life prior to 1920 that took shape during frequently shifting identity claims – ‘contradictions’ – that echoed frustrations (and not inspirations).6 What accounts for these frustrations requires us to position a man in moments that excise him from his apparent exceptionalness and insert him into entirely normal, all-too-human experiences of futile dreams (failed futures) shared by many young men compelled by poverty, personal ambition and only sometimes politics to leave their homelands in search of a new life elsewhere.

Finding Fan Noli Noli’s parents came from what is today southern Albania/northern Greece – Korçë – and resettled as internally displaced migrants in eastern Thrace before he was born.7 Originally named Theofanes Stylianos Mavromatis, Noli entered an Albanian Ottoman community of the Eastern Christian faith (known as Tosks) that faced a Bulgarian political order emerging after the 1877–8 war that invested in differentiating once ‘diverse’ Ottoman communities living in Thrace and Macedonia along ethno-national lines. Considered outsiders by Bulgarian neighbours, Noli’s community also faced a Rum (Greek) Orthodox Church elite concerned with the expanding nationalist, autocephalous churches in the Balkans.8 As Bulgarian nationalism was still relatively tame, Noli’s primary conflict growing up was addressing his alienation from a church whose priests educated him in a manner that sought to elide his distinctive cultural heritage. Going to Greek-language elementary and secondary schools was the only  option for those neglected Ottoman Christians losing influence in a newly autonomous Bulgaria that embraced sectarianism, irredentism and

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identity politics. Seeing no clear future in such a setting, Noli grew up tailoring his considerable talents with language to escape eastern Thrace. Albanian historians have glorified Noli’s escape as the sign of a driven hero animated from an early age by his nationalism.9 Left out of these histories are the complex issues informing the conditions around Noli the emigrant. Far from being an ‘Albanian’ who assumed a monolithic ethnic association with a corresponding set of political objectives, numerous, everyday practicalities shaped Noli’s political education. For example, his  rise to prominence in politics could not have been foretold simply from examining the search for a job in seemingly hostile territory. Rather, Noli’s social and cultural orientation was shaped by his being a young migrant seeking sustenance in Sofia, Athens and throughout Egypt. Fan Noli’s generation, in other words, lived in a context that made agendas seeking its destruction by way of ethno-national chauvinism still impossible to imagine. It was a time of economic opportunities throughout the eastern Mediterranean that also contributed to a deracinated state reflected in Noli’s eagerness for opportunistic flight when the resources were available. First making his way to independent Greece when he was barely 18 years of age, he was able to exploit his polyglot upbringing. Amid translation jobs that utilized his knowledge of Ottoman, Arabic, Bulgarian, Greek and Albanian, Noli also landed himself a place in the world of the performing arts. Apparently making himself useful as a backstage hand and occasional performer, within two years he joined a new cadre of likeminded vagabonds and relocated to Egypt.10

An Egyptian homeland Over the next three years, once a simple, enthusiastic young man who apparently just wanted to perform in the theatre, Noli found himself being weaned by men from Korçë (his parents’ home region). Eager to invest their cotton fortunes in new arenas, especially the fine arts, Noli’s future political patrons were drawn to his eagerness and corresponding talents. It was during moments of socialization in the elitist Tosk Albanian circles found in Egypt’s delta towns that a once humble, failed actor found himself straddling often exclusive social, ideological and cultural circles. His failure as an artist proved a path to his recruitment to represent his patrons’ ambitious expansion into North America. More crucial are the events in Egypt, as much as the USA and the Balkans, which demanded constant and contradictory political orientations. After 1903, Noli’s maturation thus took place within a larger collaborative effort that built networks among Tosk Albanian-Ottomans based in Brussels, Romania, Egypt and soon North

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America. Crucially, their associations and thus the future roles of individuals translate differently in each of these distinctive locales.11 By 1894, the Egypt to which a poor Noli migrates is already a vibrant hub for cultural, economic and sometimes political activity in which men from his home region are ascendant. That year, an association calling itself Vëllazëria Shqipëtarëve, or the Albanian Brotherhood, had been established with Milo Duçi (1870–1933) as president.12 Duçi was a Cairo-based son of a powerful cotton merchant from Korçë. He set up the Vëllazëria in Beni Souef and in 1900 added the newspaper Besa-Besën to his projects. Further investments in the widely circulated newspapers Toska (1901–3) and Shqipëria became so successful among Albanian Tosk readers that they attracted the attention of many in the larger diplomatic community based in Egypt.13 Seeking access to their readers, Austro-Hungarian and Italian diplomats recruited these men. By 1903, these interlinking channels of political, cultural and economic exchange gave Noli’s future mentors the leverage to lobby for help against irredentist Hellenism threatening their Balkan homeland. Paradoxically, as appears to be the reason why Noli was recruited by Duçi for his linguistic skills, many Tosk Ottomans were more than happy to embrace a Greek national identity to realize immediate goals; for instance, travelling to Egypt.14 The Greek state, wishing to claim that every Orthodox non-Slav Christian living in the Balkans and the Middle East was ethnically Greek, willingly provided patronage (and a passport) to any Tosk agreeing to play along.15 Noli accepted this offer of Greek citizenship under his original name, Theophanis Stylianou Mavromatis, in order to secure the right to work in Athens from 1900 to 1903 and then travel to Egypt. His new passport allowed him to obtain a position as a Greek language teacher in Alexandria, where his superiors never suspected him of hostility to his assumed Greek identity.16 Throughout his young adult life Noli would be hounded by such conflicting demands on his loyalties. As these were times of both tumult and opportunity, he joined the hundreds of thousands of other Balkan men wandering the eastern Mediterranean in search of work, using whichever means were available to them. Egypt was an obvious destination for such a class of young adults. Since the early nineteenth century Egypt had been the regional economic engine and millions migrated there to find work. Making it to Egypt’s shores in 1903 with his Greek passport, Noli worked like many other migrants, providing manual labour after hours in a theatre group while also teaching Greek in the boomtowns of Egypt’s Nile delta. Those funding the theatres Noli frequented profited from the booming economy in Lower Egypt. Coming from the same region as Noli’s parents, men like Athanas Tashko (1863–1915) became towering figures in Egyptian

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cultural and political life. As they grew in status thanks to record returns from their plantations, they sought to channel their power and influence into expanding the Ottoman state’s capacities to protect their homeland from the encroachments of neighbouring states. Such efforts invariably found expression as Ottoman patriotism and support for the opposition party Committee of Union of Progress (CUP). This support was not a rare thing among Ottoman diasporas and it certainly informed the political insights of men who were so important to Noli’s life.17 Indeed, the consequential forging of this generation of artists and businessmen determined the social, political and cultural parameters of activism that made Noli the nationalist hero possible. As local entrepreneurs, the political acumen and/or economic weight of these Tosk Ottomans helped them mobilize seemingly contradictory associations. Men like Tashko, who built Egypt’s first modern opera company, strove to shape a cultural infrastructure in both Egypt and the Balkans that today is interpreted as uniquely Albanian nationalist in purpose. However, setting up newspapers and experimenting with ways to print the language using a variety of alphabets – Arabic/Ottoman script, Latin, Greek or combinations – did not mean Tashko actually saw these projects in narrow terms. The large Tosk-Ottoman diaspora wanted entertainment and Tashko’s newspapers were filled with satire and creative writing while his theatres offered performances for the common people in many different languages.18 Of particular importance to this confusing political, cultural and hence ideological hybridity was support from rival European states which had clear strategic objectives but often few options to realize them. Especially active in Egypt at the time, Italian and Austrian officials sought to gain otherwise elusive access to the day-to-day affairs of the Ottoman Balkans  through these Tosk Ottoman-Albanians.19 To embassy officials, men like Tashko were key to shaping the cultural horizons of tens of thousands of migrants. Tashko’s dual role – stabilizing ally and weaponized rival in Egypt, as much as Albania – may have constituted the very foundations of the eventual ‘nationalist’ activism that men like Noli were paid to pursue. As Tosk activism dispersed in the late Ottoman era to include lucrative businesses in entertainment for migrants, so too the network of influence that ultimately shaped Noli into a potential leader began to take new form. Critically, Noli would have to leave Egypt for his true worth to surface. He did so under the pretext of serving the cultural (and later spiritual) needs of the growing diaspora in the USA. At the same time, considering his earlier ambitions, in part his choice to leave Egypt may also be due to a frustrated realization that he would never become an actor.

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At the forefront of his cultivation in Egypt was his lifelong mentor, Thanas Tashko. Known as the great actor and patron of the first opera company in Fayum, a wealthy suburb of Cairo, Tashko represented the privilege that powerful Tosk Albanians like him secured in British-occupied Egypt. As his extended family managed extensive plantations, Tashko sharpened his transcontinental political networks by recruiting men like Noli to help in various investments in media, entertainment and culture more generally.20 Indeed, through a 1906–9 publication Noli probably had a brief role in starting, Shkopi (the Stick), Tashko and partner Jani Vruho (1863–1931) catered to a thriving activist community, lobbying European embassies to help thwart Greek irredentism. But these papers were not solely political tools. They spent large sums of money to distribute their newspapers Shkopi and Rrufeja (Lightning strike) for free. The tone of the papers was critical but also humorous. Albanians (especially ‘backward tribesmen’ in the north) were frequently admonished for their failure to stop Slav and Greek expansion in the cultural realm, as much as political expansion. Tashko laid  out an agenda to address this. Using his newspapers as a platform, he hired creative Tosk Albanians to enhance their language in ways that expunged foreign loan words and all the symbolic associations of cultural subordination which those implied. Noli’s language skills and flair for clever use of his native Tosk served these purposes well.21 It is at this juncture that Shahin bey Kolonja (1865–1919) proves crucial to Noli’s transition in Egypt from being a spot translator and stagehand to a Tosk Albanian leader. Since 1897 Kolonja had tried to secure the right to publish within Ottoman territories an Albanian-language newspaper that aimed to thwart pan-Hellenic and pan-Slavic recruitment efforts. Eventually he secured funds from the Austro-Hungarians (and probably Egypt) to establish a base of operations in Sofia. From 1901 to 1908 through the journal Drita, Kolonja gained a reputation as a key conduit of activism for both reform within the Ottoman Empire and a strengthening of resolve among Albanian-speakers overseas.22 Kolonja was especially adamant that accessible language should be used to reach believers during religious ceremonies.23 A key effort included standardizing a written form of Tosk  Albanian that moved away from the Arabic and Greek scripts. Egyptian-Albanians like Tashko were instrumental in pursuing this experimental alphabet. Once exclusively written in Arabic script, Kolonja’s Drita was the first major attempt to transliterate Ottoman into Latin letters (and not Greek), becoming a crucial initial model for later efforts by Noli and allies in respect to Christian liturgies.24 Another key reflection of the growing network around Kolonja’s activities included linking the Austro-Hungarians to money from Egypt. Within

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a few short years, Kolonja’s efforts brought together a network of Tosk Albanian diaspora in Bucharest and Constanta, Sofia and throughout Egypt, to produce a number of works that disparate members of the diaspora actively read. Indeed, Noli proved the ideal man to assist as the network aspired to expand. He was most likely selected by Kolonja (known to spend months of the year in the Nile delta region recruiting talent) to help with writing texts and especially translations, including later converting into Greek some key texts to earn a special place in the nationalist story.25 Noli’s experience with Egypt’s Tosk Albanian community ultimately found its sharpest point of distinction within an iteration of difference/differentiation between the ‘European’ AOC, Tosk Muslims and the largely ‘inferior’ northern Ghegs. Done both through the newspapers and theatre performances paid for by Tashko, Vruho and Duçi, Noli’s early cultivation of cultural elitism took shape at this time. As money made from the plantations translated into investments in the theatre, literature and culture more generally, elites around which Noli thrived believed the homeland’s fate was to harness the savage proclivities of the northern ‘tribes’ while assuring they (natives of Korçë) remained the leaders of the future. Such a quasiproselytizing ethos would be strengthened in Noli with his first formal connection to Orthodox Church spirituality outside the supervision of Hellenists. Indeed, the awe-inspiring Byzantine spiritual music Noli studied ‘every week day’ in Shibin al-Qaum from 1903 to 1905 (the lessons were paid for by Tashko and Spiro Dine) and tireless promotion of his assumed role to further the Tosk Albanian cause led to his decision to become a priest.26

The new world Noli’s new calling would rapidly translate into an entirely different set of opportunities and life trajectories as he moved to the United States. It is this period of transition that saw him develop into a major (but not without challenges) representative of first his Egyptian-Tosk allies and later a new segment of an emerging global Tosk Albanian political network. This evolution from a simple migrant arriving in Buffalo, New York in early 1906 to becoming a future political actor in the western Balkans and Albanians’ first Archbishop in 1922 needs highlighting if the nationalist claim to Noli’s hero status succeeds in obscuring an otherwise exceptionally normal biography of a young Albanian-Ottoman migrant. As much as others have already developed the complicated story of the era following the First World War in Albanian history (entire volumes are dedicated to Noli’s role during the period), his maturation while in the

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USA is still largely neglected. We thus reserve the rest of this chapter to the task of reading Noli’s extraordinary normalcy through the increasingly complex relations with others who invested in him (and later divested). By the time he had established himself as ‘representative’ of a major diaspora group in Boston in 1911, a role that translated into his failed attempt to return home and claim a leadership role while the Ottoman Empire burned, Noli’s personage became such as to make him a political rival to many in his community. Whether this was his own making or not is what we shall determine while ending this study with his formal placement as agent of an expanding Egypt/Romania/Bulgaria faction of the AOC. First used to lobby the United States and then, in time, the international community in Geneva, Noli’s trajectory proved exceptional but entirely contingent to other forces. The origins of his conflicted relationship with a transformed AOC community was Noli’s confrontation with a rival claimant to its leadership. Noli had already crossed paths with another Korçë native while in Egypt (and perhaps earlier in Athens), Sotir Peçi (1873–1932), who moved to the USA in 1905. Settling in Boston and establishing himself immediately as a leader of the small but growing AOC community there, Peçi helped create the Patriotic Brotherhood of Dardha (Albanian: Vëllezëria Patriotike  e Dardhës), while translating the money he brought from Egypt into the weekly newspaper Kombi (The Nation). The move constituted a preparation of sorts for Noli’s arrival the next year. Indeed, by the time Noli arrived in Buffalo, an infrastructure was already being laid out for the next stage of his cultural development.27 The problem was that Peçi had changed since leaving Egypt. Noli spent little time at his lumber job and left the small community in northern New York to join Peçi in Boston, hoping to help build a cultural infrastructure that could challenge Hellenistic expansionism in North America. But by 23 July, only a month after Peçi gave Noli his first serious activist position as deputy editor of Kombi, they were rivals. While the original idea was for Peçi to ease Noli into his designated role in the larger community, the former elected to not pay Noli enough for him to meet the costs of living in Boston.28 Finding himself without a formal role because Peçi refused to (or could not) bankroll him, Noli gravitated toward his religious calling. Seeing in his faith a tool to do what was originally expected of him, Noli reached out to the larger Orthodox community in the hope of finding a niche. Unfortunately, his efforts quickly turned into new confrontations. As confided to his friend (and money master) Tashko in Cairo, Noli had reached his wits’ end with what he claimed were the subordinate Christian communities in Boston. He reportedly clashed often with the large number

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of Vlachs (with whom he had originally formed a bond) because they continued to pay large amounts of money to the Rum Orthodox Church.29 While complaining that the ‘Greek’ church did not deserve the millions it received from all the Christians in the city who did not speak Greek, he confided to Tashko that by August 1906 he was losing hope: ‘I don’t like America … this is a world of filth’. He asked for help to go back home.30 Indeed, he seemed to suffer considerable mental problems after his sour relationship with Peçi forced him to find a night job printing labels for cans. As early as March he confessed considering going to Romania to both find a wife and raise the money for the Boston church that had yet to materialize.31 In truth, Noli really just wanted his normal life back; conditions were so bad that after barely a year in the USA he had already ‘lost 17lbs’.32 And yet, other forces blocked his flight. By 6 January 1907, Noli had become President of a newly created society (Besa-Besën) that probably took its lead, and funds, from the Duçi group in Cairo. By the following year Noli had forgotten about marriage and apparently resolved his money problems.33 Indeed, by early 1908, Noli was armed with a considerable new following. The key point of no return was the scandal over Kristaq Dishnica’s funeral. The Hellenist-led church authorities in Boston denied Dishnica proper burial because of his advocacy for Albanian-language education. By default, Noli led the confrontation that eventually resulted in a fateful alliance with Russian Archbishop Rozhdestvensky, who ordained Noli as priest on 18 March 1908. This challenge to Greek authority initiated a new phase of activism that eventually created the Albanian Orthodox Autocephalous Church, a rapid change of fortunes that projected Noli in an entirely new direction. Noli and his supporters throughout the diaspora in the USA, the Balkans and Egypt soon established an independent church with Noli translating liturgy into Albanian. By 22 March he gave his first sermon in Albanian at the Knights of Honor Hall of Boston.34 In the meantime, Noli started his studies at Harvard University, leading first to a BA in Fine Arts.35 Over the course of this 1908–12 period of taking classes and translating dozens of liturgies into Albanian, Noli also maintained and expanded Besa-Besën, creating by February 1909 the still-running Dielli (The Sun) newspaper. Revealingly, at the same time he was writing to Tashko, back in Egypt, that things again were not going well personally. In May, Noli again declared his intention to return to the Balkans.36 Perhaps a subconscious slip for a lingering political reorientation taking place in his own life, Noli tried to reassure the great landowning patron of the Egyptian opera (and later film industry) that he nevertheless continued his service to the church and was currently translating three more books of liturgy.37

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Noli soon wrote again, declaring that his promise to work on more translations would have to wait on account of accumulated debt. Highlighting the fact that the newspaper Dielli was only successful because ‘I have paid for it’, Noli tried to drive his backers in Egypt into a corner. He declared that he had reached his financial limit and requested a ‘loan’ to pay back all the older ones his Egyptian patrons had provided over the previous two years.38 In response to what appears from a distance a quick decline in Noli’s capabilities, by the autumn Tashko, instead of sending additional funds to his protégé, paid for Faik Konitca (1875–1942) to move from Brussels and take over the day-to-day management of the newspaper.39 Based in Brussels since 1896, Konitca, also from Korçë, had managed a good relationship with the Austro-Hungarian empire, which paid him a stipend, while also collaborating with the Khedive’s family (of Tosk Albanian origin) to mobilize Tosks living in Egypt.40 Watching with interest, the Italians, competing with the Austrians for influence in the Balkans, wrote a report on Konitca that includes details of the newspaper Albania that he published with Tashko and Viennese money in Brussels.41 Such collaboration with a variety of seemingly contradictory forces continued with his move to Boston. Konitca arrived in Boston by 1909 to take up his new role as mentor of the more charismatic Noli, who by 1908 had been recognized as the front man for the Tosk-Korçë elite funding him from Egypt. This fortuitous union with Konitca temporarily saved Noli from what might have become an inevitable clash with his main supporters. He was allowed to continue with his foundational work as an ordained priest while, under Konitca’s close supervision, building capacity for the next stage of his life. With the growing diaspora in the Americas and its intrigues clearly overwhelming Noli, Konitca provided the assurances needed for those Egypt-based patrons hoping to influence how events in the homeland would transpire after the 1908/9 CUP coup.42 For all its potential, the diaspora in North America was still in disarray, in large part because of the rivalry between Noli and Peçi. With Noli’s split in 1906, Peçi’s operations grew, revealing a growing number of competing Albanian-American organizations that diluted Tashko’s influence. As the  United States itself rose in prominence, the Egypt-based patron needed Noli to regain control of the diaspora for fear of losing access to both lucrative business opportunities and diplomatic support from a rising global power. Noli would have to mediate these rapidly changing dynamics with a visit to the Balkans. The 1911 trip back home included visits beyond Korçë to Sofia and then on to Romania and even Odessa on the Black Sea. Part of a larger delegation, his trip was part political theatre and part self-marketing. Complaining to Tashko in a letter that he paid for the trip himself by selling

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his personal library, Noli begged his increasingly frustrated patrons in Egypt to keep him on the payroll.43 In subsequent reflections on the trip, Noli sold its disaster to his benefactors. He observed that all the regional interests, from the Italians, who had just waged war on the Ottoman state, to the Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs, aspired to parcel out the homeland. By this time, alas, the larger eastern Mediterranean had changed, resulting in yet another project failure for Noli. He lost his patrons in Egypt to the vagaries of eastern Mediterranean politics and the looming Balkan wars. In a quest to survive, Noli and Konitca forged an alliance with a half a dozen smaller Albanian-American clubs. The resulting organization, called Vatra (Hearth), proved incapable of mobilizing US government support for a new programme in the Balkans. Established in April 1912, Vatra could not influence events once the Balkan wars broke out and the last of the Ottoman Empire’s presence in the region (and Noli’s leverage) ended.44 As Albanian socio-political self-determination within the Ottoman Empire ended up being a dead-end cause, a new wave of refugees from the homeland came to America’s shores. Freshly expelled from areas of the Albanian Balkans previously immune to emigration, the new arrivals shifted the balance of power within the Boston, New York and Chicago communities, once Noli’s domain. As had been the case in Egypt, events in the Balkans, larger Europe and the Americas registered differently on Noli and on those over whom he had influence. Indeed, for a considerable time after the celebrated 1912 creation of the Vatra alliance, Albanians throughout the USA grew increasingly alienated from Noli.45 Even with a visible effort to shape events by joining an Austrian-funded gathering in Trieste and then continuing on as a delegation to a partially independent Albania in 1913, claims that Vatra could bring some order to the now post-Ottoman homeland did little to impress key elements of the diaspora in the USA.46 By then, the Albanian community was too fragmented with independent, and thus competing, networks to surrender to Noli’s influence. As events in the Balkans changed, so too did the interests, reflecting new calculations as the new rulers of the homeland fought it out for ascendancy. This violent process meant Noli was competing not only for the limited resources available to fund his social club, but also for the attention of governments. Just as many counter-claims to authority would arise in the homeland from 1912 until late in the 1920s, a chaotic state was likewise reflected in the Albanian-American diaspora. This does not mean that Noli was out of the game entirely by the time his failed 1913 mission returned from the Balkans to a hostile diaspora in Boston. The problem is his importance during this period was distorted because of what he would become during the 1920s and later.47 During the

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key period 1912–1920, at least as far as his representing a divided diaspora, Noli was not so much a leader as a rival. Far from being exceptional, Noli’s situation proved he was never immune from a rival’s challenges, a defiance which generated new political dynamics within the Balkans and larger world that to date have not registered in the historiography. The challenges to Noli’s reconfigured networks, in other words, were to be overshadowed in future generations by a biographic bias informed by official calculations after the Second World War.

An expeditious conclusion to start a larger conversation The most important actors shaping the future possibility of an Albanian existence as a people were those living in the Tosk-Ottoman diaspora that had spread globally by the end of the nineteenth century. This is not by mistake. To understand why requires further enquiry into the persistence of differential politics among Ottoman peoples throughout the period 1900 to 1922. The above exposé of Fan Noli’s contribution reflects the complex, intersecting paths of transition that helped contain the skills of such personalities for important points in their lives. For this, the socioeconomic  and cultural context of the geographically scattered locales in which Noli lived, to say nothing of the political context, were necessarily the arenas of focus. These often broken links finally realized through the Berat Congress of 1922 the founding of the Albanian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. This short-lived ‘victory’ was a product of political battles in which Noli and allies could momentarily harness the popular politics of landless peasants to an ecumenical clergy emerging from broken empires. That ‘victory’ would be framed by the postwar Enver Hoxha regime in new global – revolutionary Bolshevik – terms that required a dramatic break from Noli’s lifelong supporters, the wealthy landowners in Egypt.48 Far from the entrenched categories systematically applied to frame the interwar period, strategically progressive politicians and cultural leaders like Noli necessarily needed a dramatic departure from the past. It is this break in Noli’s political (and spiritual, and cultural) calculations that marks the end to our (anti)biography. In this frame, one that would see how, while actors around Noli departed onto yet more alien trajectories in the post-Ottoman/Habsburg Balkans, Noli himself would be forced, again due to failure, to make contingent associations. These subsequent concessions meant uprooting his past to cater to the mutually exclusive narratives that disguised a young man’s earlier struggle to navigate a very different Ottoman period covered throughout.

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Noli’s rising star at crucial points came with admonishment and hostility from many he was supposedly, and retrospectively claimed to be, representing. The resistance constituted the tensions of political life that compelled him to make dramatic adjustments, over and over again. Such adjustments to his failed hopes for alternative futures contribute to this volume’s joint effort to identify a ‘global biographic’ vehicle for writing history by recognizing that deeper investments in individual stories help undermine the craft of neat, linear, ‘normal’ frames of analysis that span vastly different contexts. Underling the exceptionally normal in Noli’s case was only possible, however, with a healthy recognition that he always constituted a final product of numerous, simultaneously operating currents that as much subscribed to as prescribed an actual man for his time. As we followed his life, which, in the 1900–1913 period covered here, really took shape in Egypt, it is possible to return to the significance of the numerous others around Noli who cast a shadow on our canvas, a shadow that actually marks the contours of Noli’s imprint on Albanian history. Put differently, as the shells of the postimperial Balkans faced the return of the likes of Noli from diasporic exile, drawing on patronage throughout the Atlantic world, other ‘subaltern’ imprints were worthy of attention. Composed by cultural and modest political economic expressions until today unregistered, such imprints, when read counter-intuitively, may highlight the spatial, material or existential contours of an otherwise dominant, globalized, affective and material reality. Without, in other words, accounting for the many unknown inflections of the (over)shadowed peripheral economies of reaction and adaptation that Noli’s actions as a poor, young, would-be actor reflect, we may be missing the depth of the costs (and the contingencies that arise from them) of the expansions that made (and now break) the modern world. In the end, we must remove the likes of Noli from isolation and situate him in a multiplicity of contexts that predate his hero status. As the examples of Noli’s early adult life demonstrate, the era in which he lived was transformative and thus instrumental in defining his subsequent heroic life. He only exists, however, because the confluence of often paradoxical, conflicted dynamics intersected at certain moments. His imprint on history (while politically motivated and often manipulative) is not legible without the plethora of other individual and constituent impressions that are far from being heroic. These blurry shadows of something far from the ‘nationalist’ story, themselves constituting but a small piece of a larger puzzle, manifest as we historians selectively choose in our texts. Noli, in other words, is hardly legible and we need the complex surroundings of others’ engagements to even have the hope of appreciating how any biography is anything other than normal.

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Notes  1 B. Cothran, J. Judge and A. Shubert (eds), Women warriors and national heroes: global histories (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).  2 I. Blumi, Foundations of modernity: human agency and the imperial state (New York: Routledge, 2012).  3 M. Campos, ‘Freemasonry in Ottoman Palestine’, Jerusalem Quarterly 22:23 (2005), 37–62 and B. Anderson, Under three flags: anarchism and the anticolonial imagination (London: Verso, 2005).   4 A. Brisku, ‘Renegotiating the empire, forging the nation-state: the Albanian case through the political economic thought of Ismail Qemali, Fan Noli, and Luigj Gurakuqi, c. 1890–1920s’, Nationalities Papers 48:1 (2020), 158–74.  5 I. Moroni, O Ergatis, 1908–1909: Ottomanism, national economy and modernization in the Ottoman Empire (Istanbul: Libra, 2010); R. E. Antaramian, Brokers of faith, brokers of empire: Armenians and the politics of reform in the Ottoman Empire (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020); I. Blumi, Reinstating the Ottomans: alternative Balkan modernities, 1800–1912 (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011).  6 W. Connolly, Identity/difference: democratic negotiations of political paradox (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002): 119.  7 This homeland of Noli’s parents saw significant emigration during a period when pan-Hellenism included irredentist territorial claims to it. To thwart these efforts,  members of the Albanian-Tosk diaspora organized in Romania, Bulgaria,  Egypt and the larger Ottoman Empire. Blumi, Reinstating the Ottomans, 165–8.  8 Like their more successful Bulgarian, Romanian, Serbian and Montenegrin neighbours, throughout the nineteenth century the Patriarch in Constantinople condemned Albanian Orthodox Christians for advocating Albanian as a language of ceremonial practice, a struggle that proved central to Noli’s later career. I. Blumi, ‘Navigating the challenge of liberalism: the Albanian Orthodox Church’s century’, in S. Ramet (ed.), Orthodox churches and politics in southeastern Europe (New York: Palgrave-Cham, 2019), 192–222.  9 A. Pipa, ‘Fan Noli as a national and international Albanian figure’, Südost Forschungen 43 (1984), 241–70. 10 For a general context of the larger eastern Mediterranean and the movements of settlers like those mentioned throughout, see J. A. Clancy-Smith, Mediterraneans: north Africa and Europe in an age of migration, c. 1800–1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012). 11 Such networks have long interested scholars concerned with transnational activism. See L. Carminati, ‘Alexandria, 1898: nodes, networks, and scales in n ­ ineteenth-century Egypt and the Mediterranean’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 59:1 (2017), 127–53. 12 See F. Konitza, ‘Mémoire sur le mouvement national albanais’, Brussels, January 1899, found in Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Vienna (hereafter HHStA), PA, XIV/18, Liasse Albanien XII/2, 11–12.

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13 Although it is not clear whether it is the same Albanian Brotherhood, as late as December of 1912, an organization calling itself the Vellazerise Shqipëtarëve was writing letters to Thanas Tashko and Sotir Kolea (the two men who bankrolled Noli’s future career in the USA) demanding that Tosks in Egypt help fund Albanian-language schools in the homeland. See Arkiv Qendror i Shtetit, Tirana (hereafter AQSH), F.54.D.67.f.54–5, Vellazerise to Tashko, dated Cairo, 6 December 1912. 14 Duçi was constantly forced to stop publication projects for lack of effective writers, something resolved with the recruitment of Noli in 1903. HHStA, PA XIV/28, Albanien XX/3, ‘Mémoire über Albanien (Ende 1901 bis Anfang 1905)’, dated Vienna, 14 April 1905, 15. 15 The Austro-Hungarian consul in Cairo, who monitored Tosk activities in Egypt, offered the thesis that such liberal distribution of Greek passports helped Athens infiltrate local markets and divert regional trade (and political loyalties) into ‘Greek’ hands. HHStA PA XIV/16 Liasse XII/7, Velic to Goluchowski, dated Cairo, 15 March 1901. 16 Metropolitan F. S. Noli, Fiftieth anniversary of the Albanian Orthodox Church in America, 1908–1958 (Boston, MA: AOCA, 1960): 104–8. 17 At the time, almost all the major activist intellectuals in the larger eastern Mediterranean were eager to secure a justly run, multi-ethnic state that would thwart the evils of sectarianism, Slavic and Hellenic irredentism and/or the resulting ethnic separatism so many Europeans supported. U. Makdisi, Age of coexistence: the ecumenical frame and the making of the modern Arab world (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2019). 18 Tashko’s investment in many Tosk-Albanian-language publishing projects is a good example. As confided to correspondents, these publications not only catered to a large readership eager for news from the homeland but also creative pieces, especially satire. It was, in other words, the simple demand for entertainment from a large community of Tosk-Albanians that inspired investments in publishing and theatre and led to Tashko hiring Noli as an editor. AQSH, F. Athanas Tashko, D. 13, V. 1910–1955, f. 51–2. 19 Documents produced by Cairo-based Austrian consuls offer a rich picture of how the Ottoman-Albanian migrants and the Habsburg Empire interacted. Crucially, these reports reveal how Tosk-Albanian migrants strategically maintained alliances with Italy and the Egyptian state while accepting funds from Vienna. HHStA, PA XIV/16 Liasse XII/7, Velic to Goluchowski, dated Cairo, 15 March 1901, 75. 20 Archives du Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, Paris (hereafter AMAE), NS Turquie, vol. VI. Politique Interieure, Albanie, Vice-Consul to MAE, dated Uskub, 21 May 1907. Reflecting his own retrospective investment in his role, Noli claimed the main agenda at this early stage was Albanian independence, a claim anyone reading the text cannot support. Noli, Fiftieth anniversary, 95–6. 21 In Tashko’s first known public statement on the use of foreign words in written Albanian, in the Sofia-based newspaper Drita he provided a rationale for supporting the investment in standardizing the Albanian script for artistic reasons.

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Using Albanian words exclusively rather than the trend of mixing Greek and Ottoman loan words was to encourage creativity as much as reflect nationalist exclusivist sentiments. ‘Vallë pse?’, Drita, 65, dated Sofia, 2 August 1905, 2. 22 HHStA, PA XIV/16, Albanien, XII/1–7, Bornemisza to Goluchowski, dated Durazzo, 14 May 1904. 23 ‘E Vërteta’, Drita, 23, dated Sofia, 14 November 1901, 2. 24 Examples of such early transliteration forms, probably influential on Noli who was at the time making his presence known for his expert translations, are found in Kolonja’s Sofia-based Drita, 34, 18 December 1903. 25 Noli first made his mark in Athens translating into Greek Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People for a theatre company he would eventually prompt for; he even acted on occasion between 1900 and 1903. Noli, Fiftieth anniversary, 91–2. 26 Ibid. 27 Noli was initially sent to Petro Nini Luarasi (1865–1911), an Orthodox priest also from Korçë. Luarasi came to Buffalo in early 1905 to set up a diaspora group called Malli i Mëmëdheut (Homeland calling). Having fled the homeland under pressure from the Orthodox Church (for establishing Albanian language courses while serving as a priest), he would soon return to the Balkans to help run several presses and eventually teach again once the new CUP-run government permitted Albanian-language instruction in late 1908. Greek nationalists would murder him in 1911. Ibid., 100. 28 Ibid., 103. Noli later confided to Tashko in Egypt that he broke free of Peçi because he was ‘too different’. Letter, Noli to Tashko, dated Boston, 23 July 1906 in F. S. Noli, Topi i Lidhur, Anton Pashku (ed.) (Prishtine: Rilindja, 1977): 176. 29 Letter, Noli to Tashko, dated Boston, 29 July 1906. Topi i Lidhur, 177. 30 Letter, Noli to Tashko, dated Boston, 16 August 1906. Topi i Lidhur, 180. 31 Indeed, he had already begun studying Romanian. Letter, Noli to Tashko, dated Boston, 2 March 1906. Topi i Lidhur, 183–4. 32 Letter, Noli to Tashko, dated Boston, 25 December 1906. Topi i Lidhur, 182. 33 By 1907 Peci’s Kombi had been recognized by Vienna as the most important diaspora newspaper after Drita in Sofia. HHStA, PA XIV/16, Albanien, XII/1–7, Kral to Aehrenthal, dated Scutari, 12 April 1907. 34 The society Besa-Besën collected enough donations to rent the establishment and eventually buy it, after which it became the Saint George Albanian Orthodox Cathedral, the seat of the Albanian Archdiocese of the Orthodox Church in America. S. Skendi, The Albanian national awakening, 1878–1912 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967): 162–3. 35 R. C. Austin, Founding a Balkan state: Albania’s experiment with democracy, 1920–1925 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012): 4. 36 Letter, Noli to Tashko, dated Boston, 5 May 1909. Topi i Lidhur, 189. 37 Ibid., 190. 38 Letter, Noli to Tashko, dated Boston, 8 August 1909. Topi i Lidhur, 191. 39 In an undated letter, Tashko, probably in addition to the money Konitca would need, encouraged his underling to help Noli produce as much content as possible,

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for ‘the more books and newspapers a people published, the more they are called civilized’. AQSH, F. 9, D.14, fl.5, Tashko to Noli, Cairo, nd. 40 For instance, the uncle of the Khedive, Ahmed Fuad Pasha, supported the publishing of Albanian-language journals, both in Arabic and Greek script, throughout Egypt and the larger Mediterranean world. HHStA PA XIV/18 Liasse XII/2, Konitza to Zwiedinek, dated Brussels, 5 May 1899. 41 Documenti Diplomatici Italiani (hereafter DDI), Serie 3: 1896–1907. Vol. VI. (Roma, 1985), 187. Doc. N. 251, Leoni to MAE Prinetti, dated Rome, 15 March 1902. On the extent of Vienna’s patronage, see HHStA, PA XIV/18, Liasse XII/2, Zwiednek to Goluchowski, dated Vienna, 24 December 1902. 42 Skendi, The Albanian national awakening, 156–9. 43 Letter, Noli to Tashko, dated Boston, 20 July 1911. Topi i Lidhur, 192. 44 As the Italians observed, Vatra and Noli’s much celebrated ‘leadership’ role were clearly suspect by spring 1912. Archivio Storico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome (hereafter ASMAE), Inventario Serie P. Politica (1891–1916) Pacco 674, Reservato 32378, report to MAE on possibilities of an insurrection in Albania, dated Bari, 20 April 1912. 45 Noteworthy are the communiques recorded by the US government during the 1918 to 1920 period. As the USA positioned itself to navigate a postwar Europe, Washington was inundated with messages from various delegations claiming to represent ‘Albanians’ in Turkey, Canada, the United States, Romania and Switzerland. These messages all fail to mention Noli. In other words, he is not the sole – exceptional – player. The diasporic circles that claim representational authority are disjointed, concentric only at certain points that reflect the moments of necessary (desperate) alliance. Alas, these alliances often lasted for brief moments through the 1920s, resulting in the tumultuous politics of the period. United States National Archives, College Park (hereafter USNA) RG 59. M1211.R.3.875.001 27a to 33d. 46 Representing Vatra, Noli went ‘home’ again in 1913. As his long-assumed mandate to lobby Europeans with the weight of a wealthy diaspora network behind him proved more and more precarious, the delegation left the Balkans without securing an ‘independent’ Albania from occupation by neighbouring states. The community of influential (and now exiled) Tosks accompanying Noli included Dervish Hima, Mark Kakarriqi, Faik Konitca, Stefan Tefë Curani, Masar bej Toptani and Hilë Mosi. Noli, Fiftieth anniversary, 115. Their almost pathetically irrelevant trip ‘home’ (via Austria) reflected a diversion of aspirations and sensibilities that would separate those living in the homeland from those in the relative comfort of exile. By 1913 most of the Albanian lands had become occupied killing zones that witnessed either massive expulsions or forced assimilations of the very people the relatively rich exiles claimed to represent. The disjuncture would afflict Albanian politics for generations to come. 47 Reflecting a forgotten American role in thwarting old world powers’ attempts to divide up the Ottoman Balkans, Noli is mentioned by name in a memorandum sent from Yugoslavia to France’s General Clémenceau on 14 January 1920. By then Noli had recovered somewhat from his earlier debacle and secured US help

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to pressure France and Yugoslavia to pay lip service to a ‘local autonomous government with no foreign intervention’ as promised in earlier diplomatic agreements: AQSH, F.14, v. 1913–1921, D. 209, 21–2. 48 Noli’s short-lived government would go so far as to recognize the Soviet Union: Austin, Founding a Balkan state, 132–45.

7

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The exceptional normal: Hugh Lenox Scott (1853–1934) and the United States’ imperial expansion Stefan Eklöf Amirell Paying close attention to the ‘exceptional normal’ has been a cornerstone of microhistory since the term was introduced by the Italian historian Edoardo Grendi in 1977.1 The method flourished with the rise of microhistory in the 1970s and 1980s, even though what constitutes the exceptional normal has not yet been precisely defined, which leaves the term open to a wide range of uses and interpretations. As Francesca Trivellato has remarked, in a discussion of microhistory in relation to global history, the exceptional normal is ‘an often quoted aphorism that remains as captivating as it is enigmatic’.2 The enigmatic and aphoristic qualities of the exceptional normal, however, render it somewhat unsatisfactory as an analytical tool and there is much eclecticism in its application. Grendi, in his brief discussion of the concept, used it in relation to (hypothetical) exceptional source documents, particularly judicial papers. An exceptional source document, Grendi argued, ‘can be exceptionally “normal”, precisely because it is revealing’.3 In line with this reasoning, microhistorians have often focused their studies on unusual events, processes or phenomena that are explicitly or implicitly regarded as ‘exceptional normal’ and thus particularly revealing of, for example, the fabric, culture or mentality of the society under study. During the first decades of the twenty-first century, global historians revived the Italian microhistory of the 1980s and began to apply it to global historical processes and phenomena, both narrationally and methodologically.4 The writing of ‘global lives’ can be seen as a variety of this turn to global microhistory. Focussing on the exceptional normal seems particularly apt for the purposes of writing global lives, as demonstrated by the great interest that global historians have shown in the lives and experiences of ordinary, exceptionally normal, people, as opposed to the traditional focus of historical biographies on the important and famous.5 At least three methodological dimensions can be distilled from the exceptional normal as an analytical concept, all of which are of relevance for the writing of global biographies. First, the exceptional normal can be used, as Grendi suggests, to direct the attention of the historian to a

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particular source document (or set of documents) that may be exceptionally revealing of the normal or typical. Second, the method can be used to zoom in on a particular historical development that through its exceptionality may reveal much about the culture, relations and interaction in a particular historical context. Such a development may be an isolated event (such as the great cat  massacre analysed by Robert Darnton) or a more drawn-out process (such as the Inquisition in Montaillou studied by Emmanuel  Leroy Ladurie).6 Last, the exceptional normal can be applied to a person or a person’s life. By focussing on the exceptional normal, biography can be ‘instrumental in addressing questions about the typical and the frequent’ and provide a ‘peripheral gaze on normality, centre and the taken-for-granted’, as put by the editors of this volume in their introduction. Although there are obvious overlaps between the three dimensions (an exceptional normal person is likely to have been involved in exceptional normal developments which have left exceptional normal source documents), it is useful to separate them for analytical and methodological purposes. In particular, there is a need for the historian to clarify who or what is the referent object for the exceptional normal at each stage of the ­analysis  – the source, the historical development or the person in focus. Keeping these analytical distinctions clear is particularly important when writing historical biographies because of the temptation to write a person’s life as if it were linear, logical, consistent and coherent.7 Against this background, the present chapter sets out to explore these three methodological dimensions in relation to a US Army officer, Hugh Lenox Scott (1853–1934), who took part in the imperial expansion of the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, both in North America and outside it. After graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1876, Scott spent more than a decade in the American north-west (North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Nebraska), where, among other things, he took part in the final stage of the Great Sioux War and in the Nez Perce War in 1877. Between 1889 and 1897 he was stationed at Fort Sill (Oklahoma), where he observed the Ghost Dance at close hand, commanded Native American troops and oversaw the resettlement of around 300 Chiricahua Apache prisoners of war, including the famous Geronimo. After leaving Fort Sill, Scott served as adjutant-general and acting governor in Cuba between 1899 and 1902, and from 1903 to 1906 he was governor of the Sulu District in the southern Philippines. In all of these capacities, Scott was on the front lines of American imperial expansion. Although he saw combat on some occasions, particularly in Sulu, his main legacy is that of a negotiator and peacemaker who possessed an unusual ability to persuade Native Americans, Cubans and Sulunese to

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collaborate with the authorities and to abstain from taking to violence to oppose the Americans.8 He subsequently went on to serve as superintendent of the United States Military Academy for four years and Army chief of staff during the First World War, before retiring in 1919. The focus on Scott’s biography, particularly during his first thirty years of service, provides rich opportunities for exploring all three analytical dimensions of the exceptional normal: first, his personal papers and other sources to his life are unusually rich and give unique insights into how the colonial expansion of the United States was negotiated and implemented by means of both persuasion and coercion in the frontier zones. Second, many of the events and social relations in which Scott was involved can be understood as exceptional normal in that they provide a peripheral perspective on the policies of imperial expansion, in contrast to the perspective from Washington DC and the east coast. Focussing on events and relations in the frontier zones of imperial expansion can thus serve to decentre our understanding of the process of American imperialism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Finally, Scott’s biography can be characterized as exceptionally normal in itself, as he pursued an imperial career. His career both represented the ‘normal’ of the times (imperial expansion) and was exceptional, as few

Figure 7.1  Hugh Lenox Scott: (left) in his early twenties, c. 1876, and (right) in his forties, c. 1895. Sources: (left) Library of Congress, Washington DC, Prints and Photographs Division, LOT 5634 G; (right) Courtesy of Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum, Lawton, OK, Photo Collection-File Cabinet, P2016.

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people became physical agents of expansions like Scott did. Following David Lambert and Alan Lester, with reference to the British Empire, such imperial careers were pursued by agents of colonialism who stayed for extended periods of time in one colony or imperial contact zone before moving on to others. In doing so, they often had the opportunity to develop informed opinions about the societies with which they came into contact. In the contact zones, the individuals who made imperial careers engaged in networks of, for example, business, administration and friendship, and frequently became – at least by their own account, but frequently also in the eyes of their contemporaries – experts on the cultures and societies of the colonized. Such knowledge was crucial for imperial expansion and domination, and many of those who pursued imperial careers played significant roles in the development and regeneration of imperial policies, practices and cultures.9

Sources as the exceptional normal Apart from Scott’s rather extensive (673-page) autobiography, published in 1928,10 the main sources pertaining to his life and career are his personal papers at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, which consist of about thirteen linear metres of correspondence, reports, notes, drafts of writings, speeches, financial papers, lists, press clippings, photographs, drawings and other documents relating to Scott’s life and career. In addition, there are smaller collections of Scott’s personal papers at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York; at Fort Sill in Oklahoma; and at Princeton University, New Jersey. Many documents relating to Scott are also kept at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC and College Park, Maryland. Scott was a prolific correspondent, and his personal papers contain a large number of private letters to and from his mother, Mary Elizabeth Scott (Hodge) and, after his marriage in 1880, to his wife, Mary Scott (Merrill). As a cadet at West Point and during most of his first four years of service in the north-west, Scott wrote to his mother at least once a week, usually on Sundays. Later in life, when he was separated from his wife for shorter or longer periods, usually because of duties, he generally wrote to her several times per week. Not all letters are available in the papers, however, either because they have not been preserved, or possibly because the family did not think they were fit for public consumption when they deposited the collections at the various institutions. It may therefore be assumed that some letters that might have reflected badly on Scott or other members of the family have been culled. For example, letters in which Scott expressed racist

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sentiments against Black cadets while he was attending the US Military Academy during the 1870s were obviously not included when Mary Scott deposited his correspondence at the Library of Congress in 1938, although several such letters can be found in a later deposit by one of his grandsons held by the US Military Academy.11 Remarkably few letters are available in the collections from Scott’s service on the northern plains between 1876 and 1887 – only a few dozen altogether – compared with the hundreds from his four years as a cadet at West Point. Moreover, given Scott’s self-avowed interest in the language and culture of the American plains Indians there is surprisingly little mention of Native Americans in the preserved private letters from 1876 to 1887. A rare exception, however, is a letter that Scott wrote to his mother in November 1877, soon after the end of the summer campaign that had kept him and his regiment in the field for over six months. In the letter, Scott both romanticized the manly virtues of the plains Indians, particularly those of the (Northern) Cheyennes, and reproduced common racist stereotypes about Native Americans as filthy and wretched: The Cheyennes are the Indians I like … braver – cleaner and more manly in every way than any I’ve seen in the Northwest and I’ve seen nearly all of them – the Nez Perces are too much like the Crows and of all horrible cowardly wretches the Crows are the worst – the Nez Perces are not cowardly but in stature, appearance, dress, hair and filth they are very much alike – the Yanktonais Siouxs don’t pan out well or the Assiniboines or the Rees Mandans or Gros Ventres – the Cheyennes beat them all.12

The letter is an exceptional normal document in that it did not really reveal anything new about white Americans’ understanding of Native Americans in general, but rather that Scott shared many of the prejudices – much in contrast to the silence of his other letters on the subject at the time and his later more sophisticated knowledge of Native American culture. Fourteen months after his arrival in Dakota, Scott thus hesitated between two main long-standing tropes which Europeans applied to Native Americans, which Francis Paul Prucha has called the pattern of the ‘noble savage’ and that of the ‘ignoble savage’.13 Through its exceptionality, the letter thus reveals that Scott shared the stereotypes that most white Americans subscribed to concerning Native Americans. Scott’s adherence to the trope of the noble savage, particularly with regard to the Northern Cheyennes, was influenced by the contemporary popular historian Francis Parkman’s characterization of American Indians. In the passage in his autobiography where Scott relates how he arrived in the north-west in 1876, he quotes from the book by Parkman that would remain his favourite throughout his life, The conspiracy of Pontiac:

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The Indian is a true child of the forest and the desert. The wastes and solitudes of nature are his congenial home. His haughty mind is imbued with the spirit of the wilderness, and the light of civilization falls on him with a blighting power. His unruly pride and untamed freedom are in harmony with the lonely mountains, cataracts, and rivers among which he dwells; and primitive America, with her savage scenery and savage men, opens to the imagination a boundless world, unmatched in wild sublimity.14

In his autobiography, Scott claims that he was well attuned to the spirit of what he called the ‘primitive America’ of the west, which he associated with the culture and ‘untamed spirit’ of the American plains Indians. In line with Parkman, Scott also associated himself with what from the turn of the twentieth century became known as the ‘strenuous life’ – that is, the rough ideal of frontier manliness, including virtues such as endurance, strength, courage and disregard for physical comfort.15 However, another exceptional normal letter shows that Scott’s commitment to the strenuous life may not have been as strong during his first years of service in the north-west as he later made out. In a letter to his sister-inlaw dated Christmas Eve 1879, he wrote at length about the hardships that he had to endure on the Dakota plains in the winter: You have no idea how discouraging it is to look around at the frozen waste on every side of you, to be tired and chilled, no trail to follow, having to plunge, plunge till you only want to lie down somewhere and to go sleep and end all the trouble and worry, and know if you do you won’t wake up again, only you are so tired and chilled you don’t care much if you don’t wake up.16

In his autobiography, Scott also claims that he began to study the culture and languages of the plains Indians soon after he arrived in Dakota territory in September 1876 and that he subsequently continued to do so throughout his life. This claim is not entirely accurate, however. It seems that in 1878 (if not earlier) Scott indeed began to study the plains Indian sign language, which was used as a lingua franca by Native Americans on the plains from Canada in the north to Mexico in the south. In doing so he was assisted by a Northern Cheyenne chief, White Bear, who was a prisoner of war at Fort Abraham Lincoln at which Scott was stationed at the time. However, in his annual individual service report for 1890, Scott wrote that he had once had a working knowledge of the sign language, but had been away from the plains Indians for eight years and had thus lost it.17 This, in itself rather normal, course of events is only brought to light by an exceptional source document that serves as a corrective to Scott’s later angled narrative, which historians have tended to take at face value. These examples point to one of the uses of the exceptional normal as a method for analysing sources in the writing of historical biographies.

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The exceptional normal document can serve as a corrective to the tendency to write both biographies and autobiographies as coherent and linear developments. They can also serve as a warning not to write history backwards and trace the main character traits of the subject genealogically. Instead, what these exceptional normal sources show is that – in contrast to the image that Scott later gave of his service on the plains in the 1870s and 1880s – he was not entirely committed to the ideal of frontier manliness and that his interest in American plains Indian languages and cultures was not quite as strong as he later made out. They also indicate that Scott shared many of the common prejudices of white Americans toward Native Americans at the time and that his more solid knowledge of the sign language only developed later, when he was stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma during the 1890s.

An exceptionally normal event There are many events throughout Scott’s imperial career that may be regarded as exceptional normal in the sense that they reveal the normal. One such event is a little-known incident that occurred in Anadarko on the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache Reservation in Oklahoma in the early months of 1891. The incident is revealing, both because it bears testimony to the tragic consequences of the government’s attempts to assimilate Native Americans and for the reactions and feelings that it caused. Its resolution also reveals much about the relations between the Native Americans on the reservations and the American authorities. On 8 January, three Kiowa schoolboys, aged 8, 10 and 14 or 15, ran away from the Kiowa boarding school in Anadarko after the oldest boy had been punished for having kicked a younger student in the stomach. The three boys slipped away at night and set course for the home of one of them, some 50 kilometres away. On the way, however, they got caught in a blizzard and froze to death. When their bodies were discovered a few days later, a crowd of Kiowas gathered in Anadarko to mourn and, apparently, to demand justice or retribution for the ill treatment of the children which had led to the tragedy. The teachers and other white American staff at the school found the situation very frightening, particularly after it was rumoured that a relative of one of the boys had threatened to stick a knife in the teacher who had administered the punishment to the oldest boy. The teacher in question fled from the reservation at night and never set foot there again. Meanwhile, the white Indian agent, Charles E. Adams, barricaded himself in his house and sent a telegram to Fort Sill, some 60 kilometres to the south, asking the post commander to urgently send two troops of cavalry (around one hundred men) for protection.18

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It is difficult to assess the extent of the actual threat from the Kiowas to the white people on the reservation. A local newspaper quoted a stage coach driver who had declared that between four and five hundred angry Indians had gathered in Anadarko and threatened to burn down all buildings in the town and scalp the school’s headmaster.19 Regardless of the limited reliability of the report, it does illustrate the fears and distrust that many white Americans felt for the Kiowa and other Native Americans. So far, the tragic event and the reactions it triggered, particularly among white Americans, are typical of many similar developments on Indian reservations around the United States. The Native Americans were often treated badly in various ways and suffered as a result of deficient policies, bad living conditions, racism, ignorance, corruption and mutual suspicion between white and Native Americans. When the latter protested or expressed resentment, this was often seen as insolence and taken as a sign that violence was imminent, which led to calls for military repression that in itself often resulted in violence against Native Americans. The death of the three Kiowa boys occurred around the time of the zenith of the Ghost Dance movement, which affected most of the Native American nations that until recently had lived by hunting bison on the plains and that now had been forced to settle on reservations. Starting with the Paiutes in Nevada in 1889, the movement spread during the following year among Native Americans west of the Mississippi, in Oklahoma and the Indian Territory as elsewhere. The Ghost Dance was a messianic movement, inspired both by traditional Native American beliefs and rituals, and Christianity. It predicted that the ancestors would rise from the dead, the bison would return and the white people would vanish from the continent, allowing the Native Americans to return to their previous ways of life. Although the Ghost Dance movement was peaceful and did not encourage violence against whites, many white Americans believed that it would sooner or later erupt in violence. Such anxieties gave rise to calls for the military to put an end to the dancing and in autumn 1890 thousands of troops were dispatched to South Dakota, where many Sioux had taken up the new religion. Violence followed, particularly at Wounded Knee on 29 December 1890, when troops from the Seventh Cavalry massacred between 150 and 200 Lakotas.20 Although Scott was a Seventh Cavalryman, he was not present at Wounded Knee. Instead, he had been charged with the task of keeping an eye on the Ghost Dance on the southern plains. Disguised as a small hunting party, Scott and five men travelled to the vicinity of the places where the dances were held. As a white man, Scott was not usually allowed to attend the actual dancing ritual, but through the aid of a trusted Kiowa scout, Iseeo (Tahbonemah), he was able, as he later put

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it, to get u ­ nderneath the surface of affairs.21 Iseeo’s and his own observations convinced Scott that there was no threat of violence from the Native Americans who took part in the dances. The greatest threat to the peace, Scott held, came from white Americans in the region, who might intervene and try to put an end to the rituals. Scott’s reports and recommendations that no troops be dispatched to Indian Territory or Oklahoma to quell the Ghost Dance were  forwarded all the way to the Army Headquarters in Washington DC and contributed to the lack of violence in connection with the Ghost Dance on the southern plains, much in contrast to the developments in Dakota.22 In January 1891, when the commander of Fort Sill, Lieutenant Colonel Caleb Henry Carlton, received a telegram from agent Adams asking him to dispatch two troops to Anadarko his first decision was to comply with the request. He called on Scott to take command of the force, but Scott declined: I reminded the colonel that this was no kind of weather in which to send troops out in the field. There had been a heavy fall of rain, filling up the streams, after which two feet of snow had fallen, and now it was raining and sleeting again, and if troops were compelled to march all night in such weather they would arrive in Anadarko in a very ugly frame of mind; the Indians were coming there, armed, from every direction, much excited over the loss of the children, and a very serious clash was probable and would cause a great deal of bloodshed.23

The shadow of the recent violence at Wounded Knee hung over the heated discussion that followed. On one hand, dispatching the requested troops to Anadarko held the risk of leading to violence, either because of the tension produced by the juxtaposition of the troops with the upset Kiowas, or, it was feared, because the Kiowas might be stirred to action upon hearing that the troops were on their way.24 On the other hand, not sending the troops might be seen as a grave misjudgement on Carlton’s part and might earn him a court martial should the Kiowas take to violence. In the end – and reportedly after considerable dissension – Carlton decided to follow Scott’s advice and send him together with Iseeo, a Comanche scout and an interpreter to ‘investigate … the alleged necessity for the presence of two troops of cavalry to protect the agency at Anadarko’.25 Carlton also, however, ordered two troops to be ready to march at a moment’s notice and the rest of the garrison to be ready to march by daybreak, should hostilities occur. In his report on the mission to Anadarko, which he submitted to the post adjutant upon his return to Fort Sill on 18 January, Scott downplayed the threat of violence from the Kiowas, claiming that they were very sorry for

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the loss of their children ‘but were not angry at any one because the snow had killed the children’.26 In reality, however, the situation when Scott arrived on the morning of 15 January was very tense and the Kiowas seem to have been on the brink of attacking the school, the agency or both. Scott first sent Iseeo to the Kiowa camp to urge them not to take to violence and to investigate whether an attack was imminent. He then worked to calm the feelings of the Kiowas. According to Carlton: Lieut. Scott called a council of Indians, sympathized with them for the loss of their children, and encouraged them to talk, and adjourned the council from time to time to allow the Indians to cool down and get over their anger, and finally induced them to forgive the whites and go home peacefully.27

The next day, Scott called a reconciliation meeting between, on one hand, agent Adams, the school principal and the other white people in the town and, on the other hand, the leaders of the Kiowas and close family members of the three boys. Scott reported that it was a ‘most affecting scene’ with tears running down the faces on some of the mourners and several ‘sensible and sorrowful’ speeches by the boys’ relatives.28 Neither the agent nor the principal, however, showed any compassion for the Indians, according to Scott. ‘[T]hey had no more consideration for their feelings sitting on the floor wrapped in their blankets, around the wall, the tears running down their faces for their lost children, than they had for the feelings of the chairs …’29 Scott and his party left Anadarko the following day after most of the Kiowas had returned to their homes on the reservation. Despite the lack of compassion shown by the local officials, no serious violence had occurred in the aftermath of the tragic event, and Carlton was of the opinion that probably no one but Scott could have dealt with the situation so successfully and that, in doing so, he had averted an outright war that would have resulted in much bloodshed.30 This incident is exceptional because of the decision not to dispatch the requested troops to Anadarko and Scott’s and Iseeo’s successful handling of the situation through negotiation and reconciliation rather than coercion. At the same time, the incident illustrates many normal or typical features of the relations between Native and white Americans during the late nineteenth century: the deficient assimilation policies, the contempt and fear that many white Americans felt toward Native Americans and the more or less persistent threat of serious violence between white and Native Americans. All of these tendencies were reinforced by the excitement of the Ghost Dance movement. Although the Anadarko incident is much less well-known and much less dramatic than the events a few weeks earlier at Wounded Knee, both are examples of exceptional normal events



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that, despite their widely different outcomes, are revealing of the relations between white and Native Americans.

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The making of an exceptional normal biography When Scott graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in June 1876 there was little to suggest that his career as an officer would be in any way exceptional and that he eventually would rise to the rank of major general and attain the highest military office in the Army, that of army chief of staff, in 1915. As a cadet he had been suspended for a year for hazing, and he graduated in thirty-sixth place out of forty-eight in his class, which limited his prospects for an assignment to a regiment of his choice. His joining the Seventh Cavalry in the north-west was due to a contingency, George Armstrong Custer’s crushing defeat at the Little Bighorn, which took place less than two weeks after Scott’s graduation from West Point. The battle created a number of vacancies among the officers of the Seventh Cavalry, and with the help of a well-connected uncle Scott was able to arrange for a transfer; he joined the regiment in Dakota in September.31 Scott seems to have been an able and ambitious young officer, but he did not distinguish himself in combat during his first years of service. Although he was keen to see action in the Great Sioux War and the subsequent Nez Perce War, for incidental reasons he missed all the major battles that occurred in the summer of 1877, including the ones in which troops from his regiment took part, such as Canyon Creek and Bear Paw. Promotion was slow in the US army in the decades following the end of the American Civil War, and after Scott had attained the rank of first lieutenant in 1878, it took another seventeen years before he was promoted to captain. His taste for hunting and the outdoor life, combined with a distinct distaste for the rank-and-file duties of a ‘wagon soldier’, as he called the posting, made him seek out scouting assignments and other forms of detached duty. In the course of these assignments, he had several minor encounters with Native Americans.32 He took some interest in their language and culture – particularly, as mentioned, the sign language – and, inspired by Parkman’s account and his own fondness for hunting and the outdoor life, Scott came to appreciate at least some parts of plains Indian culture. During his first years of service in the late 1870s, Scott’s interest in the plains Indians’ cultures and languages seems above all to have been motivated by his desire to further his career and status.33 Learning about Native American culture and language was in many ways a rational strategy in the final stages and immediate aftermath of the Indian Wars, and Scott was far from the only army officer to take an interest in the American plains

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Indians at the time. In particular, several generals engaged in the so-called ‘Indian problem’, and the commander of the Division of the Missouri, Phil Sheridan, encouraged junior officers in the field who were interested in communicating and dealing directly with the Native Americans to learn more about their cultures and languages.34 Later, particularly in the 1890s, Scott’s association with General Nelson Appleton Miles, who also took a great interest in the ‘Indian problem’, would be crucial for his career. In his autobiography, Scott gives the impression that he had always had a keen personal interest in American plains Indian culture and that he continuously dedicated himself to studying their languages and cultures throughout his life, beginning during his early days on the north-western frontier during the 1870s and continuing until the final years of his life.35 Moreover, Scott claims that he was one of very few US Army officers during the whole nineteenth century who understood the value of the sign language and were prepared to put enough effort into learning it: I have often marveled at this apathy concerning such a valuable instrument, by which communication could be held with every tribe on the plains of the buffalo, using only one language, by which an officer could make himself independent of interpreters, render great service to his associates and to his government, acquire a commanding influence over whole tribes and districts, and which possibly might save his life.36

In making this claim, Scott projected an image of himself as an exceptional normal officer – exceptional in his understanding of the value of intercultural and linguistic communication with Native Americans, but normal in his sense of duty and loyalty to the army. A general tendency in Scott’s autobiography is the frequency of episodes and observations that portray him as knowing or acting in better and more insightful ways than other officers or other white Americans, particularly in relation to Native American and other colonized peoples.37 However, as we have seen, Scott did not in fact keep up his skills in the sign language after his initial attempts to learn it, nor does he seem to have had much interaction with American Indians after his first couple of years in the north-west. Between 1878 and 1882 he was stationed at Fort Totten, close to the Devil’s Lake Reservation (now the Spirit Lake Reservation, North Dakota), where more than a thousand Eastern Sioux (Sisseton and Wahpeton) and Cuthead Yanktonai lived, but his personal papers from the time do not indicate that he had any close interaction with them. Instead he was largely preoccupied with family matters. In 1879 he got engaged to Mary Merrill, the daughter of a major in the Seventh Cavalry, and they were married the year after. In 1881, the couple’s first child was born. During his time at Fort Totten Scott also engaged in farming and land speculation and

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tried, but ultimately failed, to acquire the title to a homestead plot close to the fort. Scott did not have his mind set on becoming a homestead farmer, however, but to sell the land to investors who were interested in buying land in anticipation of a railroad line connecting Fort Totten with the Great Northern Railway.38 In the autumn of 1882, Scott’s troop was transferred to Fort Meade; there was no Native American settlement nearby nor any Native American scouts attached to the post. As we have seen, from about this time Scott lost most of his proficiency in the sign language. Instead, he sought other ways to make himself useful to his superiors in the army and to further his career and interests. It was the policy of the army to encourage both officers and enlisted men to undertake hunting excursions in order to increase their knowledge of the land and to practise their field skills and Scott made ample use of this opportunity. Accordingly, he explored and mapped large parts of South Dakota and Montana, in addition to developing his skills in horse breeding, for which he seriously considered leaving the army. Scott’s exceptional gift for exploration and livestock breeding can be gleaned from a personal letter to him from the commander of the Seventh Cavalry, Colonel Samuel Davis Sturgis: [It] seems that there is no man in Dakota, either in the Army or out of it, who is as well posted as you are, from personal observation, in the resources and possibilities of Dakota. On all your hunting expeditions as well as your mil. marches, you seem to have kept your eyes steadily and intelligently open and to have allowed no opportunity to pass for gleaning information as to the topography and geography of the country – and its capacity for raising cattle, sheep, horses etc. From the care with which you seem to have studied the details of these enterprises, I feel quite sure that you will do yourself an injustice by remaining in the Army – and whilst all who know you would regret to see you leave the service, I am as certain as one can be of anything yet to be accomplished, that, with your knowledge of Dakota and your industry and energy and aptness for the business, if you should give up your profession and enter upon the business of raising cattle or horses, but especially the latter, you would find yourself a millionaire in a very few years.39

Scott thus managed to gain the attention of his superiors during his posting at Fort Meade, not for his knowledge of Native American languages and cultures – for which there seems to have been little demand at the time – but for his knowledge about how the land and its resources could be exploited. The land had only recently been annexed or conquered by the United States, and although Scott later came to the conclusion that the Great Sioux War had been a great injustice and that white men had no right to be in the Black Hills or other parts of the plains Indian country, he obviously had no such qualms at the time.40

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Despite Scott’s claim in his autobiography that he studied the sign language continuously from around 1877 it was thus only after he came to Fort Sill in Oklahoma twelve years later that he developed more profound skills in the language. In contrast to Fort Meade, there was a detachment of Native American, mainly Kiowa, scouts at Fort Sill, performing guard duties, escorts and searches for outlaws and deserters, among other things.41 Of particular importance for Scott’s interaction with the American Indians in the area was the friendship that he developed with Iseeo, who enlisted as a scout shortly after Scott arrived at Fort Sill. Born in Kansas around 1850, Iseeo had taken part in battles between Kiowas and Navajos, as well as a raiding expedition to Texas in 1875. Between 1881 and 1885 he worked as a policeman on the Kiowa, Comanche and Washita Reservations.42 Despite the great social and cultural differences between Scott and Iseeo they developed a close and lasting personal friendship that was built, at least in part, on their common background and identity as warriors. Both Iseeo and Scott were also committed outdoor people who liked hunting and the strenuous life on horseback or by the campfire. They were close in age and shared similar values of manliness, honour, duty and personal integrity.43 During his eight years at Fort Sill, Scott collected much information about the myths, legends and history of the Kiowa and the ways in which these were attached to various places and features in the landscape. He also took an interest in their names and daily customs and practices. Much of this information was provided by Iseeo, and Scott meticulously recorded it in  four ledgers.44 Scott also collected numerous American Indian artefacts,  and in time his house became full of hides, feather work, shields, weapons and other objects, some of which were later acquired by the philanthropist and activist Phoebe A. Hearst and are now housed at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.45 Within a few years of taking up station at Fort Sill, by the beginning of the 1890s, Scott had acquired a high level of skill in communicating in the sign language and he came to be regarded as one of the most prominent white American speakers of the language. In 1893 he was invited to the International Folk-lore Congress at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where he delivered a paper on the sign language for a prominent scholarly audience, which was subsequently published in the conference proceedings.46 The presentation was followed by a live demonstration in which Scott talked by signs with four Oglala Sioux from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World. Scott continued to develop his skills in the sign language throughout the 1890s and later in his life – even after he lost several fingers on both hands in a gunfight in Sulu in 1903 – and he was one of the leading proponents for the documentation and preservation of the language until his death in 1934.47

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Through his proficiency in the sign language, Scott came to acquire a rare expertise among his fellow officers in dealing with American plains Indians.48 He continued to deal with Native Americans in many contexts throughout his military career (and after), for example in his observation of the Ghost Dance on the southern plains in 1890–91, in his command of the Native American Troop L of the Seventh Cavalry from 1891 to 1897, in his overseeing the resettlement of the Chiricahua Apache prisoners of war in Oklahoma between 1894 and 1897, and in resolving several relatively minor conflicts involving Navajo, Kickapoo, Paiute and other American Indian nations in the first decades of the twentieth century. Inspired by Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic capital, sociologist George Steinmetz has called such allegedly superior knowledge and understanding of other cultures ‘ethnographic capital’ which could be a key asset for military and civilian officials in colonial settings (in Steinmetz’s case Germany’s colonial empire before 1914).49 Scott’s career largely corroborates Steinmetz’s theory. His commitment to learning the sign language and styling himself as an expert in plains Indian culture served him well and earned him the attention of senior army officers as well as politicians, including several presidents such as Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. Importantly, however, for all the sympathy that Scott had, and frequently expressed, for Native Americans – including his leading a sustained but ultimately unsuccessful campaign to have invalidated a fraudulent land agreement that would have deprived the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache Indians of most of their land – Scott’s loyalty to the military and the United States was never in doubt. In this respect, he differed from many other intermediaries between white and Native Americans during the nineteenth century, many of whom were either married to an American Indian, of mixed descent or both. Such ‘squaw men’, as they were called, were often viewed with suspicion, both in the army and in society at large, because of their transgression of racial boundaries and doubts about their true loyalties.50 Scott, by contrast, descended from a respected Presbyterian family on the east coast and his wife was the daughter of an army officer. In these respects, Scott again illustrates the exceptional normal – exceptional in his knowledge and understanding of American plains Indians but normal in his identity and standing as a white American loyal to the United States.

Conclusions The aim of the present volume is to explore how biography can enrich global history and vice versa, and this section specifically asks how a focus

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on the exceptional normal can be fruitful. The present chapter argues for the analytical separation of the three main analytical or methodological dimensions of the exceptional normal, which should be understood as pertaining to a particular source, to an event, or to an actor. In all of these respects, a focus on the exceptional normal can be fruitful when writing global history. The intimate and personal character of many of the sources used to write biography, such as personal correspondence, notes and diaries, is likely to reveal feelings and assessments that tend to be left out of official sources or retrospective accounts such as autobiographies. Such exceptional normal sources can serve as a corrective to genealogical or teleological accounts, both of a person’s life and of global historical processes more broadly. Exceptional normal sources can thus function as tools for criticising sources and as a way of writing history forward and from the perspective of the situations as experienced by the actors who were present at a certain time and place, rather than from the perspective of hindsight or from a distant metropolis. Turning to events, a focus on the exceptional normal can serve to draw attention to developments that, because of their seeming normality and lack of drama, tend to escape the attention of historians. The tragic incident with the three Kiowa boys is one such incident that easily could have erupted in violence and possibly a massacre similar to the one at Wounded Knee, but because it was resolved without recourse to violence on either side it has been largely ignored by historians. However, attention to such exceptional normal events can provide other, supplementary perspectives on key historical developments, in this context the Ghost Dance movement among the American plains Indians and the nature of relations and conditions on the Indian reservations. The purpose is not to write counter-factual history but to draw attention to seemingly normal and understudied developments that can be revealing about the everyday interactions and negotiations in different global historical contexts. In this way, exceptional normal events can serve to challenge and add nuance to global historical metanarratives about, for example, the role of the military in imperial domination, assimilation and interracial relations. The genre of historical biography has traditionally tended to focus mainly on the exceptional qualities of a person and to downplay the normal. Such tendencies are often at least as pronounced in autobiographies, and biographers have often struggled (or, in some cases, not bothered) to liberate themselves from the influence of autobiographical accounts by their object of study. Thinking about the exceptional normal in relation to a person’s life or career, however, forces the biographer to think carefully about what, if anything, makes a person both exceptional and normal in relation

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to his or her peers, character and context. In Scott’s case his exceptional linguistic and intercultural communications skills were acquired mainly in the 1890s and as a result of a combination of instrumentalist motives and personal interest. Crucially, however, Scott’s exceptionality did not overshadow his normality, that is, his being a white American officer with a prominent east coast family background, married to the daughter of a senior army officer. He also associated easily  with  other senior military officers, both in formal contexts and on  hunting expeditions, and was able  to win their confidence. Social capital, in other words, combined with ethnographic and linguistic capital, made Scott an exceptional normal US Army officer and propelled his imperial and military career, while also giving him several opportunities to influence the course of events in the frontier zones of imperial expansion.

Notes  1 E. Grendi, ‘Micro-analisi e storia sociale’, Quaderni storici, 12:35 (1977): 512.  2 F. Trivellato, ‘Is there a future for Italian microhistory in the age of global history?’, California Italian Studies, 2:1 (2011): II.  3 Grendi, ‘Micro-analisi e storia sociale’, 512; my translation from Italian.  4 For a recent and insightful discussion, including references to the most important contributions to the field of global microhistory in the 2010s, see R. Bertrand and G. Calafat, ‘La microhistoire globale: affaire(s) à suivre’, Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 73:1 (2018), 3–18.  5 Cf. M. Gamsa, ‘Biography and (global) microhistory’, New Global Studies 11:3 (2017): 237.  6 R. Darnton, The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history (New York: Vintage Books, 1984); E. Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou, village occitan de 1294 à 1324 (Paris: Gallimard, 1975).  7 G. Levi, ‘Les usages de la biographie’, Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales 44:6 (1989): 1329.  8 For a concise biography of Scott, see J. W. Harper, ‘Scott, Hugh Lenox’, in J.  A.  Garraty and M. C. Carnes (eds), American national biography, vol. 19 (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 493–5.  9 D. Lambert and A. Lester, ‘Introduction’, in D. Lambert and A. Lester (eds), Colonial lives across the British Empire: imperial careering in the long nineteenth century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 1–2. On the recent ‘biographical turn’ in history, see H. Renders, B. de Haan and J. Harmsma (eds), The biographical turn: lives in history (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017). 10 H. L. Scott, Some memories of a soldier (New York; The Century Co., 1928). 11 Mainly in the Hugh Lenox Scott Papers at the US Military Academy Library, West Point, NY (hereafter HLSP, USMA), 1, 2.

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12 Hugh Lenox Scott Papers at the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington DC (hereafter HLSP, MDLC) 1, Scott to mother (Mary Elizabeth Scott), 23 November 1877. 13 F. P. Prucha, The great father: the United States government and the American Indians, vol. 1 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984): 6–7. 14 F. Parkman, The conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the conquest of Canada, vol. 1 (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Co., 1870): 1. In his autobiography, Scott slightly modifies Parkman’s wording: Scott, Some memories, 30–31. 15 Scott, Some memories, 28, 30. See also K. Bjork, Prairie imperialists: the Indian country origins of American empire (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018): 45–7; T. Winter, ‘Strenuous life’, in B. E. Carroll (ed.), American masculinities: a historical encyclopedia (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2004): 439–40. 16 USMA, HLSP 2, Scott to ‘sister’ [sister-in-law Henrietta Logan Scott], 24 December 1879. 17 National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC (hereafter NARA), RG 94, 4879:2, Box 773, Scott to adjutant-general of the Army, officer’s individual report, 30 April 1890. By contrast, Scott began to study the sign language in earnest after his arrival at Fort Sill and within a few years he could converse fluently in it. He would go on to be a leading proponent of the preservation and documentation of the sign language, particularly later in his life: J. E. Davis, Hand talk: sign language among American Indian nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010): 73–7. 18 MDLC, HLSP 6, Scott to post adjutant, Fort Sill, 18 January 1891; Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Kiowa Agency Records (hereafter OKHS, KAR) 667, Gregory to Morgan, February 1891. 19 Wichita Daily Eagle, 18 January 1891, 2. 20 J. A. Greene, American carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014). 21 Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum (hereafter FSHLM), Doc. 4485, letter, Scott to Brigadier General E. H. Plummer, 8 July 1918; Scott, Some memories, 146ff. 22 For the reports, see NARA, Rg94/25 997 PRD 1891. See also FSHLM, Hugh L. Scott Collection, Hugh Lenox Scott, ‘The Messiah dance in the Indian territory’, essay for the Fort Sill Lyceum, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, undated [1892]. On the Ghost Dance on the southern plains, see also B. R. Kracht, Religious revitalization among the Kiowas: the Ghost Dance, peyote, and Christianity (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018). 23 Scott, Some memories, 158–9. 24 MDLC, HLSP 97, Carlton to adjutant-general, US Army, 25 January 1909. 25 MDLC, HLSP 6, Scott to post adjutant, Fort Sill, 18 January 1891; OKHS, KAR 667, anonymous, handwritten report, undated. 26 MDLC, HLSP 6, Scott to post adjutant, Fort Sill, 18 January 1891. 27 MDLC, HLSP 97, Carlton to adjutant-general, US Army, 25 January 1909.

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28 MDLC, HLSP 6, Scott to post adjutant, Fort Sill, 18 January 1891. 29 MDLC, HLSP 83, Scott, ‘The makers of peace’, undated speech [p. 1921]. 30 MDLC, HLSP 97, Carlton to adjutant-general, US Army, 25 January 1909. 31 Bjork, Prairie imperialists, 24–9. 32 Scott, Some memories, 35; cf. MDLC, HLSP 1, Scott to mother, 26 October 1877. On Scott’s scouting experience, see Bjork, Prairie imperialists, 49–61. 33 Bjork, Prairie imperialists, 60–61. 34 P. A. Hutton, Phil Sheridan and his army (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press,1999): 254, 334. 35 Scott, Some memories, 32. 36 Ibid., 217. 37 Ibid., 38–9, 108, 386. 38 NARA, RG 94: 4879:1 Box 772, Scott to adjutant-general of the Army, 20 July 1882; adjutant-general of the Army to Scott, 2 August 1882; MDLC, HLSP 1, Scott to brother [William], 22 June 1882. 39 MDLC, HLSP 6, Sturgis to Scott, 15 November 1885. 40 See Scott, ‘Custer’s last fight’, New York Times, 6 January 1935. 41 W. S. Nye, Carbine and lance: the story of old Fort Sill (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1937): 333. 42 M. Swett, ‘Sergeant I-See-O, Kiowa Indian scout’, Chronicles of Oklahoma 13:3 (1935), 341–53. 43 W. C. Meadows (ed.), Through Indian sign language: the Fort Sill ledgers of Hugh Lenox Scott and Iseeo, 1889–1897 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2015): 88–91. 44 The ledgers are still kept at FSHLM and were recently published in Meadows, Through Indian sign language. 45 Bjork, Prairie imperialists, 65–7. 46 H. L. Scott, ‘The sign language of the Plains Indians’, in H. W. Bassett and F. Starr (eds), The International Folk-lore Congress of the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, July, 1893, vol. 1 (Chicago: Charles H. Sergel, 1898), 206–20. 47 On Scott’s continued use, study and promotion of the sign language, see Davis, Hand talk, 73–5. Preserved fragments of a film from the Indian Sign Language Conference in Browning, Montana on 4–6 September 1930, in which Scott leads the council in the sign language, demonstrate that he was still able to communicate in the language after his hand injury: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Indian_Sign_Language_Council_(1930).webm, accessed 15 April 2021. 48 R. M. Utley, ‘Foreword’ in B. Davis, The truth about Geronimo (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1976), v. 49 G. Steinmetz, ‘The colonial state as a social field: ethnographic capital and native policy in the German overseas empire before 1914’, American Sociological Review, 73:4 (2008), 589–612. 50 Cf. Bjork, Prairie imperialists, 49.

8

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A fateful beginning: Mehmed Cavid Bey, politics and finance in the global Middle East, 1908–14 Ozan Ozavci Almost all life stories can be considered global biographies. It is usually the historian’s art to paint portraits of lives that transcend conventional scales. Sometimes the contours are already there. We just state the obvious, describe and explain how an individual’s (or a group of individuals’) physical, political, intellectual or emotional transposition across continents, between polities or around the world produce or affect global processes. An example is portraits of the agents of overseas empires or staff of global international institutions whose lives contain pathways that personify a spatially worldwide story in its own right. On other occasions, it remains the task of the historian to uncover how local, less mobile singularities generate an influence of sorts, ranging from butterfly to domino effects, that endure through time and/or across the globe. There are also instances where historians creatively juxtapose seemingly disconnected lives and use or connect life stories as representations of a global phenomenon. Of course, these scenarios might be usefully augmented, and it would be erroneous to consider them distinct categories, as they are often interlaced. It remains for us to tease apart their connections, highlight complexities and so conflate, as recent scholarship has rightfully noted, binaries of local and global, micro- and macro-, short- and long-term.1 It is now high time to embrace the complexity brought about by the endeavour to think beyond such binaries, no longer forsaking the effort for mere intelligibility’s sake and, by the same token, to discard Euro- or West-centrism in pursuit of counterpoint, i.e. placing the agency of non-Western actors into the same analytical framework as their Western counterparts.2 This is possibly why recent examples of outstanding historical scholarship evince a shared desire to demonstrate that their subjects are more complex than previously portrayed, while at the same time producing lucid and comprehensible narratives and analyses. One way of picking up such nuances while expounding broader narratives is to resort to biography with a microspatial approach. Christian De Vito describes ‘microspatial’ as the marriage

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of microhistory, understood as an ‘analytical approach deriv[ing] categories, spatial units and [new] periodisations’ by means of in-depth archival research, with a strand of global history as a spatially, temporally and sectorally sensitive ‘mindset’ that ‘focus[ses] on connections … overcom[ing] political and cultural boundaries’ and that defies Eurocentrism.3 My contribution to this volume builds onto the subtleties of this approach. I will reconsider the history of the global and imperial fashioning of the Middle East during the early twentieth century, not merely through the lens of major European actors, nor with an exclusive focus on imperial strategic and political calculations. Instead, I will invoke a new lens, restoring local agency and highlighting the ‘peripheral gaze on normality’, as the editors of this volume put it in the introductory chapter. The chosen focus here is the financial colonization of the Middle East. A normality-in-the-making at the time, the Western dominant influence over the finances of the region has rarely been considered from the perspective of local agents, who negotiated many of the concession and loan agreements with Western companies, banks and imperial states on behalf of the Ottoman government. For example, almost nothing has been published to date specifically about the role taken by Mehmed Cavid (Djavid) Bey ­(1875–1926), a dönme, liberal, Young Turk and three-time Minister of Finance in the aftermath of the 1908 revolution in the Ottoman Empire.4 Drawing heavily on his diaries and archival sources, a microspatial approach to the diplomatic talks, loan negotiations and concessions Cavid Bey was involved in (railways, ports, roads and oil-wells) reveals much about how financial considerations informed political and strategic ­decision-making processes, and vice versa. The analysis of Cavid Bey’s career through a microspatial lens also allows us to see that at first he saw merits in the financial colonization of the Ottoman Empire. He became part and parcel of the ‘normal’, which at once made him regarded as an exceptional figure in the nationalist governments he worked for. But he eventually recognized the dangers that financial colonization posed for the empire, and he found himself in the midst of a dangerous tension between European imperial agents and local nationalists. How he dealt with this tension constitutes the story I would like to tell here. Due to limitations of space, the focus of my analysis will be the years bracketed by the 1908 Young Turk revolution and the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. It was in this period that Cavid Bey emerged as one of the most influential political and financial figures in the Middle East. He controlled the finances of the Ottoman Empire almost exclusively by himself, as a leading member of the ruling Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) and the most knowledgeable economist among the Unionists. His story incarnated the peripheral quest for fiscal sovereignty.

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My chapter will begin by introducing Cavid Bey’s early life. I will then elaborate on what is meant by financial colonization. The third section will consider Cavid Bey’s perception of financial colonization in the aftermath of the 1908 revolution. I will conclude by addressing the ‘nationalist’ turn Cavid Bey took and how he repeatedly repositioned himself against the adversarial normality of his era.

The revolutionary dönme Mehmed Cavid Bey was a dönme, a follower of the messianic Jewish figure Shabbatai Tzevi who had been compelled to convert to Islam in 1666.5 Dönmes had their own religious leaders, rituals, mosques and schools, and came to constitute the bourgeois elite of many Ottoman urban communities.6 They were concentrated predominantly in the Ottoman town Salonica (Thessaloniki/Selânik), a major cosmopolitan port on the northern Aegean coast, which was where Cavid Bey was born. After receiving his early education at modern dönme schools in Salonica, Cavid Bey moved to Istanbul for his high school education and, in August 1896, graduated from Mekteb-i Mülkiye-i Sahane (the School of the Civil Service) with high honours and a perfect command of French and Greek.7 His professional life began with a short spell in the accounting bureau of the Agricultural Bank after which he was appointed to the statistics department of the Ministry of Education in 1898. The next year he became a scribe at the Ministry of Education. Meanwhile, he taught economics at Darülmuallimin (the School of Education) and made a name as one of the founding theorists of this new science in the Ottoman world.8 It was then that he turned his lecture notes into a book with the title İktisat ilmi (The science of economy), in which, inspired by the teachings of Paul Leroy Beaulieu and Charles Gide, he advocated economic liberalism and considered integration with the world economy a precondition for Ottoman economic development.9 Aside from his academic work, Cavid was also involved in political a­ctivity in his hometown of Salonica after his return there in 1902. While working as the principal of the Fevzie schools, he became a freemason,  possibly with the help of Emmanuel Karasu, a Jewish lawyer who  founded the  Salonican masonic lodge Macedonia Risorta.10 Freemasonry opened  new doors to many in Salonica.11 Several members of the lodge went on to hold key positions in the CUP, including Talat Bey, Kazım Pașa and Mithat Şükrü Bleda. As early as 1903 Cavid Bey and Talat Bey sought to publish revolutionary propaganda against Sultan Abdülhamid II.12 They founded the Ottoman Free Society in 1906.

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The following year, when the Free Society and the CUP merged, Cavid Bey became a Unionist. The July 1908 revolution brought dramatic changes for both the Ottoman Empire and Cavid Bey. Sultan Abdülhamid II would finally be held to account by a parliament under the terms of the 1877 constitution. Elected as Member of Parliament for Salonika, Cavid Bey left his home town for Istanbul for the second time. Beside his political work, he taught at Mekteb-i Mülkiye (the Imperial School of Political Science) and published Ulum-i İktisadiyye ve İctimaiyye Mecmuası (The Journal of Economic and Social Sciences). His articles in 1908 and 1909 show us that Cavid Bey believed that agricultural specialization in a free-trading world order held the key to Ottoman development.13 His knowledge of finances and criticisms of the inertia of the Ministry of Finance quickly attracted the attention of the Sultan, who offered Cavid Bey the position Minister of the Civil List (who administered the sultan’s private treasury and property). Ill-disposed towards Abdülhamid’s reign and character, Cavid Bey declined this offer.14 After the counter-revolution of April 1909, as the CUP decided to place its men in key ministries for greater political influence, 34-year-old Cavid Bey was nominated first as an undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance (May 1909) and then as the Minister of Finance (June 1909).15 This was the first time a Unionist took up a ministerial position. It was also a landmark in dönme history, being the first and only occasion a member of the dönme community reached such a prestigious post in the Ottoman Empire. Still, as we will see, Cavid Bey’s Jewish origins were viewed suspiciously by antisemites.

Financial colonization The 1908 revolution inspired high hopes, and not only among Ottomans. Western investors and financiers also viewed it as a favourable omen. Politics and finance had always been tightly and uneasily knitted together where the relations of the Ottoman Empire with its Western neighbours were concerned. One can trace the uneasy politics–finance nexus in Euro–Ottoman relations as far back as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when Ottoman elites introduced capitulations (commercial and financial privileges granted to European merchants) in order to influence European international affairs in their favour.16 From the eighteenth century onwards, however, the capitulations became an instrument by which European commercial interests entrenched themselves in the Ottoman world at the expense of the

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Ottoman economy, and the state’s solvency and fiscal capabilities.17 This development coincided with the emergence of what was eventually termed the Eastern Question, i.e. how to deal with the alleged weakness of the sultan’s empire. Even though the Eastern Question has long been considered in literature as first and foremost a strategic concern of the major European empires, as I have discussed elsewhere, it had strong economic, legal, religious and eventually financial undertones as well.18 After each major military defeat or during each imperial crisis, whenever Ottoman elites sought the aid of one or another European power, they found themselves pressured to make new commercial and financial concessions to their Western counterparts. The incremental opening up of the Ottoman Empire to global free trade by successive reductions of tariffs from the 1790s until the 1860s, and the abolition of monopolies in the 1830s (during the Egyptian and Algerian crises), precipitated a larger process dubbed ‘peripheralization’:19 the Sublime Porte (the Ottoman government) found itself at the disadvantaged end of the uneven economic and financial relations in a Europe-centred international capitalist system. During the second half of the nineteenth century, European investors increasingly purchased Ottoman bonds. With the first foreign loans contracted between European financiers and Sultan Abdülmecid I in the 1850s, uneven monetary dependencies between the Porte and European financial houses were created spontaneously.20 This was a turning point. From then on, the importance of the Ottoman Empire for the leading-edge European countries rested no longer on warranting continental peace by securing the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire and increasingly on finding markets for manufactured European goods. The Eastern Question saw a financial turn as millions of pounds had been invested in the sultan’s dominions or loaned to the Porte, which made the fiscal survival of the Porte vital for European interests.21 A variety of domestic factors, as well as imperial rivalries surrounding the Crimean War (1853–6), drove imperial finances onto the rocks.22 The dire situation of the sultan’s treasury led to the establishment of a European commission in 1855, supposedly intended to help the sultan monitor expenses and consolidate the Empire’s massive floating debt.23 In reality, as Eldem observes, this represented ‘a form of foreign control over Ottoman finances’.24 Put in other words, it initiated the financial colonization of the Ottoman Empire through the appointment of foreign agents (the commission) ostensibly to cultivate domestic resources. From then on, generations of European advisers, inspectors and commissioners were dispatched to the Ottoman Empire, entrusted with overseeing its financial stability and the servicing of loans contracted with European financial houses. Concurrently,

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several new European banks were opened on Ottoman soil and acted thence as the veins of the imperial financial system. The most important of these was the Imperial Ottoman Bank (IOB).25 Founded in 1863 (though organically linked to the Ottoman Bank, which had been established in 1858), it was essentially an Anglo-French enterprise with boards in London and Paris (eventually a third board was established in Istanbul). Its task was to act as a state bank or ‘cashier of the Empire’, putatively helping to save the Porte from the yoke implied by unfavourable loan deals with domestic Galata bankers like Isaac Camondo and Antoni Pirianz,26 who had monopolized this money-spinning business previously.27 But it became clear to the IOB shortly after its foundation that the European lenders’ terms carried their own risks. The Ottoman government was trapped ‘in a vicious circle of debt, whereby the greater part of the proceeds of its loans were siphoned into the payment of outstanding foreign and domestic debts’.28 It could not but result in the official bankruptcy of the Ottoman Empire in the mid-1870s.29 Default was followed by the establishment of a new institution of European financial control: the Ottoman Public Debt Administration (OPDA), founded in 1881. With a presidency alternating between French and British delegates, and consisting of a council of borrower groups (British, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman owners of bills) as well as a representative of the IOB, the OPDA took direct control of Ottoman state revenues such as the tobacco tax, stamp duty, levies on alcohol, fish and silk production, and an annual tribute paid by provinces, etc. to ensure the servicing of foreign debts.30 The Porte accepted the establishment of the OPDA, agreeing on a considerable reduction in the debts nominally due (50 per cent).31 In 1883, another foreign agency, La Société de la Régie Cointéressé des Tabacs de l’Empire Ottoman (hereafter Tobacco Régie), took over the tobacco sector from the OPDA, paying the latter an annual sum (750,000 liras) and allocating it a share of profits.32 The relationship of the transimperial European agents (foreign advisers, commissions, banks and finally the OPDA and the Tobacco Régie) with the Ottoman government in many ways represented the archetypal dynamics of the European colonizing or civilizing missions of the long nineteenth century. On one hand, these transimperial actors did provide the Ottoman Empire with benefits to state finance such as fiscal discipline, more efficient taxation (including an end to tax farming) and production, inspection committees and double-entry book keeping.33 By going some way to restoring the creditworthiness of the Ottoman Empire they enabled the Porte to contract new loans with European syndicates that kept the imperial economy afloat and increased the appeal of Ottoman bonds on European stock markets.

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On the other hand, the transimperial actors in question acted as instruments of domination and exploitation. They opened the Ottoman economy up further to Western penetration by means of what we might call ‘the European conditionality’. The Porte was repeatedly reminded that it would  receive further financial support on condition that it grant  concessions to European entrepreneurs in economically profitable sectors such as construction and/or the operation of railways, roads and mines, sometimes blatantly threatening Ottoman elites.34 As we will see below, British and French governments interfered in various loan negotiations to secure political gains. All the while, European financial commissioners, bankers and the delegates of the OPDA tended to believe their missions had a noble nature and see the Ottomans as semi-civilized people with odd and old-fashioned mores, habits and methods, as haughty and xenophobic.35 An immediate repercussion of the financial colonization of the Ottoman Empire was the triumph of local statesmen having anti-European feelings during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II (r. 1876–1909), who repeatedly tried (but failed) to limit foreign economic penetration. As one onlooker who closely followed the Ottoman economy reported, by the early twentieth century the Ottoman economy and finances were overseen by a consortium headed by the IOB, the OPDA and a new actor, Deutsche Bank, whose railways and oil interests reflected the rise of Germany as a new imperial power with aspirations in the Levant and Mesopotamia.36 By this time, European controlling influence on Ottoman finances became the new normality for the sultan’s empire. The financial colonization of the Ottoman Empire teemed with internal tensions. It was a compound relationship of dependence, co-development, exploitation and distrust – all at the same time. Consider how the IOB and the Porte needed each other: one (IOB) for maximizing profits and, for this reason, ensuring the financial survival of both the Ottoman Empire and itself; the other (the Porte) for political and financial existence. Each doubted the other: the IOB administrators were inclined to believe that the Porte ran the imperial finances inadequately, suspecting that the empire’s credit was likely to decline if the Porte was left to its own means or became financially independent. It perceived the continuous political instability in the Ottoman Empire as an existential threat to the bank. For their part, the Ottoman ministers usually looked to limit the controlling influence of the bank, paradoxically to maintain the government’s creditworthiness and fiscal sovereignty, which it considered vital for imperial prestige and security. They suspected the organic links of the IOB with the British and French governments, viewing the IOB as an instrument serving political ends.37



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The exceptional: ‘a new, rising star’? This fraught situation was why the appointment of Cavid Bey as Minister of Finance in 1909 was welcomed not only by the Unionists and the dönme community in the Ottoman Empire, but beyond the empire’s borders as well. Since the 1908 revolution, Istanbul had been ‘swarming with capitalists’, but they made slow progress ‘owing to suspicion of foreigners caused by former corrupt deals, usual dilatoriness and patriotic belief that the state should run such enterprises themselves’, as the American chargé d’affaires in Istanbul reported back to Washington DC.38 As a firm believer in liberal economy, Cavid Bey was open to foreign investment and foreign loans. The same American representative described him as ‘a man of no mean talent’ with undisputed financial capacities and, most importantly, known to be a figure ‘averse to such government ownership, wisely recognising its inconveniences … [H]e is anxious to interest foreigners in the industrial awakening of Turkey.’39 Cavid Bey was an ‘exceptional’ Ottoman minister, first of all, on account of his dönme origins, his positivist orientation, his desire to use statistics as a means to govern the empire, his mastery of finance and economic theory and his cosmopolitan political outlook, upholding religious and political pluralism. These qualities made him a figure highly respected both within and outside the Ottoman Empire.40 Moreover, he shared a common world view with many of his European and American correspondents where issues of ‘civilization’ and ‘colonization’ were concerned. At least in theory, Cavid Bey considered it both inevitable and sometimes a duty for ‘civilized’ European powers to colonize regions of the world inhabited by semi-­civilized peoples such as the Chinese, ‘[who] progressed to an extent in civilisation but then remained stationary’, or the Indians, who were incapable of self-governance due to their incessant internal conflicts, or by uncivilized, ‘entirely savage (büsbütün yabâni)’ peoples.41 He did acknowledge that practice was often quite different from theory, replete with exploitation and pillaging of natural resources, confiscation of inhabitants’ properties and ‘ruthless suppression’. Nevertheless, he considered European expansion and colonization justifiable as long as its purpose was to bring colonized societies within ‘the circle of civilization’ by establishing justice and property rights, by diffusing science and education, treating populations as equal to Europeans ‘regardless of their race’ while respecting local customs and traditions.42 Where did Cavid Bey place the Ottomans within this global imperialist classification of peoples? Even though, as far as I could establish, he did not address the subject in writing, traces of his thoughts on the matter appear when he poured scorn on the wider ills of Ottoman society and lambasted

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his fellow Unionists for allegedly unwarrantable acts, such as mass violence, dictatorial tendencies, ultra-nationalism or incompetent governance. In this sense, the British Ambassador to Istanbul Sir Gerard Lowther was quite correct when he described Cavid Bey to his Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey as a man who was ‘perhaps naturally, somewhat intolerant of the slow-minded methods of the real Turks …’43 The same considerations would also lead Cavid Bey to accept, to an extent, the dominant European financial influence. Upon taking office, he gave assurances to the French, which even encompassed talk of reviving the 1860s project of entrusting the Ottoman treasury to the IOB.44 Cavid Bey epitomized Ottoman imperialist and elitist thought, the unwavering categorization of peoples and ‘othering’ in the world as well as within the empire, which had become even more evident after the entry of the notion ‘civilization’ into the Ottoman political lexicon in the 1830s.45 In the late 1900s, his convictions exemplified the idea of civilization taking hold in the Ottoman Middle East. He recognized goodwill behind European interference in Ottoman politics and administration as in other ‘semi-civilized’ societies, and considered it, on occasion, as a beneficial ‘civilizing mission’. His ideas would change dramatically in the following years, however. For all his intellectual and ideological propensities, his European correspondents were usually fond of Cavid Bey. What Lowther went on to write about him outlines the intellectual and racial factors that would lead his contemporaries to consider the Ottoman minister an ‘exceptional’ figure and that enables us to argue that a focus on Cavid Bey’s life story also exposes the ‘racialist essentialism’46 of his time: [Cavid Bey] is exceedingly quick and intelligent, an exceptionally good orator and debater, genial, liberal-minded, and probably the most popular of the Young Turks who have come to the fore … [A]s ‘deunmeh’ [sic], which have in great part supplied the brain-power of the new movement in Turkey, [he] has all the financial talents of his race …47

The Belgian minister plenipotentiary in Istanbul, Comte Errembault de Dudzeele, believed that Cavid Bey was ‘gifted with high capacities …’48 The agents of the Deutsche Bank reported that Cavid was ‘considered to be a financial genius (up to now, however, only as a theorist)’.49 Thanks to his fruitful collaboration with the newly appointed French financial adviser Charles Laurent in reorganizing the Ottoman Ministry of Finance, the journalist Georges Gaulis also hailed Cavid Bey in a letter to IOB Paris: ‘a new, rising star … you must give him sustained attention and expect a lot from him’.50 The French embassy in Istanbul welcomed the news of his appointment in a despatch to the Quai d’Orsay: ‘the appointment can only be pleasant to France’.51

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To reiterate, the Ottoman minister was aware of the empire’s financial dependence on France and, at least at first, appeared eager to follow French advice on the reorganization of the imperial finances – a stark contrast to the Hamidian policies of the previous decades. He was convinced that the French financial markets had the largest capital potentially available, if the Porte could access it.52 As a matter of fact, the French rentiers had considerable appetite for Ottoman debt. By 1909, the Paris Bourse was the only established market for Ottoman securities, and many French (as well as other European) investors bought their bonds there; the 1876 default had badly burnt the London stock market, where one-third of the world’s securities were quoted at that time.53 From 1876, British investors had shown less interest in Ottoman bills, and London’s shareholders largely abandoned the IOB, rendering the bank a predominantly French enterprise.54 The quandary here was the fact that Cavid’s fellow committee-members, such as Talat Bey or political-military figures like Mahmud Şevket (later Minister of War), were nationalists of sorts, especially where foreign involvement in Ottoman domestic affairs was concerned. Their nationalism grew stronger and became the dominant ideology of the imperial government in the wake of a series of catastrophes that included the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary in 1908, the Bulgarian declaration of independence a few days later, the Italian invasion of Ottoman Tripoli in 1911–12, the Balkan Wars of 1912–13 and finally the First World War. Coupled with a domestic quest for political control all these events radically altered power dynamics in Istanbul as hard-line members of the committee took hold of the empire. It was during these rapid power shifts that Cavid Bey had to position himself between the controlling influence of the European agents, on one hand, and the mounting nationalism and militarization of the CUP and the Ottoman Empire, on the other. His dilemma was how to find a middle way for fiscal survival and to obtain the aid of the very powers that were looked on with such suspicion at home. He had contracted loans in Western syndicates in 1908 and 1909, with favourable conditions for the Porte, even though these did not prevent the new budget prepared by Laurent and himself for 1910–11 from showing an estimated deficit of 4,421,914 Turkish lira (Ltq).55 A new loan was thus imperative again in 1910. But nationalist domestic pressures were piling on, while Cavid Bey was pushed into a corner by the scheme the French agents (IOB, Laurent and the Quai d’Orsay) came up with. Laurent asked the Ottoman minister to keep his word and give the IOB control of the Ottoman imperial treasury. At the same time, the French government compelled the Porte to recognize the Republic’s sovereign control over Algiers and Tunis (France had invaded Algiers in 1830 and Tunis in 1881) before formally admitting the loan

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to the Paris market (giving the côte). Confronted with the insinuations of Mahmud Şevket Pașa, a hero for suppressing the counter-revolution in 1909, Cavid Bey was between a rock (foreign controlling influence and demands) and a hard place (nationalism).56 In order to break the international consortium of the IOB, OPDA and the Deutsche Bank, Cavid Bey had established a new bank with British capital in the spring of 1909: the National Bank of Turkey (NBT).57 His plan was to use the NBT as a stool pigeon in his loan negotiations with the IOB and Deutsche Bank, a means by which to procure more favourable loan conditions for the Porte. The 1910–11 loan talks tested his plan to the point of destruction, because the NBT, with its limited reserves, never styled itself as competing with the much larger IOB, and after the French and British governments interfered it pulled back rather than jeopardize the entente cordiale between Paris and London.58 In fact, British investors, now willing to consider a return to Ottoman markets, had other economic interests in mind, seeking a means to explore the potential of Mesopotamian oil.59 Since the 1890s British (Burmah Oil) and German (Deutsche Bank) groups had been competing to obtain oil exploration rights by way of a concession to build a railway to Baghdad (while also looking for opportunities to cooperate). In the end the NBT would serve more as an instrument in the British quest for oil in Mesopotamia than as an enabling financial actor for the Porte. Cavid Bey’s hands were tied. Another option for ameliorating the imperial finances might have come from increasing the customs tariffs on imports and exports by 4%. But European dominant control emerged again as an obstacle for him. He had to obtain the consent of the great powers to such a tariff increase, owing to commercial agreements signed in the nineteenth century. In the end both the British and the Germans consented, but on one condition: that the Baghdad railway concession be granted to their nationals exclusively – another typical example of European conditionality in Ottoman eyes. The Porte’s inability to raise customs’ tariffs without the consent of the great powers inspired in Cavid Bey an irrepressible desire to abolish the capitulations accorded to the Europeans. Yet the Porte had neither diplomatic manoeuvring space nor the military power to take such a colossal decision. At least, not for the present. Still, during the 1910–11 loan talks, Cavid Bey managed to avoid succumbing to the demands of Laurent and the IOB by signing a loan deal with an Austro-German syndicate spearheaded by the Deutsche Bank. In the end, he pulled back from his previous assurances of giving control of the imperial treasury to the French and even forced Laurent to resign from his post for allegedly displaying anti-Ottoman policy. In less than two years Cavid Bey’s reputation in Paris thus went from rising star to great unpopularity.

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A fateful beginning: Mehmed Cavid Bey 173

His controversies with Laurent and the IOB would lead Quai d’Orsay officials to believe that they had been wrong in identifying Cavid Bey as less ‘nationalistic’ than other leading figures in the CUP.60 In reality, the French agents had not misunderstood him from the beginning. Cavid Bey had changed, in the face of public pressure, incessant foreign political and financial encroachments, and the bewildering, predatory, Darwinistic, economic competition and opportunistic cooperation among European capitalists. Even then the mutual financial dependence of the IOB and the Porte, as well as of France and the Ottoman Empire, ensured that a few months later (January 1911) a rapprochement began when the IOB agreed to several concessions Cavid Bey demanded (such as the establishment of a new executive board in Istanbul on which three Ottoman representatives would sit), in order to render the bank ‘more Ottoman’.61 A conscientious diary-keeper, he wrote the same day: ‘Here is the consequent victory of a solid and continuous policy’.62 Cavid Bey did succeed in reducing the IOB’s influence, securing a loan in late 1910 and early 1911 from a German group (which could barely remit the amount agreed in the years to come), and involving British groups in the purchase of Ottoman bonds and loan deals. In those two years, he signed, with his famous red pen, several foreign direct investment agreements for the construction and operation of ports, docks, roads and railways. Yet he also started to see more value in economic nationalism and protectionism, introducing state monopolies over profitable sectors such as the establishment of a petroleum régie. In sum, after he became the Minister of Finance, Cavid did not look to capsize an adversarial normality altogether. But he did seek to turn the tables on the agents of financial control (the IOB, Charles Laurent, the OPDA, etc.) with partial success, manipulating their dominant control as a trope to meet the fiscal requisites of the Ottoman Empire.

Back to normal Just when Cavid had hit a home run as Minister of Finance, he fell from office. A relentless antisemitic campaign by both Ottoman politicians and journalists and European diplomats began in the spring of 1911, combined with related accusations based around the CUP leaders’ links to freemasonry.63 The fact that the German group with which Cavid signed the 1911 loan deal consisted of supposedly ‘Jewish’ banks and the Jewish founder of the NBT, Ernest Cassel, led many, particularly British Ambassador Lowther, to claim that the Ottoman Empire was ruled by Jews. In his diaries Cavid Bey dismissed these claims as nothing but the same old ‘tales’, only to be pushed to resign under incessant public pressure.64

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In the spring of 1912 Cavid returned to office as Minister of Public Works when a new CUP cabinet was formed. However, a few months later, the committee was ousted from power by the liberal/conservative opposition. Seeing that he could be imprisoned or murdered amidst political tensions in Istanbul, on 15 November Cavid left for France and Austria.65 Having been living on money borrowed from his friend Hüseyin Cahid, he decided to leave politics for good and stay in Europe, and he asked his  Ottoman Armenian friend Calouste S. Gulbenkian to help him find a job.66 Gulbenkian had acted as his financial adviser during the 1911 loan  negotiations and had important connections in European financial circles, which allowed him to find a position for Cavid Bey at the Paris finance house Bénard & Jarislowsky.67 When the news of the CUP’s January 1913 coup d’état broke, however, he changed his plans and returned to Istanbul. He did not take up any cabinet posts until the assassination of the new grand vizier Mahmud Șevket Pașa in June 1913. But even before he was reappointed as Minister of Finance, Cavid Bey laboured to fix the financial situation of the empire, now even worse for the wear attributable to heavy spending during the Tripoli war and the Balkan wars. In 1913–14, he spent most of his time travelling between European capitals, darkening the doors of European bankers.68 Memoranda circulated within the ministries of Paris: Cavid’s dönme origins, his antagonistic behaviour in the 1910–11 loan negotiations, his relationship with French institutions and with French political and bureaucratic figures were all detailed.69 The French Directorate of Political and Trade Affairs was conscious that Cavid was testing European markets, calculating how far French banks might be willing to lend their assistance to the Porte. It was important to recall the 1910 experience, one memorandum noted: ‘[i]n spite of the condescension which France used towards him, Djavid Bey, animated by a narrow nationalism and intoxicated by this first success, believed that he could dispose as he pleased of the French market’. The French plan was to welcome Cavid’s overtures and displays of friendship with ‘a defiant reserve’. He would be reminded of the French affairs which were still awaiting a solution.70 But, as we will see below, in contrast to the 1910–11 negotiations, the French demands centred not on  high political issues such as recognition of Algiers and Tunisia as French colonies. This time issues of low politics, such as the appointment of French advisers to the Ottoman bureaucracy and economic concessions for French companies, were laid on the table as conditions. Born of the early days of the revolution, Cavid’s idealism and optimism had already waned by this point. The Porte was in dire need to borrow at least 23 million Ltq, as it was still fighting the Balkan wars and the

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A fateful beginning: Mehmed Cavid Bey 175

economy was on the brink of collapse.71 A Belgian observer aptly spotted that the grim situation meant ‘any group able to offer the regime hard cash could get broad concessions’, both economic and political. He also added that the French were again trying to reduce the Ottoman Empire to penury in order  to control it.72 Since time was in its favour, the French government pursued the loan negotiations with Cavid Bey at a markedly reduced tempo.73 In order to counter the French strategy, the Porte made a last-ditch effort and reached out to the other side of the Atlantic through a ‘Turkish Armenian’, possibly Gulbenkian, making tentative offers to several New York banks for a transatlantic loan and also for warships to be bought with the proceeds. But these advances were coldly received. Wall Street had ‘no money to spare’ for the Porte, the Ottoman agents were told.74 The financial disarray was so grave that, in early 1914, many of the Porte’s unpaid civil servants were reportedly surviving on bread dipped in tea or coffee, complaining about being unable to procure even a piece of cheese, as small shop-owners were unable to give them further credit.75 Against this background, Cavid Bey signed a deal with the French on 15 April 1914.76 The total amount of the loan was 800 million francs (28 million Ltq) with interest at 5 per cent × 93¼, to be extended in two tranches: the first, 500 million francs, to be issued by 25 April, and the remaining 300 million francs later in the year.77 The deal would help save the day for the Porte financially, and grant the French several concessions over railway construction in Syria and Northern Asia Minor, port construction at Jaffa, Haifa, Tripoli in Syria, Heraklia and Inebolu, and the purchase of six destroyers from France. And finally, it stipulated that French advisers would be appointed to the state departments of the Porte, including the Ministry of Finance.78 This was the last major loan agreement signed between Cavid Bey and the IOB before the First World War. Like its predecessors the agreement offered respite to the Ottoman treasury. Yet it at once laid the ground for further European financial control in the Middle East. Mehmed Cavid Bey never travelled beyond Europe or Asia Minor. His story was an embodiment of a global history on a regional level – the history of the endeavours to keep a peripheralized empire’s finances afloat amidst international dependencies, conflicting political interests and domestic distress. Tracing his attempts both to capitalize on financial colonization of the Ottoman world and to bridle it permits us to uncover a hitherto unrecorded account of peripheral agency in the invention of the Middle East as a geostrategic term. It allows us to think beyond the confines of scale and distinguish largely overlooked financial undertones of political decision-making processes – how the fateful beginning of the Middle East, as we refer to the

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region today, was informed by complex financial and economic occurrences surrounding the First World War. Equally importantly, our microspatial optic allows us to capture the tensions between the exceptional and the normal that defined the global quality of Cavid Bey’s story. It discloses the experience of the dönme community in the region, how its Jewish origins emerged before it as a stumbling block at every major turn, and how racialist essentialism ran perennial in the writings of contemporary politicians and diplomats. Cavid Bey’s experiences in the first two decades of the twentieth century also symbolize the rapid metamorphosis that Ottoman liberal statesmen and thinkers went through in the aftermath of the Young Turk revolution: from idealist optimism into anticlimactic realism. The fickle nature of Cavid Bey’s relationships with European banks, financiers and financial advisers showcases his oscillations as an exceptional Ottoman statesman of finances positioning himself within the new normality of his time: financial colonization. Cavid Bey at first accepted this normality. He even saw benefits in it for the Ottoman Empire. His liberal orientation, his expertise in economics and finance, his positivist belief in statistics and his partial acceptance of financial colonization all rendered him a doubly unique figure within this normality that in fact persists to this day in new forms. But then, under domestic nationalist pressures and through his own observations and experiences, Cavid Bey’s ideas evolved against the new normality even though in the end he was strong-armed by French financiers only months before the outbreak of the First World War. What made Cavid Bey an exceptional normal was hardly static. This brings us to the final concluding remark we can derive from his life story. The evolution of Cavid Bey’s ideas and policies constitutes another classic, non-Western example of the subduing of liberal propensities by political and economic nationalism at home, partly in response to the perceived Western imperial aggressions.79 Cavid Bey the (economic) liberal would come to argue for economic nationalism and protectionism a few years after coming to office, and remain completely silent in the face of the CUP’s ultra-nationalist and violent demographic politics. Despite all his liberal inclinations and exceptional qualities, he would thereupon act no differently to the other Unionists. This liberal tragedy, too, persists in the Middle East to this date, serving as one of the many causal factors in the prevalence of nationalist authoritarian regimes in this globally made, ­ill-fated region.



A fateful beginning: Mehmed Cavid Bey 177

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Notes  1 C. de Vito, ‘History without scale: the micro-spatial perspective’, Past & Present Supplement 14 (2019): 348.  2 E. Said, Culture and imperialism (New York: Vintage Books, 1993): 18.  3 De Vito, ‘History without scale’, 349.  4 To date only two semi-biographical studies have been published on Mehmed Cavid Bey (1877–1926), both in Turkish, both using almost only Turkish sources, and both focussing predominantly on Cavid Bey’s economic thought and domestic political dealings: N. Eroğlu, İttihatçılarin Ünlü Maliye Nazırı Cavid Bey (Istanbul: Ötüken Yayınları, 2008); P. Tunçer, İttihatçı Cavid Bey (Istanbul: Yeditepe Yayınları, 2010).  5 Eroğlu, İttihatçıların, 14; A.-D. Méropi, Salonique, 1830–1912: une ville ottomane à l’âge des réformes (Leiden: Brill, 1997); M. D. Baer, The dönme: Jewish converts, Muslim revolutionaries and secular Turks (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010): 61.  6 S. Akşin, Jön Türkler ve Ittihat ve Terakki (Ankara: Imge Kitabevi, 2015): 80–81; Baer, The dönme, 6, 36, 43.  7 Baer, The dönme, 46–9; I. Zorlu, Evet, Ben Selanikliyim: Türkiye Sabetayciligi (Istanbul: Zvi Geyik Yayinlari, 2001): 17–20. Cumhurbaskanlığı Arşivi, Istanbul (hereafter BOA), DH.SAID.d. 79/467. Also see Eroglu, Ittihatçilarin, 17.  8 Eroğlu, Ittihatçıların, 17.  9 Mehmed Cavid Bey, Iktisat ilmi (Ankara: Liberte Yayınları, 2001): ix; F. Georgeon, ‘Un manifeste du libéralisme économique dans l’empire ottoman au tournant du siècle’, in J. Thobie, R. Perez and S. Kançal (eds), Enjeux et rapports de force en Turquie et en Méditerranée orientale (Istanbul: Institut français d’études anatoliens, 1996), 153–62. 10 Baer, The dönme, 61; N. Alkan, ‘Emanuel Karasu ve Ikinci Abdülhamid’in Tahttan Indirilmesi’, Toplumsal Tarih 172 (April, 2008): 181. 11 H. C. Yalçin, Siyasal Anılar (Istanbul: İş Bankası Yayınları, 1975): 115; E.  Anduze, La Franc-Maçonnerie au Moyen-Orient et au Maghreb (Paris: Editions L’Harmattan, 2005): 39; A. Iacovella, Gönye ve Hilal Ittihat ve Terakki ve Masonluk (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfi Yurt Yayınları, 1999): 39–40. 12 M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, Preparation for a revolution: the Young Turks, 1902–1908 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001): 211. 13 Mehmed Cavid Bey, ‘Kanun-u Esasiyemizin Maliye Kanunu Mevadi Hakkında’, Ulum-u Iktisadiyye ve Ictimaiyye 1 (6 November 1908), 25–33. 14 BOA, ZB 24/64. 15 Mehmed Cavid Bey’s diaries were published for the first in the Tanin newspaper in the mid-1940s and later by the Turkish Historical Association (THA) in 2014–15; Hasan Babacan and Servet Avsar, Meşrutiyet Ruznamesi, 4 vols (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 2014–15). In this chapter, I consult both, supply newspaper dates when the Tanin is used as a source and use the acronym MR for the THA volume. ‘Meşrutiyet Devrine Ait Cavit Bey’in Hatıralari’, Tanin (7  September 1943): n. 1; diary entry for 7 May 1909, Tanin (8 September

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1943); Aykut Kansu, Politics in post-revolutionary Turkey, 1908–13 (Leiden: Brill, 1999): 148–51; M. Naim Tufan, Rise of the Young Turks (New York, London: I. B. Tauris, 2000); BOA, i.DUiT 8/4. 16 U. Özsu, ‘Ottoman Empire, the origins of extraterritoriality, and international legal theory’, in A. Ordorf and F. Hoffman (eds), The Oxford handbook of the theory of international law (Oxford Handbooks Online, 2016), 429, at www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/law/9780198701958.001.0001/ oxfordhb-9780198701958, accessed 23 November 2021. 17 Ş. Pamuk, Osmanlı ekonomisi ve dünya kapitalizmi (Ankara: Yurt Yayınevi, 1983). 18 O. Ozavci, Dangerous gifts: imperialism, security, and civil wars in the Levant, 1798–1864 (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021). 19 M. Birdal, The political economy of Ottoman public debt: insolvency and European financial control in the late nineteenth century (London, New York: I. B. Tauris, 2010): 1–4, 9–11. Also see B. Buzan and G. Lawson, The global transformation: history, modernity and the making of international relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015). 20 P. L. Cottrell, ‘A survey of European investment in Turkey, 1854–1914: banks and the finances of the state and railways construction’, in Cottrell (ed.), East meets west – banking, commerce and investment in the Ottoman Empire (New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2016): 119–20. 21 Ozavci, Dangerous gifts, ch. 13. 22 Lord Hobart and Mr Foster, Report on the financial condition of Turkey (London: 1862). 23 A. Du Velay, Essai sur l’histoire financière de la Turquie (Paris, 1903): 160. 24 E. Eldem, ‘Ottoman financial integration with Europe: foreign loans, the Ottoman bank and the Ottoman public debt’, European Review 13:3 (2005), 431–45: 435. 25 A. Autheman, Le Banque impérial ottoman (Paris: Comité pour l’histoire économique et financière de la France, 1996); E. Eldem, A history of the Ottoman Bank (Istanbul: Osmanli Bankasi, 1999). 26 I. Blumi, Ottoman refugees, 1878–1939: migration in a post-imperial world (London: BLoomsbury, 2013): 23. 27 Eldem, ‘Financial integration’, 437. 28 Ibid., 438. ­ 856–1881 29 C. Clay, Gold for the Sultan: Western bankers and Ottoman finance, 1 (London, New York: I. B. Tauris, 2000). 30 R. Owen, The Middle East in the world economy, 1800–1914 (London: I. B. Tauris, 1993): 192; R. Adelson, London and the Invention of the Middle East: money, power, and war, 1902–1922 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995): 41. 31 K. K. Karaman and S. Pamuk, ‘Ottoman state finances in European perspective, 1500–1914’, The Journal of Economic History 70:3 (2010): 651. 32 Owen, The Middle East, 193.

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33 Birdal, Public debt, 8–9; D. C. Blaisdall, European financial control in the Ottoman empire: a study of the establishment, activities, and significance of the Ottoman public debt (New York: Columbia University Press, 1929): 2. 34 Owen, The Middle East, 192. 35 O. Ozavci, ‘A little light in the darkness: the mission of Charles Laurent and the Young Turks, 1908–1911’, in S. T. Buzpinar and G. Çetinsaya (eds), Abdulhamid II: studies in honour of F. A. K. Yasamee (Istanbul: Isis Press, 2019): 209; G. Conte, ‘Regaining control over finance: the Ottoman Empire at the eve of the World War I’, Hoвeйшaя ucmopuя Poccuu/Modern History of Russia, 3 (2014), 15–28: 19. 36 Shell Archive, The Hague, 195/208, Frederick Lane to Loudon, 7 December 1908. 37 E. Eldem, ‘Stability against all odds: the Imperial Ottoman Bank, 1875–1914’, in J. A. Consiglio, J. C. M. Oliva and G. Tortella (eds), Banking and finance in the Mediterranean: a historical perspective (Surrey: Ashgate, 2012), 95–120. 38 National Archives and Records Administration (Washington, DC), 20784/1095, Lewis Einstein to Secretary of State, 15 July 1909. 39 Ibid. 40 O. Ozavci, ‘Honour and shame: the diaries of a unionist and the “Armenian question”’, in M. Anderson et al. (eds), End of the Ottomans: the genocide of  1915 and the politics of Turkish nationalism (London, New York: I. B. Tauris): 195. 41 Cavid Bey, İktisat, 192–3. 42 Ibid., 193. 43 The National Archives, in Kew, London (hereafter TNA), FO 371/777, Lowther to Grey, 28 June 1909, 451. 44 Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, Brussels (hereafter DIPLOBEL), CP Turquie 1909–10, Dudzeele (Istanbul) to MAE (Brussels), 11 July 1909. 45 Ozavci, Dangerous gifts, ch. 7. 46 I would like to thank Laura Almagor for highlighting this argument. 47 TNA, FO 371/777, Lowther to Grey, 28 June 1909, 451. 48 DIPLOBEL, Corr. Pol. Turquie, 1909–10, Dudzeele (Istanbul) to MAE (Brussels), 11 July 1909. 49 Deutsche Bank Archives, Frankfurt, OR1320, Helfferich to Deutsche Bank Berlin, 29 April 1909. I should like to thank Jonathan Conlin for sharing this source with me. 50 J. Harrison, ‘French policy towards the unionist regime in the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1914’, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Manchester, 1996: 160. 51 Archives diplomatiques du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères (hereafter, AMAE), CP Turquie 363, memo, 2 June 1909; Harrison, ‘French policy’, 160; ‘Itibâr-i Mâli Osmani’, Tanin (4 July 1909), 2. 52 O. Homberg, Les coulisses de l’histoire, souvenirs 1898–1928 (Paris: Librairie Arthème Fayard, 1938) : 69. 53 J. Conlin, Mr five per cent: the many lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, the world’s richest man (London: Profile Books, 2019): 83.

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54 R. H. Lang, ‘The new regime in Turkey’, Proceedings of the Central Asian Society, 8 December 1909, 2; Jacques Thobie, La France impériale, 1880–1914 (Paris: Editions Megrelis, 1982): 27; AMAE, 51CPCOM/169, Memo pour la résoudre la question ottomane, la Conférence de la Paix, 28 May 1919, 66; Eldem, ‘Stability’, 116. 55 TNA, FO 371/993, Marling to Grey, 3 January 1910, 1; AMAE, CP Turquie, 364/14, Bompard to MAE, 11 April 1910. 56 BOA, HR. ID. 209/26, Cavid Bey to Hakki Pașa, 6 August 1910; TNA, FO 371/993, memorandum on the 1909 and 1910 loan negotiations, nd, 410. 57 J. Conlin, ‘Debt, diplomacy and dreadnaughts: the National Bank of Turkey, 1908–1919’, Middle Eastern Studies, 52:3 (2016), 1–21. 58 London Metropolitan Archives (hereafter LMA), CLC/B/172/MS24013, Auboyneau (IOB) to Sullivan, 12 October 1910. 59 Conlin, ‘Debt’, 12, 13, 16. 60 Harrison, ‘French policy’, 177. 61 LMA, CLC/B/172/MS24013, Barry to Aboyneau, 24 January 1911. Also see Ozavci, ‘A little light’, 227, n. 162. 62 Diary entry for 27 January 1911 in Tanin (10 September 1943). 63 Meclisi Mebusan Zabıt Ceridesi [Ottoman Parliamentary Proceedings] (MMZC), 1:3:3, 331–3; A. Aghayeff, ‘Vozbuzhdenie k antisemitizmu’, Kaspii (11 March, 1911), 3. Also discussed in O. Ozavci, ‘A Jewish “liberal” in Istanbul: Vladimir Jabotinsky, the Young Turks and the Zionist press network, 1908–1911’, in A. Green and S. L. Sullam (eds), Jews, liberalism, antisemitism: a global history (London: Palgrave, 2020), 289–314. 64 Diary entry for 23 April 1911, Tanin (12 October 1943). 65 Diary entry for 10 November 1912, Tanin (13 February 1944). 66 Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Archives, Lisbon, LDN00051, Djavid to Gulbenkian, 29 December 1912. 67 Diary entry for 23 March 1913, MR 1, 647. 68 TNA, FO371/1798, Goschen to Grey, 15 March 1913. 69 AMAE, CP Turquie 373, note pour le ministre au sujet du Djavid Bey, 18 March 1913. 70 Ibid. 71 TNA, FO 371/1812, Lowther’s annual report for 1912, 17 April 1913. 72 DIPLOBEL, Corr. Pol. Turquie, 1913, memorandum (Constantinople), 1 July 1913. 73 Ottoman Bank Archives (Istanbul), AFDIVRE001/37, Djavid to Rifaat Pasha, 5 November 1913. 74 TNA, FO 371/2114, Sir C. Spring-Rice (Washington) to Grey, 11 February 1914. 75 TNA, FO 371/2114/6089, Richard Crawford to Sir W. Tyrell, 10 February 1914. 76 BOA, HR.ID 212/53, Rifaat Pasha to Said Halim Pasha, 23 April 1914; DIPLOBEL, CP Turquie 1914, Moncheur to MAE, 14 March 1914. 77 TNA, FO 371/2114, Mallet to Grey, 18 April 1914.



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78 AMAE, CP Turquie 300/225, Bompard to MAE, 18 April 1814; AMAE, CP Turquie 300/241, Said Halim to Bompard, 28 April 1814. 79 H. O. Ozavci, Intellectual origins of the republic: Ahmet Agaoglu and the genealogy of liberalism in Turkey (Boston, Leiden: Brill, 2015).

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Part III

Space and scales

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9 Scholar, refugee worker, Jew: Koppel S. Pinson (1904–61) Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Laura Almagor

History is made up of both the famous and the forgotten. In between these two categories exist the relatively obscure or the vaguely familiar. Koppel Shub Pinson’s name almost always sparks recognition with scholars of twentieth century Jewish history, without most being able to fully recount who Pinson was.1 The Queens College professor features in many histories but never made it onto the core list of ‘who’s who’ in any of the various realms in which he was active. Of course, his absence from the history books to date does not in itself warrant a thorough exploration of Pinson’s life and work. Neither can he be typified as a representative of a larger collective. However, delving deeper into Pinson’s story reveals the service that his biography can provide us by connecting the ‘particular’ to the ‘global’. As Brian Smollett puts it, Pinson ‘stood at the nexus of the most important of twentieth-century Jewish institutions and American Jewish scholarship’.2 Born in 1904 into a Jewish family in Pastavy in present-day Belarus, Pinson arrived in the United States in 1907. He studied at Gratz College in his home town Philadelphia and obtained his PhD from Columbia University in 1934. Pinson subsequently taught at The New School from 1934 until 1936, where he helped Alvin Johnson establish the so-called University in Exile for scholars fleeing Nazism,3 after which he joined Queens College when it opened its doors in 1937. Throughout his career, Pinson was a member of several well-known scholarly projects, most notably as assistant editor of the Encyclopaedia of the social sciences (again working with Alvin Johnson),4 and, in the field of Jewish studies, as secretary of the European Commission for Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, which aimed to assist in the post-1945 recovery of European Jewish cultural heritage.5 Finally, from its establishment in 1939, Pinson was one of the editors of Jewish Social Studies (JSS), one of the best-regarded scholarly journals in the field of Jewish studies up to this day, as well as between 1950 and 1954 of the YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science. The activity that gained Pinson recognition outside the academic realm was his position

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as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (AJDC) Director of Education and Culture for Jewish Displaced Persons (DPs) in Germany and Austria in 1945 and 1946. Despite this fairly high-profile position and his prolific scholarly activities, Pinson’s academic career continued to advance slowly, and only in 1951 was he promoted to the rank of full professor, becoming chair of Queens College’s division of social sciences two years later.6 Pinson was not to enjoy his new status for very long: already in October 1950 he had suffered a first brain haemorrhage and he eventually underwent cranial surgery in September 1959, leading to the loss of speech; Pinson died on 3 February 1961.7 Based on his versatile career and following Jacques Revel’s proposed method of ‘scale shift’,8 I argue that, using Pinson as our subject, we can adopt a concrete and coherent way of jumping between analytical scales to understand the connection between smaller and larger historical processes. After all, as with actual scientific measurement, no single scale is sufficient

Figure 9.1  Portrait of Koppel Pinson. Source: Queens College Photographs (SCA-0055), courtesy of Queens College Special Collections and Archives (Queens, New York).

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Scholar, refugee worker, Jew: Koppel S. Pinson 187

to weigh all types of units. Pinson’s story can tell us something about postwar antisemitism and refugee issues and the institutionalization of refugee welfare and aid work, American academia during the interwar and directly postwar periods, and the birth of nationalism studies as a discipline. However, we need different scales to ‘measure’ these different spheres, as the narratives of Pinson’s life have relevance on different levels of the spectrum between the local and the global. These levels can be considered in conjunction and in a non-hierarchical manner. In other words, when focussing on Pinson, the global dimension of his biography does not supersede the local in relevance, nor do we deem his scholarly career of greater or lesser importance than for instance his political work. The choice for the specific scales that are central to the following analysis are both contingent on the epistemological choices made by the historian, and at the same time the product of the ontological reality of Pinson’s life.9 This is then the second, overarching argument of this anecdotally driven methodological exploration: not only should Pinson be passively understood in the context of several, seemingly unconnected, spheres that are conceptualized as scalar frameworks, but also he himself was an active and productive agent of history, shaping the various realms in which he was active. What is more, Pinson offers a unique opportunity – in the sense that all individual life stories are idiosyncratic – to connect these themes. This is especially pertinent if we consider the American-Jewish professor as a connector, or indeed a ‘nexus’, between the fields of nationalism studies, Jewish studies and Holocaust studies, and American-Jewish and global refugee politics. As a result, even though other scales could potentially have been chosen, the current choice is far from arbitrary.

Refugee worker The first scale on which we can weigh the significance of Pinson’s career is dictated by his role in directly postwar refugee relief efforts. Pinson served as the AJDC’s Director of Education and Culture for Jewish DPs in Europe from the autumn of 1945 until August 1946, during which time he travelled throughout the Allied zones of Germany and Austria, covering 30,000 miles (by one estimate).10 Part of Pinson’s task was the organization of the growing collection of Jewish materials that were brought together first in Frankfurt in the so-called Rothschild Library, and as of January 1946 in the Offenbach Archival Depot (OAD). These items consisted of several Nazi collections looted from Jewish libraries that came pouring in after the end of the war. At his own request, Pinson became the authorized agent for YIVO (the by then New York-based Yiddish Scientific

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Institute) in order to retrieve YIVO’s collections, and he represented the European Commission for Jewish Cultural Reconstruction as its secretary. In this triple role in Offenbach, Pinson was thus a crucial figure in the directly postwar Jewish cultural reconstruction efforts.11 Bridging transatlantic geographies, Pinson’s activities in Europe also made him a spider in the web of American-Jewish relief organizations. Soon after his arrival in Germany during 1945 he established contacts with the non-Zionist American Jewish Committee, the staunchly irreligious socialist party the Jewish Labor Bund,  and the Jewish Labor Committee, the Jewish representation within the Labour movement.12 Finally, Pinson’s experiences in Europe would come to form the basis for his much-quoted study for Jewish Social Studies on Jewish life in the DP camps, which is still considered a seminal piece to this day.13 This is then where two aspects of Pinson’s life meet and conjoin: not only was Pinson one of the Allied bureaucrats on the spot, defining the directly postliberation Jewish cultural policies, but as an academic he treated his experiences as fieldwork, and this fed into his publications that were to co-shape perceptions during the decades that followed. Pinson seems to have been well liked by his colleagues and students. Alvin Johnson praised Pinson for being a historian ‘who commands the spirit of history and has none of its dust in his eyes. He is a political scientist who realizes that however paramount the present may be, it exists by virtue of yesterday and tomorrow.’14 When it comes to Pinson’s dealings with Allied bureaucracy the image becomes less positive. His correspondence during his time in Germany reveals his stubborn but ambitious personality as well as his disregard for institutional hierarchy, as he did not hide his discontent with the slow pace that international bureaucracy tended to take. To his superiors, Pinson’s sarcastic complaining ‘reflects upon his immaturity and inability to meet a frustration which necessarily is part of the picture in Germany at this time’. The Queens College professor’s lack of humility and respect for authority was considered a nuisance and ‘primadonnish behavior’.15 Pinson himself stressed dramatically that he needed secretarial assistance ‘without forcing the present staff to be worked to death or ­overtime’.16 Tensions between Pinson and his AJDC overseers continued into 1946, as he accused both the AJDC and UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, in charge of all DP affairs) of ‘pettiness of approach’ in their treatment of two famous Yiddish poets and writers who were touring the DP camps but were eventually deported.17 Because of his continued unfiltered criticism, Pinson’s relationship with his bosses soured over time, and he eventually felt the need to send positive testimonials about his functioning to AJDC headquarters to prove ‘that my salary was well earned’.18

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Pinson’s repeated criticism of the functioning of the DP care structure, and especially the educational and cultural programming for which he was responsible, not only tells us something about his personality, but also illuminates aspects of Allied bureaucracy in these crucial postwar months. According to Pinson, writing several months after his return from Europe, what he considered ‘the great and tragic disparity between [the] deep sympathy of individual American Jews and the concrete help that European Jewish DPs receive from America is the fault of bureaucratic organization rather than apathy on the part of American Jewry’.19 Pinson described what he observed as the bad and therefore inefficient relationship between the UNRRA and the American Army, which was in control of most of the DP camps. Since the AJDC acted under the tutelage of UNRRA, this situation turned the American-Jewish organization into a ‘step child’ that at times was better off keeping its connection to UNRRA ‘quiet’.20 Pinson opened a controversial progress report of 1 December 1945 with the harsh conclusion that due to this situation and to his own lack of resources, [t]he achievements of the Education Division of the American Joint Distribution Committee during the month of November may be summarized very briefly as being almost nil … It is not my intent at this time, nor at any other time in the future to present in my reports anything but a sober picture of the realities in the situation as I see them without adornment or coloring. In those terms we have done practically nothing.21

Pinson was stationed at the OAD to oversee and select its vast Judaica collections. By June 1946, Pinson and his team had inspected 300,000 volumes. Of these, 20,000 mostly YIVO-owned volumes were made available on loan for use by Jewish DPs.22 Providing DPs with educational materials was one of Pinson’s main ambitions and set the tone for other AJDC workers, such as Lucy Dawidowicz (at the time still Lucy Schildkret, and later the famous Holocaust historian) who came to the OAD on Pinson’s suggestion.23 Tensions soon arose between Pinson and Schildkret, as the latter expressed her discontent with Pinson’s sloppy registration of the 20,000 volumes, in turn leading to friction with the US military command. Partly on Schildkret’s recommendation, Pinson’s request for the loan of an additional 25,000 books was denied, souring the relationship between the two historians. To make matters worse still, Schildkret also shared with officials the ‘common knowledge’ that Pinson had taken several thousand books from the OAD into his own library, so that far from all 20,000 volumes had reached the DPs.24 Clearly, Pinson’s engagement with DP matters was passionate and sincere, even personal, as he was an official representative of American Jewry that had to combat its feeling of guilt for not having experienced the same fate as its European brethren. Paradoxically,

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this personal investment may have also nourished a feeling of entitlement in Pinson to ‘rescue’ books that he feared would otherwise not receive the treatment they deserved. In addition to casting a questionable light on Pinson’s moral behaviour, this affair also increases our understanding of the inner workings of the Jewish educational and welfare efforts for the Jewish DPs, which were run by devoted servants of the Jewish cultural cause. This devotion fueled another driving sentiment behind the efforts to preserve cultural heritage: the work not only aimed to create a memorial to the perished Jews but was also based on the need to serve the still living Jewish communities. These communities were now to be found in Palestine and North America. Therefore, against normal practice, none of the Jewish organizations involved was interested in restitution of the materials to their places of origin in eastern Europe. As Pinson phrased it, ‘books properly belong where they can be at the disposal of a living Jewish community and Jewish scholars and not where all that remains are mute tombstones and only the faintest traces of a formerly flourishing Jewish community’.25 This is why a structure was set up with the ‘unofficial help’ of the US Army, to ‘evacuate’ archives and libraries to Paris via Heidelberg in army ambulances. Pinson arranged for the so-called Streicher Collection and the related Sturmer Verlag Collection (assembled by the Nazi publisher Julius Streicher) to be shipped to the United States, together with 197 other items for which the AJDC was to act as ­custodian.26 Here, then, we encounter Pinson as a pivotal figure in this crucial decisionmaking process about the geographical orientation of Jewish life. Partly thanks to Pinson’s efforts, several North American institutions, mostly concentrated in New York City, would become central repositories around which Jewish culture was to develop during the decades to come. In the shorter term, Pinson’s choices regarding the future of the surviving European Jewish cultural heritage also shed light on the cultural life of the Jewish survivors, as well as on their political leanings and activities. For instance, while not particularly religious himself, Pinson recognized the need to pay special attention to Jewish religious matters as part of DP education. After all, he stressed to one of his Allied military superiors in Europe, DPs had both secular and religious educational needs. Even before his departure for Europe he approached Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, the leader of the orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement Chabad, to obtain relevant educational materials.27 In addition to the books received from Chabad, the Educational Director’s many requests to publishers and Jewish periodical editors reveal which books, magazines and newspapers Jewish DPs had access to. His correspondence also demonstrates the importance that was attached to ‘popular culture’ in the form of musical performance, theatre and cinema, especially films in Yiddish, but also Hollywood

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­ roductions.28 As for written materials, Yiddish and Hebrew newspapers p were by far the most widely read and therefore the ‘most important cultural instrument’.29 However, Pinson observed, this choice of print languages did not reflect the actual order of importance of spoken languages. Pinson listed these as primarily Yiddish, followed by Polish, before Hebrew, German, Russian and English. Even if Polish was the first language for a large contingent of Jewish DPs, for emotional and ideological reasons they would have resented being taught in Polish. After all, Hebrew and Yiddish were the languages of the Jewish nation, a conviction duly strengthened by the experiences of the Holocaust.30 The cultural language question thus intersected with political issues, a connection that Pinson underlined in his reports. According to him, the supposedly staunch Zionism of many of the Jewish DPs was ‘nothing but a Jewish national approach to their [the refugees’] problems’. Fanatical Zionism, Pinson assured the readers of his report, was professed by only a very small group of former Revisionist Zionists. In Pinson’s eyes, DP Zionism was therefore not so much a political movement but had more to do with the forging of a ‘Schicksalgemeinschaft’ (community of fate) after the recent traumatic experiences of persecution. ‘Palestine’ had become a ‘state of mind which is a fact’, regardless of the limited ‘soundness of their hopes’.31 By way of Pinson’s synthesizing analysis we can also see the direct link that existed between the DPs and American Jewry. In part thanks to the increasing postwar importance of Zionism in America, Pinson described the American-Jewish mentality vis-à-vis ‘his’ DPs as one of continued interest, the more so since many of them had already moved to the USA. Pinson was not alone in seeing in this new diaspora ‘enormous potential capacity’, thereby assigning to them American-Jewish political clout.32 Interestingly, Pinson singled out religious orthodoxy – usually not the focus of attention in the existing scholarship on Displaced Persons – as being especially impacted by the influx of DPs: ‘each new rabbi that arrives is welcomed as a martyr and a saint’. Overall, whether they were religious or not, Pinson observed a ‘strong and overexaggerated desire to romanticize and idealize every single Jewish DP’. Despite the seemingly negative tone with which Pinson typified these romanticizing tendencies, he did judge that this ‘ahavat Yisrael’ (love for the people of Israel/the Jewish people) did leave ‘room for hope and courage’ for Jews ‘despite all the dark sides in the picture of American Jewish life’.33 By taking on this role of critical yet detached observer, Pinson placed himself outside the Zionist and American-Jewish political debates, and laid the groundwork for an educational programme that transcended the Zionist/non-Zionist ­bifurcation that coloured much of DP politics.

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Despite his efforts to remain aloof from Zionist politics, Pinson could not escape the political rivalry between leading institutions in Palestine/Israel and the United States regarding the final destination of the European Jewish heritage. As mentioned, Pinson represented several US-based Jewish cultural organizations.34 These bodies were convinced that the various materials now belonged where the majority of Jews survived, namely in North America. At the same time, Jewish Palestine, and after 1948 the young state of Israel, sought to legitimize its state-building project by establishing its ideological position as the legitimate heir to European Jewish culture and tradition, understood through the lens of Zionist ideology. The Hebrew University in Jerusalem acted as the main Zionist claimant of recovered archives and libraries. Its president Judah Magnes considered his institution as the unique ‘chief spiritual heir’ of Jewish cultural i­ nstitutions.35 However, Pinson believed Magnes’ logic carried potential dangers. He stressed that the perished Jews of Europe had never themselves lived in Jewish Palestine. Honouring Magnes’ demands would thus set a perilous precedent for the Soviet Union which was about to lay claim to all Jewish materials originating from its now occupied parts of central and eastern Europe.36 For the time being, Pinson proposed, the AJDC was to be the temporary caretaker of the ‘spiritual heritage of European Jewry’, with himself obviously as the sole overseer of the activities in Europe.37 He appended several critical comments to a 1946 report by the famous scholar Gershom Scholem, who was also in Offenbach to select materials for the Hebrew University.38 Ironically, a few months after Pinson’s return to the United States, two former colleagues in Offenbach used his name to have several boxes of materials illegally shipped to Palestine in Scholem’s care. The investigation following this affair also reiterated Schildkret’s accusation that Pinson had absorbed up to 5,000 OAD books into his own library.39 In the context of Pinson’s larger efforts on behalf of both Jewish academic studies and Jewish cultural reconstruction, his act of ‘theft’ could also be interpreted as another example of his active agency in shaping the future of both Jewish culture and academia: by ‘adopting’ the stolen books he implicitly decided that this cultural heritage’s geographical context would have to be not only in Europe and the Middle East, but also in North America.

Networks and scholarship Despite his engagement with the burgeoning field of Jewish studies, as well as his physical commitment to Jewish heritage in the OAD and the DP camps, Pinson regarded himself first and foremost as a scholar of German history and the history of nationalism.40 He indeed stood at the forefront

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of the development of this latter discipline, alongside scholarly giants like Hans Kohn and Carlton Hayes, with both of whom he maintained decadeslong intimate correspondence.41 Pinson is considered to have pioneered a social scientific approach to the study of nationalism,42 and he produced several monographs on German (nationalist) history that were highly regarded by his scholarly contemporaries. The first of these, Pietism as a factor in the rise of German nationalism (1934), was based on his doctoral dissertation. Two decades later, Modern Germany (1954) was hailed as a much-needed corrective to the growing apologetic tendencies in writing about Hitlerism.43 As of 1931, Pinson’s pivotal scholarly contact was Hans Kohn, one of the founders of the field of nationalism studies.44 During the 1930s, the two men collaborated on the establishment of JSS and they planned to co-author a textbook on nationalism.45 On a more personal level, the Czech Kohn turned to the American Pinson for affidavits to help Jewish friends and family members (including philosopher Martin Buber) escape European Nazism.46 The Kohn and Pinson families even holidayed together in the Pinsons’ summer residence in Maine.47 Because of this close and long-lasting friendship, by way of Pinson we gain insights into Kohn’s personality and political attitudes.48 For instance, Kohn’s well-documented turn away from Zionism and Jewish historiography is further illuminated by the less than positive way in which he referred to the Zionist movement in his letters to Pinson. In 1934, Kohn, an erstwhile member of the by then defunct binationalist Zionist movement Brit Shalom, judged the influential Zionist party Left Poale Zion as equally unsuccessful.49 Two years later he asked Pinson to take care of their common contact, ex-Brit Shalom member Robert Weltsch, on the latter’s visit to the United States, as ‘I would not like to leave him entirely for the beginning in the hands of the zionist [sic] officials’.50 As for academia more generally, Kohn asked Pinson in 1942 ‘why, do you accuse the political scientists (“my” colleagues!). They are not worse than the historians (“my” colleagues). I could tell you [long tales about] art historians + their “objectivity” toward Nazism.’51 In 1933, shortly after his arrival in the United States, Kohn had already reached a rather negative verdict about American historians, who were ‘apparently … excellently trained to do research work in archives etc., to be fact-finding, but not always to see the ideas behind the documents, to have a philosophical, a geisteswissensch. [sic] approach’.52 In addition to its illustrative potential for an increased understanding of Kohn’s biography, the Pinson–Kohn correspondence is most illuminating when it comes to their shared investment in nationalism studies in the context of mid-twentieth-century European political realities. Both scholars believed that nationalism should be considered a product of religious revival

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and the European Enlightenment. In 1934, Kohn wholeheartedly agreed with Pinson’s thesis that nationalism has the ‘character [of] “Religionsersatz” [replacement of religion] in an “entgottete (secularized, humanized) world’, especially in the West.53 ‘Europeanization,’ Kohn explained, ‘means: through individualism to nationalism.’54 After the Holocaust, the discussions between Kohn and Pinson on nationalism remained focussed on Germany, a country they both loved and neither had lost faith in, despite the recent atrocities it had committed. In 1958, Kohn wrote that he found merit in Pinson’s argument ‘that since 1812 the struggle between unity and liberty was the great issue in German history … + that in Germany liberty always lost out’. However, Kohn added optimistically, ‘only under Adenauer (so far!) Westernizers and liberty had won out. May this last in Germany, and the peoples follow the good example set by the Germans (some of them) since 1945. Defeat is sometimes better than victory.’55 Moving from the realm of scholarship to the networks that it produced, we find that Kohn connected Pinson to several important Jewish figures, including German-Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and prominent German-Jewish journalist Robert Weltsch.56 Both Buber and Weltsch could be considered Zionists whose political convictions differed from the Zionist mainstream in the 1930s: they envisioned a shared future for Jews and Arabs in Palestine. German-Jewish scholar and philosopher Hannah Arendt also belonged to this category of atypical Zionists, and Pinson served with her on both the European Commission for Jewish Cultural Reconstruction and the Conference on Jewish Relations.57 Oscar Janowsky, another contact, could equally be considered a ‘heterodox’ Zionist thinker in that he propagated diaspora nationalist solutions for Jewish ­homelessness.58 Finally, in 1948, Pinson lectured for the youth division of the New Yorkbased Freeland League for Jewish Territorial Colonization, the views and activities of which had by that point come to stand in direct opposition to the Zionist movement.59 Despite his earlier-professed neutral stance towards Zionism, these connections at the very least suggest that Pinson may have not been of a strictly Palestinocentric Zionist persuasion himself. Indeed, he voiced openly critical observations of American Zionist attitudes when, in early 1947, he complained how Palestine had moved to the centre of American-Jewish attention. Pinson did not hide his disapproval of the ‘salon terrorism’ of those who supported the violent approach of the various Zionist underground movements. These American Jews ‘get a vicarious pleasure out of these exhibitions of Jewish “virility,” without having to assume any of the social and political responsibilities that accompany these acts’.60 While taking this evidently critical position, Pinson also collaborated with the arch-Zionist historian Ben-Zion Dinur.61 This m ­ ultidimensionality

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of Pinson’s relationship to Zionism complicates the view of Jewish scholarship during the middle decades of the twentieth century as polarized between two camps with Zionism as the pivotal point. Pinson’s biography can thus contribute to a broader understanding of Jewish studies: even after the state of Israel was established in 1948, Jewish scholarship outside the Jewish state conceived of Jewish history as a global topic, ‘a unified theme transcending geographical boundaries and the limitations of national states’,62 an effort that was in part shaped by Pinson’s work.63 However, he also formed part of a much wider scholarly and political network. Amongst Pinson’s contacts were political scientist Waldemar Gurian, leftist German journalist Clara Menck, Gertrud Jaspers (the widow of German philosopher Karl Jaspers), Elena Craveri Croce (daughter of the Italian philosopher, historian and politician Benedetto Croce and a publicist in her own right), American politician Sumner Welles, German author Thomas Mann and the famous German historian Friedrich Meinecke, with whom Pinson had studied briefly in the early 1930s.64 Two individuals that deserve singling out are The New School director Alvin Johnson and Pinson’s doctoral supervisor Carlton Hayes. In 1954, Johnson wrote to Pinson: ‘the kindness of a cherished colleague and friend is manna in the wilderness of life’.65 His evidently close friendship with Johnson points to Pinson’s membership in a vibrant New York-based scholarly community and offers insights into the functioning of The New School and its émigré identity. Carlton Hayes, on the other hand, was Pinson’s ‘Doktorvater’ at Columbia University, and became infamous for his dubious role as US Ambassador to Francoist Spain during the 1940s. The amicable correspondence between Pinson and Hayes spanned two decades, with the former publicly defending his erstwhile mentor when the latter came under attack for supposed pro-Franco sympathies. Grateful, Hayes wrote to Pinson in 1946: ‘I am feeling much better now, and the letter from an old friend like you is, believe me, particularly welcome and heartening’.66 Finally, like Kohn, Hayes can be considered a founding father of nationalism studies. In that light, it is insightful how Hayes looked back in 1955 on the development of the study of nationalism in a letter to Pinson: ‘nationalism was … not object of serious historical study  … How things have changed!’67

Nazism and antisemitism Interestingly, two decades earlier, Hayes had expressed himself in unabashedly antisemitic terms when recommending Pinson for the position he was to receive at Queens College. Pinson, Hayes wrote, was

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a fine, coöperative [sic], and well-balanced person. Though he is of Jewish extraction, I know from several years’ close association with him that he has a very real knowledge and appreciation of the Catholic religion which I profess and also that he is not unsympathetic with Protestantism … Moreover, he is moderate and fair minded about social questions, and not at all a Communist or of Communist sympathies. Furthermore, he does not have those disagreeable aggressive characteristics which are sometimes attributed to certain members of his race. He is modest in the best sense, and always a gentleman.68

This language demonstrates the perceived acceptability of antisemitism in American academic circles during the interwar period and helps to further debunk the by now partially discredited myth of an America relatively free from anti-Jewish feelings. Pinson dealt with the topic of antisemitism in the way he knew best: as a scholar. Despite Hayes’ dubious outlooks, Pinson wrote a thesis under the latter’s supervision in which he concluded that there was a much stronger connection between Protestantism and nationalism than between Catholicism and nationalism in German history. As a result, Pinson argued, Protestant antisemitism had historically been of a more secular, nationalist nature and mostly spread via lay leaders, as demonstrated by Nazi ­racialism.69 Under the influence of Catholic intellectuals like Hayes and Gurian, Pinson relied on these conclusions to controversially defend the Vatican’s activities during the Holocaust.70 Nevertheless, he is still considered a notable figure in the founding and dissemination of the field of Holocaust studies, especially in North America.71 As a graduate student in 1928, Pinson had sought out the tutelage of Salo Wittmayer Baron, one of the giants of Jewish history writing. Throughout Pinson’s career, Baron would remain a central figure, as the two men were affiliated with the same Jewish cultural and scholarly endeavours.72 As Baron reminisced after Pinson’s death, ‘[w]e saw eye to eye on the problem that Jewish scholars could not offer any panaceas for the cure of this fundamental “disease of the Gentile nations” [antisemitism] and its underlying causes, but that they would at least marshal truthful data on the facts of Jewish life’.73 Even before the Shoah, Pinson sought out such ‘truthful data’ in Germany, which he visited twice, in 1932 and 1935. Prior to the elections of 1932 that led to Hitler’s official rise to power, The Menorah Journal co-editor Herbert Solow wrote to Pinson from Germany that whatever was to happen, it would not end well for German Jews: ‘when blood flows, as it almost certainly will in streams after [the elections of] July 31, the poor Jews will get it in the neck and the rich ones in the pocketbook’.74 Pinson’s scholarly understanding of antisemitism may have further benefited from his practical experiences in Europe in 1945 and 1946. As AJDC representative he took note of instances of antisemitism, as evidenced in his

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report about the antisemitic riots at the Jewish DP camp of Lampertheim (‘a hotbed of Nazism, with 80% of the people former party members’) in 1946. A German woman had verbally abused a Jewish boy, mobilizing groups of Germans against Jews. According to the report, what had been most disturbing was the biased reaction of the American military in favour of the Germans. Accordingly, the Lampertheim affair prompted Pinson to organize an educational programme for the US military, as he eventually concluded that despite the antisemitism that soldiers ‘obviously’ brought with them, the real problem lay with the fact that these were 18- or 19-year-olds ‘dumped into a little “hick town” like Lampertheim’, while subsequently exposed to still existing German Nazi propaganda.75 This action, however significant, turned out to be a temporary excursion for Pinson, and he soon returned to his purely academic dealings with antisemitism – dealings with arguably much larger impact. In scholarly communities, much confusion about what exactly had happened in the Holocaust would reign for many years to come. Pinson was interested in using the already mentioned Streicher Collection to help reconstruct the Nazi mentality.76 He also attended the trial of German economist Hjalmar Schacht as part of the 1946 Nuremberg Trials, undoubtedly with a similarly investigative purpose in mind.77 These trials notwithstanding, former Nazis  were regularly rehabilitated, a process that Pinson and his correspondents observed with worry.78 All these experiences were to feed into Pinson’s 1954 influential classic Modern Germany, a much-quoted scientific account of Germany’s development into a modern nation cascading into the catastrophic endpoint of the Shoah.79

Conclusion What do we take away from all this, beyond – to put it bluntly – the conclusion that this nowadays mostly unknown American-Jewish scholar did some interesting things and knew some interesting people? By placing this analysis within the frameworks of existing currents in microhistory and global biography writing, a focus on an individual like Pinson helps to show how ‘the absence of representativeness could be instructive about … historical and political contexts [italics mine]’.80 Pinson’s border-crossing life – both national borders and boundaries between scholarly disciplines, activities and political affiliations – might not be ‘exemplary’ as such, but it does lay bare these different contexts or processes that are relevant to our understanding of a much wider set of historical actors and events. In that vein, I claim that Pinson was not only well connected, but that he himself helps us, as scholars, to connect the field of nationalism studies to Jewish

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studies and Holocaust studies, to American-Jewish politics, to geo-political debates and discourses. ‘Network’ in this case therefore means more than just networks of people, but also serves to connect Pinson’s individual agency to more traditional frameworks, such as the nation state and the expanding international organizational and ideological structures of the period directly after 1945.

Notes  1 Two notable exceptions partly guide the following analysis: B. Smollett, ‘Nationalism, belonging, and crisis: the paths of Koppel S. Pinson and Hans Kohn’ in R. Gross (ed.), Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016), 49–69; A. Engelhardt, ‘Koppel S. Pinson (1904–1961). Eine jüdische Intellektuellenbiografie in Amerika’ in N. Berg et al. (eds), Konstellationen: über Geschichte, Erfahrung und Erkenntnis: Festschrift für Dan Diner zum 65. Geburtstag (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011), 81–101. Hasia Diner also mentions Pinson in her analysis of American Jewry and the Holocaust: H. Diner, We remember with reverence and love: American Jews and the myth of silence after the Holocaust, 1945–1962 (New York: NYU Press, 2009).   2 Smollett, ‘Nationalism, belonging, and crisis’, 50.  3 Pinson to Douglas Miller (Office of War Information), 28 February 1943, New York Public Library, Koppel Pinson Papers (MssCol2429) (hereafter: MssCol2429), Box 1, untitled folder; for more on the New School, Alvin Johnson and the University in Exile, see J. Friedlander, A light in dark times: the New School for Social Research and its University in Exile (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019).  4 Engelhardt offers the most thorough analysis of the history and significance of this encyclopedia project that was so crucial to the development of the social sciences in the United States: Engelhardt, ‘Koppel S. Pinson’, esp. 89–98. For one of the most complete summaries of Pinson’s career see Salo Baron’s eulogy: S. W. Baron, ‘Koppel Shub Pinson’, Jewish Social Studies, 23:3 (July 1961), 138–42.  5 Hannah Arendt to Henrietta K. Buchman, 30 August 1945, Joint Distribution Commit­tee Archives, New York (hereafter: JDC), NY AR194554–2-4–24–1746 (2).  6 Baron, ‘Koppel Shub Pinson’, 139.  7 Hilda Pinson’s note on John Theobald (Queens College) to Hilda Pinson, 14 November 1950, MssCol2429, Box 1, last folder; comment by Hilda Pinson in MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Correspondence on academic or scholarly matters’; comment by Hilda Pinson in MssCol2429, Box 2, folder ‘Unsorted correspondence’.

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 8 As described in S. Conrad, ‘Chapter 6: space in global history’, in Conrad, What is global history? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016): 137.  9 N. F. Sayre and A. V. Di Vittorio, ‘Scale’, in N. J. Thrift and R. Kitchin (eds), International encyclopedia of human geography (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2009), 19–28: 19–20, 24. For a discussion of the coexistence of epistemology and ontology in scalar research, see pp. 21–22 and 26. 10 Baron, ‘Koppel Shub Pinson’, 142. 11 Pinson, ‘A report on Jewish cultural treasures and their part in the educational program of the AJDC’, 13 June 1946, pp. 6–7, JDC, NY AR45–54 00139 00361; telegram, Leibush Lehrer to Pinson, 30 November 1945, JDC, NY-AR45–54– 00195–1132; N. Sinkoff, From left to right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York intellectuals, and the politics of Jewish history (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2020): 83. I thank Nancy Sinkoff for sharing the relevant chapter from her book with me in advance of its official publication. For more on postwar Jewish cultural restitution work and its importance for the Jewish communities in both the Middle East and North America, see E. Gallas, A mortuary of books: the rescue of Jewish culture after the Holocaust (New York: New York University Press, 2019). 12 Pinson, ‘Report of preliminary work for educational program of JDC among displaced Jews in Germany and Austria, Sept. 18 – Oct. 25, 1945’, JDC, NY-AR45–54–00034–00947. 13 Pinson, ‘Jewish life in liberated Germany: the story of the Jewish DPs’, Jewish Social Studies, 9:2 (April 1947), 101–26. Hasia Diner criticizes Pinson for overlooking the organizing activities of the Jewish DPs, thus denying them part of their own agency: Diner, We remember, 163. 14 Morris A. Gelfand (Queens College librarian) in the introduction leaflet for the Koppel S. Pinson Memorial Exhibition, organized in the Paul Klapper Library from 5 to 29 February 1964, MssCol2429, Box 2. 15 Memorandum by J. L. Trobe (with memorandum by Pinson attached), AJDC Hochst to AJDC Paris, 5 December 1945, JDC, NY AR45–54–00205–1423. 16 Report, Pinson, 15 January 1946, JDC, NY AR194554–3-6–1-1078. 17 Pinson, ‘Report on the so called [sic] deportation of Mr H. Leiwick and Dr J. Efros’, 27 June 1946, JDC, NY AR45–54–00195–0266. 18 Pinson to Leavitt, 13 October 1946, JDC, NY AR45–54–00205–1416. Several such expressions of gratitude for Pinson’s efforts on behalf of the DPs can be found in the archives. See, for example, letters to this effect by David [Verba] (Committee of Liberated Jews in Frankfurt A.M.) to Pinson, 26 August 1946 and from an unidentified representative [possibly Sadie Sender] of the Committee of Liberated Jews in Gross Hessen to Pinson, 13 September 1946, both in YIVO Archives, New York, Koppel Pinson Collection (RG462), folder ‘DP Germany’. 19 Pinson, ‘American letter’, 30 January 1947, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Letters commenting on periodical articles of KSP or lectures’. 20 Pinson, ‘Report of the Educational Director of the American Joint Distribution Committee in Germany and Austria for November 1945’, 1 December 1945, JDC, NY AR45–54 00034 00920, also quoted in Smollett, ‘Nationalism,

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­ elonging, and crisis’, 61–2; excerpt from letter to unknown recipient, forwarded b to Moses Leavitt (AJDC), 13 December 1945, JDC, NY AR194554–2-3–5-1991. 21 Pinson, ‘Report for November 1945’. 22 ‘Germany – educational staff established libraries’, The AJDC Weekly Review, II:28, 19 July 1946, JDC, NY AR193344–2-2–21–232; Sinkoff, From left to right, 83. 23 L. Dawidowicz, From that time and place: a memoir, 1938–1947 (New York: Norton, 1989): 212–13, 278, 288. 24 Dawidowicz, From that time and place, 317; D. Herman, ‘Hashavat Avedah: a history of Jewish cultural reconstruction inc.’, unpublished PhD thesis, McGill University, Montreal, 2008: 167, 175–6; N. Sinkoff, ‘Lucy S. Dawidowicz and the restitution of Jewish cultural property’, American Jewish History 100:1 (January 2016), 117–47: 130–1; Sinkoff, From left to right, 85. See also L. Moses Leff, The archive thief: the man who salvaged French history in the wake of the Holocaust (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015): 125. 25 Pinson to Major Lafarge MFA&A, Berlin, 28 March 1946 (Appendix III C, pp. 31–2), JDC, NY-AR45–54–00139–00361; Leff, The archive thief, 136. 26 Pinson to Joseph J. Schwartz (chairman of the European Executive Council of the AJDC), 29 July 1946, JDC, G45–54-GR-022–0294; Pinson, ‘Report on the remains of the Sturmer Jewish Library in Nurnberg’, 9 July 1946, JDC, NY AR 4554–3-6–1-1351. The matter of restitution was somewhat different for countries in the West such as The Netherlands, France and Belgium and several collections were returned there: Pinson, ‘A report on Jewish cultural treasure’. 27 Pinson to Gen. Lucius Clay, 7 January 1946, JDC, NY AR45–54–00139–00435; Pinson to J. Schneersohn, 10 October 1945 and 23 October 1945, JDC, NY AR45–54–00212R-1319. 28 See, for instance, Pinson to Henrietta K. Buchman, 24 October 1945, JDC, NY AR194554–3-5–4-1274-II; Pinson to Harold Rodner (Warner Brothers), 16 October 1945, JDC, NY AR194554–3-5–4-1274-III; Pinson, ‘Report on tour of Jonas Turkow and Diana Blumenfeld’, 27 June 1946, JDC, NY AR194554–36–1-1351. 29 See, for instance, Pinson’s twenty-nine-page list of newspaper distribution to the different DP camps in the American Zone: Pinson to AJDC Paris, ‘Re: newspaper distribution’, 14 March 1946, JDC, NY AR194554–1-1–1-2126. 30 AJDC, ‘Education report for Zeilsheim of Koppel S. Pinson’, 24 December 1945, JDC, NY AR4554–00032–00369, 2. 31 Ibid., 3–4. 32 Abraham S. Neuman (the Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Philadelphia) to Pinson, 20 May 1952, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder. 33 Pinson, ‘American letter’, 2–3. 34 ‘Commission on European Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Bulletin 3, Summer 1945’, JDC, NY AR194554–2-4–24–1746(3). 35 Pinson to Baron, 13 March 1946 (Appendix VI A, pp. 36–7), JDC, NY-AR45– 54–00139–00361; Judah Magnes to Pinson, 3 May 1946 (Appendix VI C, pp. 40–1), JDC, NY-AR45–54–00139–00361.

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36 Pinson to Magnes, 11 March 1946 (Appendix VI B, pp. 38–9), JDC, NY-AR45– 54–00139–00361. 37 Pinson, ‘A report on Jewish cultural treasures’, p. 13. 38 Report G. Scholem about his mission in the summer of 1946 concerning libraries in the Jewish Diaspora, YIVO, RG462, folder ‘DP Germany’. 39 Herman, ‘Hashavat Avedah’, 175–6; Sinkoff, ‘Lucy S. Dawidowicz’, 130–1; Sinkoff, From left to right, 85; Gallas, A mortuary of books, 49–50; Leff, The archive thief, 126–8. Leff mentions Pinson as an example of how numerous acts of ‘theft’ of European Jewish materials went unpunished, demonstrating how officials did not believe in postwar restitution of these books, documents and artefacts. Herman devotes a long paragraph to Scholem and the ‘Manuscript Affair’: Herman, ‘Hashavat Avedah’, 169–80. 40 Pinson to Douglas Miller (Office of War Information), 28 February 1943, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder. 41 Smollett offers an insightful account of Pinson’s place in this development of nationalism studies in connection to Kohn and Hayes: Smollett, ‘Nationalism, belonging, and crisis’. 42 Engelhardt, ‘Koppel S. Pinson’, 83. 43 Diner, We remember, 147, 249. For a short description of Pietism, see Engelhardt, ‘Koppel S. Pinson’, 86–7; K. S. Pinson, Modern Germany: its history and civilization (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1954). Pinson formulated some of the book’s conclusions in an article that appeared during the war: K. S. Pinson, ‘On the future of Germany: a survey of opinions and proposals’, The Menorah Journal 32:2 (Fall 1944), 125–60. 44 Hans Kohn to Pinson, 21 December 1931, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. In addition to the Kohn correspondence in the New York Public Library collection, see also the letters from Kohn in the Koppel Pinson collection of the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI), New York, Box 1, folder 1. 45 Kohn to Pinson, 22 July [1935], LBI, Koppel Pinson Collection, Box 1, folder 4. 46 Among other instances: Kohn to Pinson, 30 August 1938, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’; Smollett, ‘Nationalism, belonging, and crisis’, 57–8. 47 Kohn to Pinson, 28 August 1958, as well as other letters written that month, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. 48 A renewed interest in Kohn’s biography has generated several studies in recent years. For one of the most recent works, see A. Gordon, Towards nationalism’s end: an intellectual biography of Hans Kohn (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2017). 49 Kohn to Pinson, 10 October 1934, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. 50 Kohn to Pinson, 2 May 1936, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. 51 Kohn to Pinson, 16 August 1942, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. Underlining in original. 52 Kohn to Pinson, 30 October 1933, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. 53 Kohn to Pinson, 16 July 1934, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. 54 Kohn to Pinson, 14 August 1934, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’.

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55 Kohn to Pinson, 2 May 1958, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. Underlining in original. 56 Kohn to Pinson, 20 June 1932, 2 May 1932, 5 August 1936, 30 August 1936, 4 September 1936, 26 November 1936, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’; Robert Weltsch to Pinson, 30 May 1958, several letters from 1955, LBI, Koppel Pinson Collection, Box 1, folder 2 and folder 4. 57 Arendt to Buchman, 30 August 1945. While serving in Europe, Pinson wrote to Baron that he would be happy to have Arendt come over, but only if she would be employed by the AJDC: ‘we need people here to work’, Pinson to Baron, 13 March 1946 (Appendix VI A, pp. 36–7), JDC, NY-AR45–54–00139–00361. 58 Oscar Janowsky to Pinson, 8 August 1937, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder; Janowsky to and in collaboration with Pinson, 19 May 1949, 3 July 1950 and 28 May 1951 regarding aborted attempt to create Academic Council of the Jewish Museum, MssCol2429, Box 2, folder ‘unsorted correspondence’. 59 Mita (Shulamith) Charney (Freeland Youth League) to Pinson, 21 October 1948, MssCol2429, Box 2, folder ‘unsorted correspondence’ and 5 November 1948, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder. For more on the Freeland League, see my forthcoming monograph The Jewish Territorialist Movement: beyond state and exile, 1905–1960 (Liverpool: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2022), as well as several of my published articles. 60 Pinson, ‘American letter’, p. 2. 61 Ben-Zion Dinur to Pinson, 12 January 1958, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder; Salo Baron to Hilda Pinson, 17 June 1960, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Jewish History Publications, Inc.’. 62 Neuman to Pinson. 63 Importantly, Pinson published the first translation into English of a selection of diaspora nationalist Simon Dubnow’s writings: Nationalism and history: essays on old and new Judaism by Simon Dubnow (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1958). See also K. S. Pinson, ‘The national theories of Simon Dubnow’, Jewish Social Studies, 10:4 (October 1948), 335–58. For other examples of Pinson’s interest in non-Zionist Jewish politics, see MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Nathan Birnbaum’ and folder ‘Bund’, as well as K. S. Pinson, ‘Arkady Kremer, Vladimir Medem, and the ideology of the Jewish “Bund”’, Jewish Social Studies, 7:3 (July 1945), 233–64. 64 Several letters from Waldemar Gurian to Pinson, 1947, MssCol2429, Box  1, untitled folder; MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Clara Menck’ and several letters from the 1950s in untitled folder; MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Gertrud Jaspers’; MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘[Elena] Croce’, see also folder ‘Magazine ­subscriptions’; Sumner Welles to Pinson, 15 March 1945, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder; Pinson to Thomas Mann, 28 April 1945, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder; Friedrich Meinecke to Pinson, 27 August 1934, MssCol2429, Box 2, folder ‘unsorted correspondence’. Pinson met Meinecke during his first research trip to Germany in the fall of 1931 [possibly a typo for 1932]: typed comment by Hilda Pinson on ‘List of lectures’, MssCol2429, Box 2, folder ‘Personal miscellaneous papers’.

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65 Johnson to Pinson, 19 January 1954, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Alvin Johnson’. 66 Hayes to Pinson, 14 November 1946, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Carlton J.  H.  Hayes’; Smollett gives a concise account of Hayes’ influence on Pinson, especially the former’s scholarly innovation of seeing nationalism not just as modern religion, but as modern idolatry: Smollett, ‘Nationalism, belonging, and crisis’, 53. 67 Hayes to Pinson, 16 August 1955, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Carlton J. H. Hayes’. 68 Carlton Hayes to Mr [?] Fynn (Queens College), 1 May 1937, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Carlton J. H. Hayes’. 69 Pinson to George Shuster (Hunter College), 9 May 1943; George Shuster to Pinson, 13 May 1943, both in MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder. 70 Diner, We remember, 257; K. S. Pinson, Essays on antisemitism (New York: Conference on Jewish Relations, 1942, second edn 1946). For more on the Essays, see Engelhardt, ‘Koppel S. Pinson’, 81–3. 71 Diner, We remember, 121, 122, 248–9. 72 Baron, ‘Koppel Shub Pinson’. Hans Kohn claimed it was he who enabled Pinson to take on the editorship of JSS: Kohn to Pinson, 6 February 1939, MssCol2429, Box 1, folder ‘Hans Kohn’. 73 Baron, ‘Koppel Shub Pinson’, 141. 74 Herbert Solow to Pinson, 12 July 1932, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder. 75 Pinson, Report ‘Subject: riots and orientation programs at the Jewish Camp of Lampertheim, Germany, February 6–12, 1945 [1946]’, JDC, NY-AR45–54– 00032–00441. 76 Pinson, ‘Report on the Sturmer Library’. 77 ‘Pinson hears inside story of Reichstag fire investigation’, The Crown Q.C., Tuesday 21 May 1946. 78 Pinson was amongst those who suspected writer Ernst Jünger of Nazi sympathies. Even if he was openly anti-Nazi, Jünger’s nationalism made him suspect in Pinson’s eyes. Jünger was later rehabilitated: Clara Menck to Pinson, 13 March 1946, MssCol2429, Box 1, untitled folder. Pinson also corresponded about J. G. Boekch, a Nazi professor in Heidelberg who after the war was fully rehabilitated, to the great disapproval of Pinson and others: Hilde Faust to Pinson, 19 May 1947, LBI, Koppel Pinson Collection, folder 4. 79 Diner, We remember, 248–9. Pinson had already started making a name as a historian of antisemitism and Nazism with his prewar translation from the French of Henri Lichtenberger’s study of the Third Reich: H. Lichtenberger, The Third Reich (trans. and ed. Koppel Pinson) (New York: Greystone Press, 1937), as well as with his Essays on antisemitism. Diner argues that Pinson’s 1958 edited volume of Dubnow’s work, Nationalism and history could also be seen as a product of his Holocaust scholarship: Diner, We remember, 122. 80 A. Gerritsen, ‘Chapter fourteen: scales of a local. The place of locality in a globalizing world’, in D. Northrop (ed.), A companion to world history (Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell Publishing, 2012), 213–26: 214.

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Transnational agitator and union activist: James W. Ford and the Communist push into the Black Atlantic Holger Weiss African American Communist and labour union activist James W. Ford arrived in Moscow in March 1928. His trip to Soviet Russia was a watershed in his life as it placed him for the next four years at the centre of the interwar communist world-system, the Third or Communist International or Comintern and the Red International of Labour Unions (RILU) and their affiliated units.1 Established in 1919, the Comintern framed what Finnish Communist Otto Ville Kuusinen termed a ‘solar system’, a hierarchical structure in which various organizations and committees radiated around its centre, the Comintern headquarters close to the Kremlin.2 Ford was one of the many non-European activists who framed communism’s global network during the late 1920s and early 1930s and was the mastermind of the vitalization of communist activities and connections in the Black Atlantic. As Joachim C. Häberlen has pointed out, ‘Communists not only developed a vision of the world, but also created global networks to act upon these global visions’.3 Serge Wolikow, in turn, stresses that it was a highly centralized and controlled network, consisting of the Comintern and its sections, the national parties, as well as its so-called auxiliary mass organizations, such as the RILU.4 Ford’s biography sheds light on the aspirations and ambitions of the Comintern and RILU to radicalize the Black Atlantic during the interwar period. By focussing on the ‘Atlantic phase’ of his life from his arrival in Moscow in spring 1928 to his final return to the USA in spring 1932, a biographic or microlevel approach permits, in Brice Cossart’s words, ‘a better understanding of synchronic processes such as the functioning of networks, cross-cultural connections and interactions and more generally the role played by individuals in the globalization process’.5 In Ford’s case, the globalization process was the radical ‘globalization project’ of the Comintern, with special reference to interwar ‘anti-movements’ which propagated Communist articulations of anti-chauvinism, anti-discrimination, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism and anti-segregation. Ford participated in envisioning, sometimes also creating, such anti-movements.

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In line with the editors of this volume’s conceptualization of space and scale as biographical approaches to global history, then, a focus on his ‘Atlantic phase’ can unearth the possibilities as well as the limitations of a single actor within the ‘solar system’ of the Comintern. Following Edward Soja’s and David Featherstone’s spatial approaches,6 the ambition of the communists was to establish a ‘counter-space’ or ‘second space’ to the hegemonic or ‘first space’ of the bourgeois capitalist and colonial system. In line with recent research on transnational actors and space,7 this chapter discusses Ford’s agency and capacity as connector and producer of diverse sociospatial relations. The combination of spatial and biographic approaches has proved fruitful in unravelling the complex history of the Comintern’s attempt to frame interwar revolutionary globalities. Brigitte Studer’s seminal work on ‘place-bound acting’ (situiertes Handeln) of global actors of the Comintern accentuates the room for manoeuvre that framed the agency of an activist. Transnational interwar radicals, such as Ford, transgressed territorial borders by combining local and global activism. Local conditions, on the other hand, could modify or even limit their capacities but also open up avenues for novel political engagements. A biographical approach thus enables us to unravel key moments, translocal networks and spatial nodes of action.8 Ford’s biography, covering the years 1928 to 1932, puts him on a par with similar ‘travellers of the world revolution’.9 The novelty of focussing on Ford is that it broadens the hitherto restricted focus on activists of the Comintern, as the framework of his activism was that of the RILU and, subsequently, the Black Atlantic. The concept of the Black Atlantic needs some clarifications. The concept is used in this chapter to mark the geographical extension of territories and places inhabited by people of African descent in North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. Nevertheless, its common usage is ideological and it was originally coined by Paul Gilroy to describe the hybridity and intermixture of ideas that spurred African American, Caribbean and African intellectuals to develop a vision transcending not only race but also the particularity of the nation state. According to Brent Hayes Edwards, ‘Black diasporic radicals’ in interwar London and Paris, such as George Padmore and Tiemoko Garan Kouyaté, strove to establish a ‘Black International’ or a radical, international, anti-colonial and anti-racial alliance of peoples of African descent.10 However, although this vision was also articulated by Black Communists during the late 1920s and early 1930s, their Black Atlantic was a truncated one as it was framed by class rather than colour. The objective was to reach out and radicalize Black workers rather than push for a radical pan-Africanist agenda which would also have included the Black bourgeoisie and capitalists.11 In contrast to the African

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American Communist Harry Haywood who drafted the Comintern’s doctrine on the self-determination of the African Americans in the US South in autumn 1928, the so-called Black belt thesis,12 Ford’s ambition was the radicalization of Black workers throughout the Black Atlantic. This objective necessitated close collaboration with other organizations within the ‘solar system’ of the Comintern, most notably the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers and the League Against Imperialism (LAI). His activities transgressed national borders both in words and in deeds. While Haywood emerged rather as a national player and focussed on monitoring the activities of the Communist Party in the USA, Ford became a transnational if not global player through his engagement with the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers (ITUCNW). In fact, Ford’s connections to radicals and activists were equal to the ITUCNW’s network in the Black Atlantic and preceded the global biographies of George Padmore and Otto Huiswoud who were his successors as ITUCNW secretary in the 1930s.13

Unraveling a global player: the building blocks Researchers who have written about Ford’s activities in the interwar period tend to highlight his national career in the USA.14 While the activities of Ford and the ITUCNW in the Black Atlantic are quite well known,15 a critical discussion on documentary sources and their limitations is largely missing. To reposition Ford’s place, role and impact in communism’s global interwar networks, then, we must reflect on the ‘biographical uncertainties’ at stake.16 Traditionally, a microlevel or biographic analysis would make use of personal text, preferably private diaries and letters, or documentation that sheds light on the activities and agency of an actor. Unfortunately, this is not available for Ford. Like many, if not most, interwar communist activists, he did not leave many personal written traces expressing his personal views or documenting private affairs, ideas or visions. Ford’s private archive is deposited at the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives in New York.17 These records do not contain much on his Atlantic phase but rather focus on his activities in the USA. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and its predecessor opened a file on Ford as early as the 1920s, but this material too mainly concerns his political and union activities in the USA.18 Also, when it comes to Ford’s ‘US American’ phase during the 1930s and early 1940s, especially when he was three times running vice-presidential candidate for the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), most researchers have tried to unearth his voice in the various US archives where CPUSA material has been deposited.19

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As the CPUSA was part of the Comintern, the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in an archival revolution with the opening of the hitherto closed Comintern Archives in the 1990s.20 Most of the records have been microfilmed and deposited in US archives, and generations of researchers have made use of them in a re-evaluation of US communism and radical pan-Africanism during the interwar period.21 Most notably, the Comintern Archives include tens of thousands of personal files of members of national communist parties, including James W. Ford. Ford’s personal file in the Comintern Archives includes a ten-page autobiographical sketch. Ford wrote the text in early 1932, presumably while he was sojourning in Moscow and worked at the Comintern headquarters.22 The production of such texts was a distinctive policy by the Comintern’s International Control Commission.23 In general, these texts were declarations and outlines of the political conviction of a party member, outlining the growth of political awareness and the member’s political and union activities.24 Although most of Ford’s correspondence during the periods when he headed the ITUCNW-RILU in Moscow and ran the ITUCNW Secretariat in Hamburg is lost, reference to it is found in his reports to Moscow.25 A critical evaluation of the material filed in Moscow therefore enables a reconstruction of his activities and demonstrates the outreach of his Atlantic network at the time when he handed over the secretaryship to George Padmore in October/November 1931. Apart from Ford’s autobiographical sketch, not much of the material filed in Moscow is of a private nature. Letters and notes contain information about what was done (and what not) in ongoing projects and campaigns and rarely contain personal reflections or comments by Ford. Sometimes such information is included, among other places, in Ford’s and Padmore’s correspondence when the former was running the Hamburg secretariat and the latter was in charge of the RILU’s ‘Negro Bureau’, the successor to the ITUCNW-RILU in Moscow, in 1931. However, sometimes researchers make references to Ford which seem to be based on records in the Comintern Archives which have not been consulted by his biographers, including myself. An illustrating example is the claim in Lazar and Victor Jeifets’ dictionary America Latina en la Internacional Communista 1919–1943 that Ford was a representative of the RILU in Latin America in 1930.26 Interestingly, Ford makes no reference to a trip to Latin America in his autobiography. Instead, I presume that he participated at the Third Trade Union Conference of Latin America (Tercera Conferencia Sindical Latinoamericana), held in Moscow in early September 1930 as this was an event linked to if not organized by the RILU. However, this needs further examination in the Comintern Archive. His participation at the conference in Moscow could therefore explain why he did not participate in a

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c­ onference at the Berlin headquarters of the LAI in October 1930 where the opening of the League’s activities in west Africa was discussed, a matter in which the ITUCNW and its representative might have been expected to play a crucial role (though these plans never materialized).27 Some of the records are directives and instructions either sent to or drafted by Ford. While the former demarcated and stipulated the framework of Ford’s activities as secretary of the ITUCNW, the latter documents give a hint about his ambitions to frame and at times direct activities in the Black Atlantic. A third set of records consists of records from meetings and conferences. These, too, reveal Ford’s position within the worldwide network of interwar communist organizations. Some of these gatherings were already regarded as turning points in the communist world by contemporary activists, most notably the world congresses of the Comintern and RILU in 1928 which introduced the class-against-class doctrine. The doctrine resulted in an ultra-left turn by the Comintern and affected all its auxiliary organizations. The consequence was a rift among the communists between those aligned with the new doctrine and those who rejected it, and split many communist parties, among others the CPUSA.28 Ford (as well as George Padmore), it should be highlighted, belonged to those who adhered to the class-against-class doctrine. None of the subsequent conferences Ford attended can be defined as breaking points for him during his Atlantic period, not even the Hamburg July 1930 conference nor the establishment of the ITUCNW secretariat, as they formed stepping stones for framing a radical Black Atlantic. The continuation and fundamental role of the class-against-class doctrine is demonstrated in the texts he published as editor of The Negro Worker, the mouthpiece of the ­ITUCNW-RILU from 1928 to 1930 and, from March 1931, the ITUCNW.29 The weekly schedule of communist agitators and functionaries was full of meetings, sessions and ‘conferences’. Some of these were held behind closed doors, and most of them left only roughly sketched minutes, sometimes no traces at all. Ford’s working schedule in Moscow and Hamburg is therefore difficult to reconstruct. The challenge for a microhistorical and biographical approach to Ford’s Atlantic phase is his engagement in several organizations at the same time, all of which are archival units of their own within the Comintern Archives. As Ford’s basic units of operation are well known, researchers have tended to concentrate on e­ valuating the files of the ITUCNW and the ‘Negro Secretariat’ of the Comintern as well as the LAI. However, Ford was first and foremost a labour union organizer and his main arena was the RILU and its auxiliary units, the International Propaganda Committees. Hitherto, researchers have tended to interpret Ford’s Atlantic phase as part of the political history of radical pan-­Africanism and missed his main engagement as a global labour union

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activist. Ford’s engagement with the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers has only grudgingly been grasped in earlier research, including my own. Thus, 14 December 1928 stands out as the second turning point in Ford’s Atlantic period; this was the day when Griorgiy Achkanov, the secretary of the International Propaganda and Action Committee for Transport Workers, called on him for a meeting with representatives of the RILU to discuss the organization of Japanese and Black, i.e. African, African American and Caribbean, seamen.30 In fact, a consultation of the files of the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers in the Comintern Archives highlights his position as main propagator of work among Black seamen (especially but not only in Hamburg).31 Interestingly, Ford never used an alias, nom de guerre or pseudonym when he was part of the RILU apparatus. The use of pseudonyms served to protect communist activists and delegates to Moscow against persecution and political repression in their home countries.32 Some Black communists, including George Padmore and Otto Huiswoud, used them; Padmore was in fact the pseudonym that Malcolm Ivan Meredith Nurse took in 1927 while Huiswoud attended the Fourth Comintern World Congress using the alias J. Billings, headed the ITUCNW in the 1930s under the alias Charles Woodson and signed his correspondence Edwards or Edward Mason. Ford did not, and neither did he use an alias when publishing in The Negro  Worker. Perhaps he was already too well known as a union activist and public person in 1928 when he crossed the Atlantic? Ford had legally travelled to Moscow and probably carried his passport, including visas, throughout his sojourn in Soviet Russia and Germany. Moreover, there was no need for him to use a nom de guerre while heading the secretariat in Hamburg as the ITUCNW was not an illegal organization in Germany.

Global hotspots, mobility and place Proletarian internationalism and solidarity constituted the ideological framework and agenda for interwar communist globality but were locally created and articulated by the ‘travellers of world revolution’. Specific places emerged as global hotspots or key junctions of revolutionary activism that were integrated with other nodes through transnational networks (of individual activists and/or systems of communication) and served as meeting places for individual activists. The biographies of the transnational activists of the Comintern ‘solar system’, as Studer underscores, resembled those of nomads or ‘people on the move’, being constantly in motion, seldom resting for longer periods in a particular location. Ford’s transnational period, too,

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is marked by mobility and activism in locations and places he had been sent to by others. His initial travel to Moscow in 1928 had not been initiated by him but the leaders of the CPUSA, and his subsequent travels and relocations were on the orders of the RILU. Nevertheless, as Studer emphatically highlights, localities outside the realm of the Soviet Union and the direct control of the Comintern apparatus could provide novel spaces and possibilities of agency for transnational activists.33 Moscow was Ford’s first node of operations, where he attended the Fourth World Congress of the RILU in April 1928, the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the RILU in July 1928 and the Sixth World Congress of the Comintern in August/September 1928. Starting from July 1928, he was head of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers of the Red International of Labour Unions or ITUCNW-RILU, which was the new unit of the RILU for agitation and propaganda among Black workers in the Atlantic world. From Moscow, he travelled to various places in Europe and participated in all major gatherings of the communist world system, including the meeting of the Executive Committee of the LAI in Cologne in January 1929 and the Second World Congress of the LAI in Frankfurt am Main in July 1929. (The RILU also intended to send him to Tunis to intervene in a Pan-Africanist Congress but these plans never materialized as the congress was called off.) In late autumn 1929, the RILU transferred him to New York to start up the activities of the League for the Struggles of Negro Rights as well as to organize the ‘World Conference of Negro Workers’ that eventually convened in Hamburg in July 1930. After participating in the Hamburg Conference, Ford returned to Moscow where he attended the Fifth World Congress of the RILU in July 1930 and, as RILU representative, the Third Trade Union Conference of Latin America, held in Moscow in early September 1930.34 Ford’s second node of operations was Hamburg, where he moved in November 1930. From his office in the building of the International Seamen’s Club at 8, Rothesoodstrasse, he monitored the ITUCNW, an organization that had been established as an outcome of the July 1930 Hamburg Conference. Here, he closely cooperated with the International Secretariat of the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers, the maritime wing of the Profintern established in October 1930 with headquarters in Hamburg, as well as with two Comintern units in Berlin, the International Secretariat of the LAI and the International Secretariat of the Workers’ International Relief. He participated at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the LAI in Berlin in early June 1931, and was sent to Geneva in late June 1931 to participate at the Save the Children International Union’s International Conference on African Children as the representative of the LAI and ITUCNW.35 In late July, he was sent by the LAI to Austria



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as keynote speaker at an anti-colonial meeting in Vienna arranged by the Austrian branch of the Friends of the Soviet Union. However, his trip was cut short when the Austrian police arrested him while speaking at a gathering in Graz.36 Back in Hamburg, he participated in the second plenum of the Executive Committee of the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers in early September 1931 before being called to Moscow where he arrived in mid-September 1931.37

Anti-movements and the creation of radical spaces The engagement of the RILU with the Black Atlantic had hitherto oscillated between non-existent (sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean) and, at most, lukewarm (USA and South Africa).38 The biggest dilemma for the architects of communist anti-colonial doctrine was that the agents of the anti-colonial struggle in the African and Caribbean colonies were not the workers but the intellectuals. This was a problem for the communists; in their eyes, Black intellectuals were but ‘petty-bourgeois anticolonial nationalists’ who adhered to radical political pan-Africanism as their ideology rather than Communism. Moreover, the ultra-left turn of the Comintern and the RILU towards the ‘class-against-class’ doctrine introduced at their World Congresses in Moscow in 1928 terminated any alliances with Black radical nationalists. Instead, international proletarian solidarity demanded cooperation between the Black and white working class and the new doctrine called for a new approach to the radicalization of workers throughout the Black Atlantic.39 For the RILU, its 1928 World Congress marked the beginning of a new era in the approach towards the Black Atlantic. This was mainly due to the intervention of Ford at the Congress. Ford criticized the RILU and its sections for underestimating, if not totally neglecting, work among Black workers. However, his main attack was on the white chauvinism that existed among the working class. He charged the RILU to change its policy towards the ‘Negro question’, or the suppression of the Black population in the USA and South Africa and their struggle for political rights and self-determination.40 Ford’s criticism at the RILU World Congress started a process which culminated in the foundation of a new radical organization for Black workers a few months later. Concurrent with the Sixth World Congress of the Comintern, the Executive Committee of the RILU summoned a separate meeting in July 1928 and decided to establish the ITUCNW-RILU. The objective of the ITUCNW-RILU was to sensitize Black toilers throughout the Black Atlantic. The goal was either to open the trade unions to Black

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workers or, if this was not possible owing to racial discrimination and barriers within the unions, to establish independent Black (‘Negro’) trade unions. Equally important was the establishment of a global network, i.e. ‘the work of setting up connections with the Negro workers of the whole world and the unification of the wide masses of Negro workers on the basis of class struggle’.41 Ford’s second arena for articulating the class-against-class and classbefore-race doctrines was the LAI. He started his anti-colonial engagement in January 1929 when he became a member of the Executive Committee of the League. Much of his engagement during the first half of 1929 concerned the revitalization and reorientation of the anti-imperialist struggle of the League. In his mind, the LAI had failed to emerge as a mass organization and to support the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle in the world. Above all, the League was warned not to flirt with various Black ‘bourgeois’ organizations, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the United Negro Improvement Association and the PanAfrican Congress.42 In Ford’s opinion, ‘[t]he struggle for liberation is found only through … organization along class lines, … bound up with the struggle of the international proletariat’, and he declared that ‘we must line up in the international revolutionary class struggle the world over, by organizing our forces for joint struggle. The Negroes’ struggle for freedom cannot be fought upon the basis of race and nationalism solely.’43 Apart from being the authentic ‘Negro voice’ of the League at public gatherings in- and outside Germany, Ford’s cooperation was crucial in the production of the special edition on the life and struggle of the Black race of the Arbeiter Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ) in June 1931. The AIZ was published by German Communist Willi Münzenberg and was the leading working-class weekly magazine in Germany. Münzenberg was also the primus motor behind the LAI and had cooperated with Ford since 1929. The special edition of the AIZ was projected not only to be a weapon in the propaganda war that Münzenberg was waging in Germany but also a statement of solidarity among the working class irrespective of the colour of one’s skin. Ford wrote a lengthy programmatic text about the Black race joining the red front, in which he stressed the class aspect of racism and segregation: the ‘Negroes’, he wrote, were not suppressed and exploited only because they were Black but also because they were toilers and peasants. Other articles dealt with conditions in the USA and in Africa. The message was simple but effective: the workers in the Black Atlantic were living in misery and under the yoke of segregation, racism, lynch justice and colonial exploitation.44 The third arena of Ford’s activism was the International Seamen’s Club or Interclub in Hamburg.45 As part of his role as agitator among colonial

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seamen visiting Hamburg, he and the Chinese agitator Liao Chengzhi organized the ‘Colonial Section’ at the Interclub in January 1931. Following the guidelines of the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers, Chinese and Indian seamen, on one hand, were to be informed about the extraterritorial branches of their national unions or the revolutionary trade union opposition groups within the (European) unions. Black seamen from Africa and the Caribbean, on the other hand, were to be utilized ‘to develop work in their country’. Ford’s nine-month sojourn in Hamburg harbour paid off: apart from inciting Black seamen to join radical trade union opposition groups, first and foremost the Seamen’s Minority Movement in Britain, he managed to enlist Black seamen as couriers for clandestine dispatches, most importantly batches of The Negro Worker to British colonies in the Black Atlantic where the colonial authorities had outlawed the dissemination of the ITUCNW mouthpiece.46

Two circuits: capacities and limits of agency Ford’s transfer to Hamburg in late 1930 opened a new chapter in his position within the Comintern ‘solar system’. Hitherto he had acted within the circuits of the RILU and Comintern and had been the driving force in organizing the world conference of Black workers. As head of the ITUCNW-RILU and member of the RILU General Council, he worked closely with leading functionaries at the RILU and Comintern headquarters. Distance to the centre mattered – when Ford temporarily moved to New York in late 1929 in an attempt to cast a smokescreen in front of the organization of the world conference, he lost his direct contacts to headquarters, where George Padmore had replaced him. Ford’s capacity to intervene and monitor the course of events was limited as he was incapable of influencing decisions in Moscow or send orders for practical arrangements for the conference while he was stationed in the USA.47 The ITUCNW became Ford’s new circuit or sphere of action. The organization itself was both a new unit – one could even describe it as Ford’s brainchild – and the continuation of the ITUCNW-RILU. Similar to other units subordinated to the RILU or the Comintern, the ITUCNW established its own network of transnational (or rather translocal) connections. Ford as secretary of the unit constituted its core, node or centre. From its office at 8, Rothesoodstrasse in Hamburg, the class-against-class and class-before-race call of the ITUCNW for radicalizing Black (unorganized) workers radiated to all parts of the Black Atlantic. Ford publicized the radical message in editorials and articles in the ITUCNW journal as well as in pamphlets and ‘open letters’ which he published and printed in Hamburg.48

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Although Ford and the ITUCNW publicly presented themselves as radical but independent actors, the close links between Hamburg and Moscow were obvious already to contemporary observers. However, few  of these realized the intricate and hierarchical relationship between various organizations, and thus also the limited agency or capacity for manoeuvre of the actors in subordinated units. Parallel to the circuit of the ITUCNW existed several other RILU circuits to which the ITUCNW was linked, most notably the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers in Hamburg (which was itself subordinated to the RILU European Bureau in Berlin and the RILU headquarters in Moscow) and the LAI in Berlin (which was itself subordinated to the West European Bureau of the Comintern in Berlin and the Comintern headquarters in Moscow). Another circuit was that of the RILU Negro Bureau in Moscow (the renamed, but not transformed, ITUCNW-RILU). Headed by Padmore, this unit was in charge of ideological, political, strategic and tactical planning – all in line with the official doctrines of the Comintern and RILU – and via directives, instructions and resolutions (which were never published) demarcated the sphere of influence of the ITUCNW and of Ford.49 Ford’s position within the two circuits was complex and reveals potentials for and limits to individual agency in the interwar RILU and Comintern solar system. Although much (if not all) of his correspondence with Black radicals as ITUCNW secretary is lost, the extension, intensity and content of his Black Atlantic network can be reconstructed through his reports to the Moscow centre.50 Ford called Black workers throughout the Atlantic world to rally behind international campaigns in support of the Scottsboro boys and against the ‘imperialist war’ (i.e. an attack on the Soviet Union), to join in a worldwide demonstration against fascism, imperialism and preparations for war on 1 May and 1 August 1931, to fight and protest against discrimination, racism and segregation as well as colonial exploitation and suppression. These calls, however, had not been composed by Ford in Hamburg but were part and parcel of the Comintern’s and RILU’s calls for international proletarian solidarity: Ford received orders from the centre of other circuits to join in a particular international campaign.51

Back to the USA Ford never returned to Hamburg. The change in the functions and tasks of the ITUCNW by the Executive Committee of the Comintern in October 1931 resulted in George Padmore replacing him as secretary of the Hamburg Committee in November 1931. Back in Moscow, Otto Huiswoud was put in charge of the RILU Negro Bureau. Ford, on the other hand, returned to

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the USA in early spring 1932. In May 1932, he was nominated as a candidate for vice-president in the upcoming presidential election in the USA, running together with William Z. Foster on the CPUSA’s presidential ticket. This event, at least officially, brought Ford back into the spotlight in the USA.52 Ford remained linked to the ITUCNW after his return to the USA as he was listed among the contributing editors of The Negro Worker from 1932 onwards. However, his connections with the ITUCNW were symbolic rather than effective and he did not contribute any texts to the journal. Instead, he was busy in party activities in the USA, not least in organizing and running the CPUSA section in Harlem. He did, however, participate in the public condemnation of George Padmore when the latter was expelled from the Comintern and the CPUSA in March 1934;53 Padmore had been accused of sidestepping official policies and was replaced by Otto Huiswoud as secretary of the ITUCNW in spring 1934. Both Ford and Huiswoud participated in the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern which convened in Moscow in August–September 1935. The main result of the Congress was a 180° change in the doctrines of the Comintern, which scrapped the class-against-class doctrine and replaced it with ‘popular front’ tactics. Ford and other Black delegates called at the Congress for the establishment of a new platform, termed the International Negro Liberation Committee. In accordance with the new tactics, the Black delegates envisioned a kind of ‘broad united people’s front among the Negro people’.54 In their mind, the ITUCNW had lost its role in the African Atlantic. Nevertheless, the plan was rejected by the Comintern. Huiswoud, in turn, wanted to transform the ITUCNW into a Black International. But this plan, too, was scrapped.55 Ford made a final appeal for the Communist agenda of Black ­self-determination and national independence when he published his speeches and presentation as ITUCNW secretary as well as leader of the CPUSA section in Harlem in 1936.56 All in vain. By 1936, the ITUCNW barely existed, and it was quietly dissolved by the Executive Committee of the Comintern in 1937. Ford made an attempt in 1947 to underline the positive legacy of the organization and his role as principal organizer of the 1930 Hamburg Conference. In his view, the ITUCNW had played a vital role in the struggles by Africans and people of African descent to establish trade unions and to support their anti-colonial fight in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. ‘Trade unions of white workers never raised the question of African workers’, he claimed and further stressed that ‘(t)he adherents of the Amsterdam International (IFTU) similarly ignored the problems of African labor … The International Trade Union Conference of Negro Workers performed a memorable task. It stimulated trade union

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­rganization in c­ountries of Africa. It prepared Negro toilers for the o ­struggle against Nazism and fascism.’57

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Conclusion James W. Ford was one of the key global players in the history of interwar communism. His transnational activities and position within the Comintern and the Red International of Labour Unions were exceptional as a Black agitator. Although they only covered four years of his life, they took him from Chicago to Moscow and Hamburg where he established an agitation and propaganda network that connected Black activists in Africa, the Caribbean and the USA. Ford’s career within international communism was typical in the sense that the Comintern and its various affiliated organizations launched a global campaign against capitalist exploitation, colonialism and imperialism which was spearheaded by transnational party and union agitators and activists in various parts of the world. Ford’s exceptionality was similar to that of George Padmore and Otto Huiswoud, who were among the few Black transnational communist agitators to operate on a global scale, in their case being equivalent to the Black Atlantic. The classagainst-class doctrine of the Comintern created space for inclusive, ‘colourblind’ revolutionary activism but also constituted a dogmatic straitjacket which demarcated the borders of proletarian international solidarity. Ford’s engagement with the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers covered the early phase of the organization, that of Padmore and Huiswoud the later period and end of the organization after Ford had returned to the USA and emerged as a national player on the Communist scene in the USA. The fate of the three activists encapsulates the fate of interwar communism in the Black Atlantic during the 1930s. Ford and Huiswoud never broke with the Communists but remained loyal members of the Party. Padmore, however, had a rift with the Communists and was expelled from the CPUSA and the Comintern. When the Comintern scrapped the class-against-class doctrine and replaced it with the popular front policy in 1935, the ‘second space’ of Communist anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism lost its momentum in the Black Atlantic and was replaced by the ‘third space’ of radical, political pan-Africanism manifested at the Fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester in October 1945. Ford did not participate. Most likely he was not even invited to the event. His 1947 text on the impact of the ITUCNW reads therefore as a memento of a path, which in the eyes of radical pan-Africanists such as Padmore had ended in a cul-de-sac one decade earlier.



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Notes   1 A detailed discussion of Ford’s activities during the late 1920s and early 1930s is found in H. Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic: African American agency, west African intellectuals and the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers (Leiden: Brill, 2014), and H. Weiss, ‘Framing black Communist labour union activism in the Atlantic world: James W. Ford and the establishment of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers, 1928–1931’, International Review of Social History, 64:2 (2019), 249–78.  2 O. Kuusinen, ‘Report of the Commission for work among the masses’, International Press Correspondence, VI:28 (April 1926), 419. See also The Communist solar system: the Communist International (London: The Labour Party, 1933).  3 J. Häberlen, ‘Between global aspirations and local realities: the global dimensions of interwar communism’, Journal of Global History, 7 (2012), 415–37.   4 S. Wolikow, ‘The Comintern as a world network’, in S. Pons and S. A. Smith (eds), The Cambridge history of world communism, vol. I: World revolution and socialism in one country 1917–1941 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017): 212–31.  5 B. Cossart, ‘“Global lives”: writing global history with a biographical approach’, Entremons. UPF Journal of World History, 5 (2013), 1–14. See the the Introduction in this volume, p. XX.  6 E. Soja, Thirdspace: journeys to Los Angeles and other real-and-imagined places (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1996); D. Featherstone, Solidarity: hidden histories and geographies of internationalism (London: Zed Books, 2012).  7 B. Struck, K. Ferris and J. Revel, ‘Introduction: space and scale in transnational history’, The International History Review, 33:4 (2011), 573–84; K. Dykmann and K. Naumann, ‘Changes from the “margins”: non-European actors, ideas, and strategies in international organizations’, Comparativ, 23:4–5 (2013), 9–20; A. Dietze and K. Naumann, ‘Revisiting transnational actors from a spatial perspective’, European Review of History: Revue européenne d’historie, 24:3–4 (2018), 415–30.  8 B. Studer, Reisende der Weltrevolution. Eine Globalgeschichte der Kommunistischen Internationale (Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2020): 27, 48.  9 Ibid. 10 P. Gilroy, The black Atlantic: modernity and double consciousness (London and New York: Verso, [1993] 2003); B. H. Edwards, The practice of diaspora: literature, translation, and the rise of black internationalism (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2003): 243–4. See further H. Weiss, ‘Between Moscow and the African Atlantic: the Comintern networks of negro workers’, monde(s) histoire, espaces, relations, 10 (November 2016), 89–108. 11 H. Weiss, ‘Global ambitions, structural constraints and marginality as a choice: the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers’, in Weiss (ed), The global dimension of radical international solidarity organizations during the interwar period (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 318–62.

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12 H. Haywood, Black Bolshevik. Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist (Chicago: Liberator Press, 1978). See further C. J. Robinson, Black Marxism: the making of the black radical tradition (London: Zed Books, 1983); S. Campbell, ‘“Black Bolsheviks” and the recognition of African-America’s right to self-determination by the Communist Party’, Science & Society, 58:4 (1994/5), 440–70; O. Berland, ‘The emergence of the Communist perspective on the “Negro question” in America: 1919–1931. Part one’, Science & Society, 63:4 (1999–2000), 411–32; O. Berland, ‘The emergence of the Communist perspective on the ‘Negro question’ in America: 1919–1931. Part two’, Science & Society, 64:2 (2000), 194–217; B. Tomek, ‘The Communist International and the dilemma of the American “Negro problem”: limitations of the black belt self-determination thesis’, WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor & Society, 15 (2012), 549–76. 13 See further J. Moore Turner, Caribbean crusaders and the Harlem Renaissance (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005); G. Midlo Hall, A black communist in the freedom struggle: the life of Harry Haywood (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2012); M. Gertrudis van Enckevort, ‘The life and work of Otto Huiswoud: professional revolutionary and internationalist (1893–1961)’, PhD thesis, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, 2014; L. James, George Padmore and decolonization from below: pan-Africanism, the Cold War, and the end of empire (London and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014). 14 See further M. Naison, Communists in Harlem during the Depression (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983); M. Solomon, The cry was unity: Communists and African Americans, 1917–1936 (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998); B. Nelson, Divided we stand: American workers and the struggle for black equality (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001); R. Storch, Red Chicago: American communism at its grassroots, 1928–1935 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007); G. E. Gilmore, Defying Dixie: the radical roots of civil rights, 1919–1950 (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2008); E. S. Gellman, Death blow to Jim Crow: the National Negro Congress and the rise of militant civil rights (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012); J. A. Zumoff, The Communist International and US communism, 1919–1929 (Leiden and Boston, MA: Brill, 2014). 15 M. Makalani, In the cause of freedom: radical black internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917–1939 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011); H. Adi, Pan-Africanism and communism: the Communist International, Africa and the diaspora, 1919–1939 (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2013); Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic. For a critical discussion, see Weiss, ‘Framing black Communist labour union activism’. 16 See the Introduction in this volume, p. XX. The concept of ‘biographical uncertainties’ stems from H. Lee, Virginia Woolf’s nose: essays on biography (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005): 5. 17 See http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/html/tamwag/tam_588/, accessed 6 April 2020.

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18 See further T. Kornweibel, Seeing red: federal campaigns against black militancy, 1919–1925 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1998): 177. 19 A vivid example is Mary Jobe’s blog ‘Debating democracy: legacy of James W.  Ford’, at Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University, https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/marbl/2019/12/20/debating democracy-the-legacy-of-james-w-ford/ (posted 20 December 2019; accessed 6 April 2020). 20 R. D. Bachman, ‘The Comintern Archives database: bringing the archives to scholars’, Communist International (Comintern) Archives project, www. loc.gov/rr/european/comintern/comintern-article.html, accessed 6 April 2020. The Comintern Archives and the digitalized records are available at http:// sovdoc.rusarchives.ru. For a critical discussion, see B. Studer and B. Unfried, ‘At the beginning of a history: visions of the Comintern after the opening of the archives’, International Review of Social History, 42:3 (1997), 419–46. 21 See further H. Klehr, J. E. Haynes and F. Igorevich Firsov, The secret world of American communism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995); H. Klehr, J. E. Haynes and K. M. Anderson, The Soviet world of American communism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998) as well as Storch, Red Chicago; Gilmore, Defying Dixie; Makalani, In the cause of freedom; Zumoff, The Communist International and US communism. 22 Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) 495/261/6747, James Ford, ‘Life and activities’, dated 20 April 1932: 1–3, 8 [hereafter Ford, Life and activities (1932)]. 23 Studer and Unfried, ‘At the beginning of a history’, 425, 431–2. 24 See further B. Studer, The transnational world of the Cominternians (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), and Studer, Reisende der Weltrevolution, 29–30, 49–51. 25 See further H. Weiss, ‘The road to Moscow: on archival sources concerning the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers in the Comintern archive’, History in Africa – A Journal of Method, 39 (2012), 361–91; Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 14–28. 26 ‘Ford, James W.’, in L. Jeifets and V. Jeifets, America Latina en la Internacional Communista 1919–1943: Diccionario Biográfico (Santiago: Ariadna Ediciones, 2015), https://books.openedition.org/ariadnaediciones/960?lang_eng, accessed 7 April 2020. 27 Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 271–6. 28 On the ‘class-against-class’ doctrine, see M. Worley (ed.), In search of revolution. International Communist parties in the third period (London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2004). 29 See further H. Weiss, ‘“Negro workers, defend the Soviet Union and the Chinese revolution!” – The International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers and the class-before-race rhetoric in The Negro Worker’, Viewpoint Magazine: A Journal of Marxist Theory and Viewpoints, 6 (2018), www.viewpointmag. com/2018/02/01/negro-workers-defend-soviet-union-chinese-revolution-

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international-trade-union-committee-negro-workers-political-rhetoric-negroworker/, accessed 17 November 2021. 30 The meeting and the organization of Japanese seamen is scrutinized by J. Fowler, ‘From east to west and west to east: ties of solidarity in the pan-Pacific revolutionary trade union movement, 1923–1934’, International labor and Working-Class History, 66 (2004): 110–11; its importance for Ford’s activities in the black Atlantic is discussed in H. Weiss, A global radical waterfront: the International Propaganda Committee of Transport Workers and the International of Seamen and Harbour Workers, 1921–1937 (Leiden and Boston, MA: Brill, 2021). 31 See further Weiss, A global radical waterfront. 32 V. Kahan, ‘Contribution to the identification of pseudonyms used in the minutes and reports of the Communist International’, International Review of Social History, XXIII (1978), 177–92; J. B. Perry, ‘Pseudonyms: a reference aid for studying American Communist history’, American Communist History, 3:1 (2004), 55–126. 33 Studer, Reisende der Weltrevolution, 35–6. 34 See further Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, and Weiss, ‘Framing black Communist labour union activism’. 35 Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 404–6. On the 1931 Geneva Conference, see further D. Marshall, ‘Children’s rights in imperial political cultures: missionary and humanitarian contributions to the conference on the African child of 1931’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 12 (2004), 273–318. Ford’s presentation was published as a pamphlet after the conference; see J. Ford, The truth about the African children (Berlin: The Anti-Imperialist Youth, 1931), filed in RGASPI 542/1/53, 143–52. Also published as J. W. Ford, Imperialism destroys the people of Africa (New York: Harlem Section of the Communist Party, [c. 1931]), as well as in J. W. Ford, The Communists and the struggle for Negro liberation (New York: Harlem Division of the Communist Party, nd [c. 1936]): 34–40. 36 Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 406. 37 Weiss, A global radical waterfront, 267. 38 M. Sherwood, ‘The Comintern, the CPGB, colonies and black Britons, 1920–1938’, Science & Society, 60:2 (1996), 137–63; A. Silva de Lima, ‘Comunismo contra o racism: autodeterminação e vieses de integração de classe no Brasil e nos Estados Unidos (1919–1939)’, PhD thesis, Universidade de São Paolo, 2015; M. Stevens, Red international and black Caribbean communists in New York City, Mexico and the West Indies, 1919–1939 (London: Pluto Press, 2017). On the RILU, see R. Tosstorff, The Red International of Labour Unions (RILU) 1920–1937 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016). 39 E. T. Wilson, Russia and black Africa before World War II (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1974); H. Deutschland, ‘Zu den Beziehungen zwischen der RGI und den sich formierenden Gewerkschaften in Tropisch-Afrika’, in H. Konrad (ed.), Die internationale Gewerkschaftsbewegung zwischen den beiden Weltkriegen. Internationale Tagung der Historiker der Arbeiterbewegung. 16. Linzer Konferenz 1980 (Vienna: Europaverlag, 1982), 138–47.

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40 Ford, Life and activities (1932), 6; ‘Antrag zur Organisierung der Neger’, in Protokoll über den 4. Kongress der Roten Gewerkschafts-Internationale abgehalten in Moskau vom 17. März bis 3. April 1928 (Moscow: Verlag der Roten Gewerkschafts-Internationale, 1928): 479; RGASPI 495/155/59, 1–14, James W. Ford, ‘Negro work in America’, 11 May 1928. 41 RGASPI 534/3/359, 1–6, Resolution of the Executive Bureau of the RILU on the organisation of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers, 31 July 1928; RGASPI 495/155/53, 1, On the RILU International Bureau of Negro Workers, nd [c. 1928]. See further Makalani, In the cause of freedom, 151; Adi, Pan-Africanism and communism, 42–6; Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 130–3. 42 RGASPI 534/3/450, 39–41, Speech of Comrade Ford at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the League Against Imperialism, Cologne, Germany, January 16, 1929; Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 154–5. 43 J. W. Ford, ‘For the emancipation of negroes from imperialism’, in Ford, The Communists and the struggle for Negro liberation, 12–13, 19. The text is a reprint of his speech at the LAI 1929 Frankfurt Congress. 44 J. W. Ford, ‘Die schwarze Rasse stösst zur roten Front!’, Arbeiter IllustrierteZeitung (AIZ), Sondernummer: Leben und Kampf der Schwarzen Rasse, X:26 (July 1931). 45 For a spatial analysis of the Interclubs, see H. Weiss, ‘Hamburg, Rothesoodstrasse 8 – from a global space to a non-place’, in M. Middell and S. Marung (eds), Spatial formats under the global condition (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2019), 205–27. 46 See further Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, and Weiss, A radical global waterfront. 47 Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 226–30. 48 Ibid., 464–9. 49 See further ibid., chapters 7.2 to 7.5. 50 Ibid., 456–64. 51 See further H. Weiss, ‘Against Japanese and Italian imperialism: the anti-war campaigns of Communist international trade union organizations, ­1931–1936’, Moving the Social: Journal of Social History and the History of Social Movements, 60 (2018), 121–46. On the international Scottsboro boys campaign, see J. A. Miller, S. D. Pennybacker and E. Rosenhaft, ‘Mother Ada Wright and the international campaign to free the Scottsboro boys,  1931–1934’,  The  American Historical Review, 106:2 (2001), 387–430;  S.  D.  Pennybacker, From Scottsboro to Munich: race and political culture in 1930s Britain (Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009); on Ford’s role, see Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 393. 52 See further Naison, Communists in Harlem; Solomon, The cry was unity; Nelson, Divided we stand; Gellman, Death blow to Jim Crow. 53 J. W. Ford, World problems of the Negro people: a refutation of George Padmore (New York: Harlem Section of the Communist Party, nd [1934]).

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54 RGASPI 495/155/102, 25–6, The International Negro Liberation Committee, no author, nd [c. 1935]. 55 See further Weiss, Framing a radical African Atlantic, 698–9. 56 See Ford, The Communists and the struggle for Negro liberation. 57 J. W. Ford, ‘The vital problem of the right of trade unions in countries of Africa’, The Journal of Negro Education, 16:2 (1947), 251–6: 255.

11 A woman with a typewriter: the international career of Dorothea Weger Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Benjamin Auberer

In this chapter, I use a biographical study of Australia-born Mabel Dorothea Weger as a microhistorical vehicle to examine the history of internationalism during the first half of the twentieth century.1 It is my contention that historiography has hitherto paid scant attention to one of the core characteristics of internationalism: the complex and manifold entanglements of different scales from the national and local to the global. For this purpose, Weger, who worked for the League of Nations as a temporary shorthandtypist, serves as a methodological tool as she allows us to trace the ramifications of her engagement with internationalism through several contexts: during the 1920s and 1930s she lived a highly mobile life working for the League of Nations headquarters in Geneva, and used her international skill set for a plurality of different international organizations throughout the world. But when the Second World War started, her international mobility prompted a deep distrust by national authorities in her home country, Australia. During the 1940s she was under surveillance by the Australian police authorities, as she was considered a Nazi sympathizer because of her entanglement with European internationalism. Combining approaches from biography and the history of internationalism, following the trajectory of Weger highlights how thoroughly the different scales through which Weger moved were connected; in this account Geneva and Sydney move closer together and emerge as bridged venues of a global history of the international relations of the first half of the twentieth century. Though research on the League of Nations has recently begun to take the personnel of the League seriously as a subject of study,2 historian Karen Gram-Skjoldager’s request is still valid: to understand the League of Nations fully, it is necessary to ‘include the many lesser-known men and women who at various times walked the halls of the Palais des Nations’.3 Though historiography has finally taken the female workforce of the League into account,4 the bulk of the existing literature still focusses on the predominantly white (senior) staff of the League’s Secretariat.5 However, the analysis of Weger’s career provides insights into a form of ­predominantly female

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engagement with internationalism that is usually very difficult to grasp and has been completely excluded from research up to now.6 This exclusion cannot be attributed merely to inadequate sources. Indeed, the sources for Weger’s life prove to be rather rich, since in addition to her personnel files there are also surveillance protocols and research materials – for example a complete copy of her address book – which were collected by the Australian police and secret service during the 1940s. Her trajectory, this chapter shows, allows us to add a new understanding of internationalism: as a localized phenomenon with rather different manifestations. Nevertheless, this corpus of evidence also illustrates the dependence of the historian on the mechanics of source production: non-acceptance of her international life by national Australian institutions proved to be a productive generator of sources.7 Indeed, the biographical perspective on Weger sheds light on phenomena that transcend the collection mandate of national archives because it allows us a view of a woman who would usually be lost in the gaps created by the logics of national record collection.8 The study of liberal internationalism is at once assisted by the field’s conceptual development and complicated by the historical developments that this term attempts to capture.9 As an umbrella term, liberal internationalism allows historians to grasp a broad and only loosely tied spectrum of participating actors, organizations and goals.10 Studying the history of internationalism during the first half of the twentieth century permits historians to examine multidimensional and parallel networking processes on a global level. However, by using the metaphor of the many-headed hydra, historian Madeleine Herren draws attention to a core problem of the study of internationalism, which is also applicable to other global historical phenomena: the far-reaching complexity and the global dynamics that are genuine characteristics of internationalism are also factors that complicate its research.11 These characteristics point to the necessity of developing adequate methodological instruments to follow the manifestations of liberal internationalism on global, regional and local scales.12 It is here that a biographical approach proves fruitful.13 Through reducing the scale of observation the abstract complexity is lessened by focussing on a single career, which in turn is captured in its greatest possible lived complexity, enabling the analysis of the networks, structures and practices created through ­internationalism.14 Obviously, one biography is hardly generalizable across the whole League of Nations: Weger’s life remains unique. She followed her own trajectory that, in contrast to typical female role models of the first half of the twentieth century, was propulsive for her life. However, current microhistorical approaches include a topsy-turvy notion of representativeness: what Edoardo Grendi termed ‘exceptional normal’.15 Exceptional and normal cases are in a dialectical relationship. Each and every exceptional

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A woman with a typewriter: Dorothea Weger 225

case encompasses a part of the general and subordinate system that can be extrapolated. To approach internationalism through Weger, I expand the concept of ‘imperial careering’, developed by Daniel Lambert and Alan Lester, through a global history perspective.16 I understand an international career as the professional life of an individual, which (in this case) took place within the structures of the League’s liberal internationalism or was essentially influenced by it. The global historical view does not focus on borders, but on cross-border connections, whereby the structures and mechanisms of internationalism become the prime focus of investigation. This approach overcomes the dichotomy between metropolis and periphery within an imperial territory that prevails in ‘new imperial studies’. Rather, following Jan de Vries’ reflections on the usefulness of the concept of scale, we can focus on some of the various analytical elements that made up a career.17 In the case of Weger, these include her ‘national ties’, her ‘cross-border mobility’ and her ‘international skills’.18 Taking these elements into account permits us to unlock the relationships between the different scales within the life of Weger.

Foundations: shorthand-typing and wanderlust Dorothea Weger was born on 24 August 1892 in South Australia into a third generation German-Australian family.19 Although she was born a British citizen in Australia, her life took place largely within the Germanspeaking community of South Australia. Her family, her social environment and most of her employers until she left Australia had German roots. Even Weger herself emphasized ‘that she was born in South Australia in what was virtually a German colony, and that naturally her friends would be of German origin’.20 Most German families integrated themselves and sent their children to Australian schools.21 Weger’s mother tongue was English, although she also had knowledge of German.22 After attending Kilkenny School and Grote Street School in Adelaide, she worked as a temporary secretary in a music shop. In contrast to many other shorthand-typists at the League of Nations, she did not receive a formal education in an institution such as a commercial college but acquired her skills through practical work.23 Weger took part in a larger change in the office workforce, which unfolded over the first part of the twentieth century. During this period, male office work was increasingly associated with adjectives such as ‘cissy’, and in parallel secretarial work developed into an attractive field for women.24 The introduction of the typewriter also speeded up the

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entry of women into office spaces, as media scientist Cornelia Vissmann has pointed out: women and typewriters became an effective work unit.25 However, employment as a shorthand-typist was usually only socially acceptable for single women and many employers refused to keep women after they got married.26 The social type of the shorthand-typist, also known as the typewriter-girl, embodied an alternative female lifestyle: not only did she have a (limited) professional career, but she also had a life outside traditional ideas of marriage, family and other conventional female gender roles.27 For the approximately 100,000 Australians of German descent, the outbreak of the First World War was a major turning point. On 3 September 1914, Great Britain and its Dominions declared war on the German Reich. The war, which began as a European civil war, spread into the Dominions.28 As early as 1915, 6,890 Austrian and German residents in Australia, although many liable for military service, were interned. This had far-reaching consequences for the German communities in Australia: in addition to internment and bans on employment, there were culturalpolitical repressions such as the renaming of places – their consequences are visible today.29 Anti-German policies and sentiments in Australia would also shape Weger’s life. Until mid-1917, Weger worked as a secretary for a German wine merchant in Tanunda, suggesting her reliance on the GermanAustralian community. Yet she was also pursuing a career outside her home community: she was employed part-time as a secretary for the South Australian Regional Parliament. She even joined other Australians in an amateur theatre group to entertain the soldiers stationed there. Towards the end of the First World War, Weger was employed at short notice as a secretary in the barracks in Keswick, but was dismissed after an article entitled ‘The Hun lady’ appeared in the local journal The Returned Soldier.30 The article pointed out that Weger ‘has a German name, has been brought up in a German district, and is at present living in an Eastern suburb here with an ultra-German aunty, of the Prussian blue-type’.31 Weger’s aunt and her husband had declared themselves anti-British and pro-German. The article appears to have prompted an official investigation initiated by the Keswick barracks’ administration during which a friend of Weger’s reported that Weger had visited her aunt a few weeks earlier. The allegations against Weger were based, first, on the assertion that she ‘did not make any protest against the statements of her relatives’, and second, on the fact that she possessed a photograph of the German emperor along with pictures of her brothers serving in the Australian army in France.32 Although the investigation did not bring forth any further accusations against or find any offences by Weger, her contract with the Keswick Barracks was cancelled in reaction to the newspaper article. After she had lost her job at the barracks, a

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A woman with a typewriter: Dorothea Weger 227

six-month period of unemployment followed before she worked again, as a secretary for a wine producer with German roots. It is obvious that the experience of growing up in a German enclave and, in particular, the revival of hatred for Germans in Australia during the First World War encouraged Weger to leave the country. In a report on the incident at the Keswick barracks, Weger stressed that she did not feel accepted in Australia: ‘during the two and a half years [at the barracks] I’ve never been more Australian in my life, but we Australian-Germans never seem to have been welcomed’.33 Historian Jürgen Tampke suspects that anti-Germanism lasted longer in Australia than in other English-speaking countries.34 Paul Bartrop points out that, during the 1920s and 1930s, resentments against population groups perceived as foreign persisted.35 At this point, Weger no longer had any family ties in Australia. Her mother had died and her stepmother had alienated her from her father. According to statements she made, she only kept in touch with Ernest Weger, one of her brothers.36 By all accounts, Weger appears to have combined her secretarial skills with a desire to leave Australia and see the world. In March 1924, she applied for a passport ‘for the purpose of touring’.37 Touring she did. This stands out when we combine two lists, one of more than twenty different jobs, most of which she held as a secretary or shorthand-typist, from 1924 to 1939, the other an enumeration of places visited by Weger between periods of employment overseas, which provides information about extensive journeys through Asia and Europe.38 Taken together the lists show that probably the most important reason why Weger left Australia was her ambition to see more of the world.39 Weger does not represent a unique case: Rita Felski emphasizes that the desire to travel and wanderlust are characteristic of the female experience of modern life.40 Weger’s travel route between 1924 and 1940 encompassed the whole globe. She worked not only in different metropoles around the world but also used the opportunity for extensive stays, building an extensive network of friends and acquaintances as her meticulously kept address book shows.41 Weger’s itinerary is a vivid example of the extraordinary mobility her occupation as shorthand-typist afforded. Her typewriter was her sole steady companion on her travels and typing allowed her to find work in every travel destination. During the 1920s, at first Weger did not work for international organizations but for companies, for example oil refineries in Honolulu, Hawai’i and Vancouver, Canada. In Canada, she then moved to become John Nelson’s private secretary at the Canadian insurance company Sun Life Insurance. This job was probably a decisive factor in Weger’s decision to work for international organizations in the following years: Nelson was an important Canadian journalist and internationalist, and a

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co-founder of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs.42 Although Weger left Canada in August 1927 and worked for the Trust Company of Cuba for two years, her acquaintance with Nelson, with whom she kept in touch, turned out to be decisive for her later trajectory: Nelson arranged a position for her at a conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations in Kyoto – one of the key institutions of the liberal internationalist order outside Europe.43 Her journey continued through Asia where she worked for the American commercial attachés in Beijing and Shanghai in 1930. She completed her stay in Asia with a four-month journey through Korea and Manchuria before continuing to Europe via Singapore. There, she travelled first to Genoa, then to Germany, where she stayed for several months. Towards the end of 1931, she finally reached London. From there she soon decided to move her professional life to Geneva.

A local history of internationalism: work and travel around Geneva During the interwar period, the Swiss city of Geneva evolved into a favoured seat of international organizations. Numerous bodies, such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Sufi Movement, sought the company of the League of Nations and the International Labour Office and consequently established their bureaux or branch offices in Geneva.44 Because of this plurality of organizations, diplomatic legations and the League of Nations with its universal claim, Geneva became one of the world’s cosmopolitan cities in this period.45 Weger’s international experience made her a promising candidate for a post at an international organization or bureau – and Geneva seemed to be the best place to find such a job. The international secretariats, bureaux and permanent legations depended on personnel able to get along in this cosmopolitan environment, where language skills, travel experience and international letters of reference from eminent persons were of the highest importance. The first signs of Weger’s desire to locate in Geneva emerges in her personal file at the League of Nations Archive. Here, we can read that Weger sent a speculative application to the World’s Student Christian Federation and most likely to a number of other international organizations based in Geneva.46 They could not offer her a post but referred her to the Secretariat of the League of Nations. Because of the annual General Assembly, which was the major event in interwar Geneva, the secretariat needed to appoint countless temporary workers to do the Assembly’s secretarial work. To prove her ability to work for the League, Weger took a dictation test at the League’s London office. Though her test results were below average, the examination officer, Janet Smith, decided to recommend she be recruited.47

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A woman with a typewriter: Dorothea Weger 229

Smith praised her international experience and expertise, which were more important than the formal qualifications marked by the test. In her report, Smith emphasized ‘she [Weger] was with the Pacific Commission out in the East, and I should imagine has been doing the sort of work you would require’.48 Weger relentlessly emphasized her international experience during the whole application process: ‘I have no doubt as to my ability to do the work required by the League, having been on the staff at the 1929 Conference at Kyoto, of the Institute of Pacific Relations: also I was secretary for one year to Mr. John Nelson, Canadian Secretary of the IPR’.49 The international skills that Weger had gained during her travels and during her work for international organizations and conferences seemed crucial to Smith in recommending Weger as an employee. In 1930, an administrative reform committee emphasized how difficult it was to find temporary staff able to cope with the international responsibilities of the League of Nations.50 Eventually, Weger’s application was successful: she  was recruited as a stenographer for the upcoming 1933 Assembly. In subsequent years, Weger regularly offered her services as freelancer to the League. According to the tabular list of her employment relationships drawn up in 1940, she worked for the League of Nations and the International Labour Office (ILO) ‘many times, varying from 2 weeks to 6 months’, and for the First World Jewish Conference, the Lausanne Jewish Conference, the representative of Manchoukuo, the International Nurses Association and ‘various delegations, authors, professors, and journalists’, of which she particularly highlighted eminent internationalist Robert Cecil.51 In her applications, Weger repeatedly emphasized that she was ready for every engagement at any rush period the League faced. As early as June 1933, personnel administration at the ILO noted in Weger’s employment file that she had experience in ‘Typing, Stenography and secretarial duties in all parts of the world’.52 She showed her understanding of the mechanisms of internationalism confidently, using her nationality to accomplish her aims. For example, in an application in 1937 she wrote ‘I do hope that, as an Australian, I shall receive a favourable reply in regard to an engagement for the period of the September Assembly’.53 This makes clear that Weger was aware of the role nationality played in the international Secretariat: it was known that the League’s Secretariat followed the principle of multinational staff composition. While this principle certainly did not play as decisive a role in shortterm appointments during the General Assembly as it did in permanent and senior posts, the emphasis on necessary national diversity was an argument often made in the context of the League of Nations’ personnel policy. It is clear from Weger’s border-crossing mobility that she enjoyed travelling. For although she regularly worked for the League of Nations

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Secretariat and was known to the responsible personnel officers, there is no indication that she ever tried to convert her temporary employment into a permanent position. For Weger, the focus was not on financial security; rather, it appears that she used temporary positions to fund her own sort of personal internationalism which consisted of experiencing a number of interesting places. In the female-dominated lower ranks of the Secretariat she had opportunities to obtain short-term contracts. The international city of Geneva was a means to an end because work could quickly be found there. Indeed, the analysis of Weger’s professional life in the 1920s and 1930s shows that the League’s internationalism provided a growing employment market for people who were able to get along with the expanding international sphere. And at the same time her occupation at the League provided her with opportunities to travel through Europe, as the reconstruction of her itinerary shows (see Figure 11.1).54 We can get an even better sense of Weger’s personal internationalism by taking a close look at her address book, which contained 283 entries and was meticulously kept between 1924 and 1940.55 The notebook contains

Figure 11.1  Dorothea Weger’s travels and employments during the period 1931–40. Sources: The map is made on the basis of information provided in NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256. Courtesy of Ping Chang and Lydia Röntgen.

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A woman with a typewriter: Dorothea Weger 231

contact addresses for important friends, colleagues, correspondents, accommodation and past and potential future employers. The address book is not suitable for systematic evaluation, but it allows unique insights into the social context of a shorthand-typist in Geneva, providing a view of how Weger imagined herself as a global subject of liberal internationalism. Most of the contacts come from Australia and Europe, and the latter mainly from Great Britain and Geneva. The other entries can be found at least roughly along Weger’s travel itinerary. Her address book contains only a few nonEuropean contacts, such as the Chinese Matthew P. L. Wie in Shanghai. It is striking that she made regular efforts to make contact with Germans, for example with the embassy attaché Fritz Wussow at the German embassy in Tokyo. Important opportunities for establishing contacts were steamboat journeys. During her journey home in 1939 on the Themistocles, Weger noted down eighteen addresses, such as that of the South African H. J. Hofmeyer, with whom she corresponded in following years. Her address book offers insight into how Weger used her work in Geneva to establish contacts on an international level – according to her own statements, she cultivated these contacts through lively correspondence over the years. Numerous notes about visits and common journeys show that she also used these acquaintances to increase her mobility. The professional value of the address book certainly matched its sentimental value. The directory was an indispensable knowledge system for Weger on an international level: it formed the basis for her career as she used it to collect (potential) employers or people who could help her find a job. On a temporal level, the directory vividly documents the dissolution of the structures of the international labour market in Geneva that had developed in the 1920s and 1930s. The Second World War had a strong influence on internationalism: international organizations could not continue their work as in peacetime; shrinking financial resources and the difficulty of cross-border mobility within Europe led to staff reductions, cancellations or postponements in organizations outside the League of Nations. The corrections that Weger made in her address book to the contact details of acquaintances made in Geneva show that many of them left Geneva to find work elsewhere. However, the entries of numerous other League of Nations shorthand-typists whom Weger met in Geneva, and who worked for the League or the ILO, suggest that Weger was by no means a singular case. The political situation of the interwar years made it more and more difficult for Weger to find work within this international sphere, or scale, on which she had enjoyed quite some success: in 1939, Weger was employed from January to September, first by the League of Nations, then by the World Alliance of YMCAs and finally by a preparatory commission of a World Youth Conference. She decided to leave Switzerland in 1939. During

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her interrogation in 1942, Weger stated that she had been planning to return to Australia for some time but had been surprised by the outbreak of the war. However, the reason for her journey home could also have been her age. Weger was born in 1892 – so she was 32 when she left Australia, 40 when she arrived in Europe, and 47 when she finally returned home. She may have been drawn back to her homeland after fifteen years of permanent travel and temporary employment, to seek permanent employment. It cannot be ruled out that Weger expected a good job in Australia thanks to her experiences from working (and living) in Europe, which had given her great freedom in the 1920s and 1930s.

Retreat from internationalism: Australia in the 1940s When Weger arrived in Australia late in 1939, the Australian secret service immediately became aware of her and decided to put her under surveillance. Her international career before the outbreak of the Second World War was a primary reason for classifying her as a potential threat. The numerous reports written by detectives and police officers suggest that her long absence from Australia, her German origin and her arrival during the Second World War made her a highly suspicious person. In wartime Australia, the crossing of borders was not a sign of a mobile and diversified professional life but caused immediate suspicion. The investigators’ interest in Weger’s activities in the context of Australia’s history during the late 1930s does not seem surprising: German fascists were very active in Australia and had been able to act politically with few restrictions. Only on the outbreak of war did Germans and Australians suspected of collaboration with the Axis powers come under the scrutiny of investigators. Often xenophobic activities were carried out under the guise of security measures.56 In Weger’s case, it becomes clear that her life script did not fit into the categories of the Australian intelligence service: an unmarried, welltravelled woman with an irregular professional career in newly emerged international institutions and above all of German origin. After staying with her brother in southern Australia for several months, Weger decided to move to Sydney in 1940 – most likely to look for work there. From the first moment of her arrival in Sydney, she was under constant observation by police officers. The surveillance reports allow us to meticulously follow her activities in Australia. In Sydney, Weger attended an adult education course on ‘International Relations’, taught by an official of the League of Nations Union, Raymond Watt, in which she performed quite well thanks to her previous career.57 Watt, one of Australia’s most distinguished internationalists of the 1920s and 1930s, was described by

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A woman with a typewriter: Dorothea Weger 233

his contemporaries as a ‘fiery orator [and] a man of very deep convictions [who] made the League of Nations Union … a significant body’.58 Since Watt had been a temporary collaborator in the Information Section of the League of Nations Secretariat and a delegate to the League of Nations General Assembly in 1931, he and Weger probably had common interests, perhaps even common experiences. Signing up for Watt’s course may have been a way for Weger to expand her network of people related to Australian internationalism.59 Later, she supported Watt as an unpaid campaigner when he stood for a seat as a local Labor Party delegate, and  worked in his office as a secretary. Weger’s interactions with Watt highlight that her return to Australia by no means indicated a goodbye to internationalism. Indeed, she appears to have continued to develop her links with liberal internationalism. Probably the most influential of Weger’s new acquaintances at the time was the Australian socialist writer and intellectual Mary Gilmore, who had been made a Dame of the British Empire in 1937 and whom Weger met in connection with Watt’s election campaign. Gilmore and Weger established close contact in the period that followed. In March 1942, Mary Gilmore was interviewed by an intelligence officer and the resulting report stated that ‘[a]lthough she had no reason to doubt Miss Weger’s loyalty, Dame Mary expressed the opinion that she had all the attributes of a first class spy’.60 These ‘first class spy’ attributes were basically the skills and networks Weger had acquired during her international career: her travel experience, her wide field of international contacts and the long absence from Australia. Or, as another detective stated, ‘it is generally conceded that she is an engaging personality, has considerable talent, is a fluent linguist, and had international contacts’.61 In a report by an Australian intelligence officer from 1942, which summarized the results of the investigation, the period of her life between 1920 and 1940 was sketched out in detail: her positions in Japan, Cuba, Canada, Switzerland and Great Britain were mentioned and the report concluded with the statement ‘very little is known of Subject’s activities by this Service other than by hearsay but her whole career gives cause for grave suspicion’.62 The intelligence report further noted that Weger had met many other German-Australians, such as her former colleagues John Schiller and Rudy Buring. These meetings, the report concluded, indicated that Weger was part of a National Socialist network. The investigator Otto Bieri, who was employed as an undercover agent by the military secret service because of his German descent, summed up this concern: Weger ‘must be regarded as a link in a chain and the ultimate object must be to haul in the chain’.63 Later, in 1943, Weger’s property was searched and the items the intelligence officers found were quite alarming. Among the confiscated

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documents were an Iron Cross attached to a picture of a German soldier, a postcard portrait of Adolf Hitler and a book about the Nazi martyr Horst Wessel.64 This discovery prompted rapid reaction by national authorities. Weger was discharged from a position in the Department of the Interior at Alice Springs where she had recently been recruited. While the findings in her luggage suggest that Weger had at least a strong interest in National Socialist ideologies, the investigations of the Australian intelligence service were eventually dismissed. The office of the Director-General of Security concluded that though ‘the evidence against her is of a disquieting nature it is not considered such as need preclude her from employment in any Government Department’.65 The evidence concerning Weger does not allow us to determine whether she felt sympathies for the German regime – and the evidence list does not tell us whether the Nazi pieces appeared consistent with other, unsuspicious mementos of her travels. Weger stated that some of those items were ‘given to her in Geneva’.66 At least this indicates that interwar Geneva was by no means only populated by adherents of liberal internationalism. Nevertheless, for this chapter, it is important to highlight that the suspicion of the Australian intelligence service was raised because of the international or transgressive character of Weger’s career, which during the investigation prompted a search of her property and the loss of her position. The remaining evidence suggests that Weger’s later life was strongly influenced by these events: she never found permanent work again, and died on 12 May 1952. It was neither espionage nor propaganda work that led to suspicion against Weger, but the international character of her life. The tables of ‘positions held from 1919 to 1939 by Dorothea Weger’ and ‘places visited by Dorothea Weger between periods of employment overseas’, which Weger had to draw up during her interrogation in May 1943, document the investigators’ attempt to uncover and understand Weger’s border crossings. Weger had to comment on all 283 entries in her address book and explain how they related to the person, institution or address in question. Subsequently, a large number of the Australians listed were examined and interrogated, while the Australian officials projected a network of National Socialist voters onto the address book. It was only after some research that it became clear that, for example, the ‘enemy alien’ Hardy Graham, who had come to Australia as Hans Grünberg, was a Jewish refugee; and it proved impossible to check, for instance, contacts such as former League shorthand-typist Kathlenn [sic] Mitchell, who nad migrated to Jerusalem. In the end, it turned out to be impossible to check overseas contacts, and therefore the information Weger provided had to suffice. During the investigation, the significance of the address book was fundamentally reversed: what had been a central tool for her international career outside her home



A woman with a typewriter: Dorothea Weger 235

country became a source of increasing suspicion in Australia, as it made Weger part of a network that the investigators found unclear and difficult to understand. Her address book is a vivid reminder of how the significance of internationalism changes when shifting of temporal and spatial scales are taken into account.

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Conclusion: a woman with a typewriter What can biography tell us about internationalism? While the career of Dorothea Weger is unique and can hardly be generalized, following her international career nevertheless provides insights into the complexity of the different scales of the international system. The perspective on Weger’s career renders her biography a methodological burning glass for the social significance of internationalism. While her professional career provided Weger with mobility all around the world and especially in international Geneva, its significance changed after returning to the national scale in Australia and ultimately led to suspicion, accusation, investigation and harassment. In this interpretation, international Geneva between the wars and national Australia in wartime show how the same evidence alters its meaning depending on the historical context. Weger’s cosmopolitan career before 1932 enabled her to be perceived by international organizations as a suitable candidate, since she was familiar with the work and the environment of internationalism. She acquired skills that were perceived as international. On the national scale to which Weger returned from 1939, however, they were no longer a reason to employ her. On the contrary, these attributes, such as international contacts and language skills, became attributes of a ‘first class spy’. Looking at Weger’s ‘national ties’, ‘cross-border mobility’ and ‘international skills’ allow us to unlock the relationships between the different scales within her international career. As a member of the League of Nations, national ties also played a distinctive role in her career – whether within the personnel office of the League of Nations or as a resource enabling her to find work with eminent British politicians. In the course of the investigations against her in Australia, however, it became clear that Weger was not recognized by the officials as a fully-fledged Australian. Rather, her German roots were emphasized. Her internationalism prompted serious suspicions, that she lacked national ties or, perhaps, had the wrong ones. The crossing of borders was quite decisive for Weger’s career. Her willingness to change occupations enabled her to have time and money for her travels. The cross-border mobility of the 1930s was one reason for the growing mistrust of Australian civil servants in the 1940s, as it meant that

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a large part of Weger’s career could not be traced by the investigators. Her investigation file shows that the many travels and employment relationships in themselves led to growing distrust. Thus, the microhistorical perspective allows us to understand the social acceptance or rejection of internationalism in a particular local context.67 Weger’s career points to two essential functions of the League of Nations Secretariat within the system of liberal internationalism. On one hand, it acted as a gravitational centre for border-crossing careers. The recruitment mechanisms of the international Secretariat of the League of Nations placed high value on the international experience of applicants and made it possible for adaptable and qualified women to find regular work there. On the other hand, due to the size of the labour market in international Geneva, it also multiplied the mobility of employees: Weger could rely on finding willing employers in international Geneva at all times. In doing so, she accepted short-term contracts as a means to fund travel in Europe. Thus, her engagement with internationalism provided her with professional freedom to have a career as a single working woman outside contemporary Australian gender norms. The example of Weger shows how internationalism facilitated manifold border-crossing connections between Australia and Geneva. Weger’s reconstructed biography can in itself be considered a manifesto of the potential of actor-centred investigations in the global history of internationalism. Though there are certainly countless other, as yet unexplored personnel files in the League of Nations’ archives and those of other organizations, this should not be understood as a plea for an additive history or a transition from ‘national biography’ to ‘global biography’. But it is a plea to look on the margins and into the lives of those who have not been included in the history of internationalism. It is the contention of this chapter that this is the only way to introduce the pluralism and historiographic openness that is necessary to write the history of internationalism with a global perspective.

Notes  1 The history of internationalism has recently been considered a paradigmatic research area for global history. M. Herren, ‘Towards a global history of international organizations’, in Herren (ed.), Networking the international system: global histories of international organizations (Heidelberg: Springer, 2014): 1–12; K. Dykmann and K. Naumann, ‘Changes from the margins: non-European actors, ideas and strategies in international organizations. Introduction’, Comparativ. Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende

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Gesellschaftsforschung, 23:4–5 (2013), 9–20: 10; B. Auberer, T. Holste and C. Liebisch-Gümüs, ‘Editors’ note: situating internationalism’, New Global Studies, 10:3 (2016), 201–16.  2 K. Erdmenger, Diener zweier Herren? Briten im Sekretariat des Völkerbundes 1919–1933 (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1998); E. Tollardo, Fascist Italy and the League of Nations, 1922–1935 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); C. Manigand, Les français au service de la Société des Nations (Berne: Peter Lang 2003); K. Gram-Skjoldager, H. Ikonomou and T. Kahlert, ‘Scandinavians and the League of Nations Secretariat, 1919–1946’, Journal of Scandinavian History, 44:4 (2019), 453–83; K. Dykmann, ‘How international was the Secretariat of the League of Nations?’, International History Review, 37:4 (2015), 721–44.  3 K. Gram-Skjoldager, ‘Between internationalism and National Socialism – Helmer Rosting in the League of Nations Secretariat’, http://projects.au.dk/inventingbu reaucracy/blog/show/artikel/between-internationalism-and-national-socialismhelmer-rosting-in-the-league-of-nations-secretariat, accessed 18 May 2021. Regarding the undertaking to put more flesh on the history of internationalism, see K. K. Patel, ‘Afterword. On the chances and challenges of populating internationalism’, in J. Reinisch and D. Brydan (eds), Internationalists in European history: rethinking the twentieth century (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), 263–80.  4 P. Ohene-Nyako and M. Piguet, ‘Historical women take the streets of Geneva: restoring the legacy of international organizations’ working bees’, http://.pro jects.au.dk/inventingbureaucracy/blog/show/artikel/historical-women-takethe-streets-of-geneva-restoring-the-legacy-of-international-organizations-wo./, accessed 18 May 2021.  5 For illuminating and very through investigations combining macro approaches with archival sources cf. the works of T. Kahlert: Kahlert, ‘Prosopography: unlocking the social world of international organizations’, in K. GramSkjoldager, H. Ikonomou and T. Kahlert (eds), Organizing the 20th-century world: international organization and the emergence of international public administration 1920–60s (London: Bloomsbury, 1920), 49–69; Kahlert, ‘Pioneers in international administration. A prosopography of the Directors of the League of Nations Secretariat’, New Global Studies, 13:2 (2019), 190–227.  6 The history of women’s internationalist activism is well researched. The best account is still L. J. Rupp, World of women: the making of an international women’s movement (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997).  7 Regarding the necessary source criticism and consequences of using hierarchical documents, see J. H. Arnold, ‘The historian as inquisitor: the ethics of interrogating subaltern voices’, Rethinking History, 2:3 (1998), 379–86.  8 Concerning the archival logics of internationalism see J. Hodder, M. Heffernan and S. Legg, ‘The archival geographies of twentieth-century internationalism: nation, empire and race’, Journal of Historical Geography, 71 (2021), 1–11.  9 Though a dormant topic of research for many decades, the literature regarding the League of Nations exploded in recent years. Cf. M. Herren: Internationale Organisationen seit 1865. Eine Globalgesellschaft der internationalen Ordnung

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(Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2009): 46; G. Sluga and P. Clavin, ‘Rethinking the history of internationalism’, in Sluga and Clavin (eds), Internationalisms: a twentieth-century history (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 3–14; G. Sluga, Internationalism in the age of nationalism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). 10 J. Reinisch, ‘Introduction: agents of internationalism’, Contemporary European History, 25:2 (2016), 195–205: 200. 11 M. Herren, M. Rüesch and C. Sibille, Transcultural history. theories, methods, sources (Heidelberg: Springer, 2012): 65. In a similar fashion, H. Ikononou has conceptualized the career of Greek international civil servant Thanassis Aghnides to shed light on bureaucratic practices within the international Secretariat. H. Ikonomou, ‘The biography as institutional can opener: an investigation of core bureaucratic practices in the early years of the League of Nations Secretariat’, in Gram-Skjoldager, Ikonomou and Kahlert (eds), Organizing the 20th-Century world, 33–48. See also Ikonomou’s chapter in this volume (chapter 1). 12 The Introduction in this volume, p. XX. 13 Regarding the applicability of microhistorical and biographical approaches to global history, see R. Wenzlhuemer, Gobalgeschichte schreiben. Eine Einführung in 6 Episoden (Munich: UTB, 2017): 264. Regarding the combination of biography and global history see M. Gamsa, ‘Biography and (global) microhistory’, New Global Studies, 11:3 (2017), 231–41. 14 G. Levi, ‘Microhistory and the recovery of complexity’, in S. Fellmann and M.  Rahikainen (eds), Historical knowledge: in quest of theory, method, and evidence (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2012), 121–32: 131. See the introduction in this volume, p. XX. 15 E. Grendi, ‘Micro-analisi e storia sociale’, Quaderni Storici, 35 (1977), 506–20; and see Part II of this volume. 16 D. Lambert and A. Lester, ‘Introduction: imperial spaces, imperial subjects’, in Lambert and Lester (eds), Colonial lives across the British Empire: imperial careering in the long nineteenth century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 1–31; M. Ogborn, ‘Editorial: Atlantic geographies’, Social and Cultural Geography, 6:3 (2005), 379–85. 17 J. de Vries, ‘Playing with scales: the global and the micro, the macro and the nano’, Past & Present, 242:14 (2019), 23–36: 31. 18 Regarding these concepts see B. Auberer, From the Australian bush to the international jungle (Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2022, ­forthcoming). 19 National Archive of Australia (hereafter NAA), Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/ N60256, Mabel Dorothea WEGER, Exhibit 25543, translator’s report, 9 April 1943. 20 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, report to Campbell, Security Service Sydney, 17 July 1943. 21 J. Tampke, The Germans in Australia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006): 114–15.

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22 In 1933, on an International Labour Office recruitment form, she stated her language capabilities as ‘fair’: ILO Archive (hereafter ILO), P2794, Weger, ­ Miss D., personal notice, Miss Weger, 10 June 1933. 23 The typical qualifications of the League’s shorthand-typist are hard to assess. A random sample at least suggests that formal education in commercial collegelike institutions was predominant. See Auberer, From the Australian bush. 24 T. Davy, ‘“A cissy job for men, a nice job for girls.” Women shorthand typists in London, 1900–39’, in L. Davidoff and B. Westover (eds), Our work, our lives, our words: women’s history and women’s work (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 1986), 124–44. 25 C. Vissmann, Akten. Medientechnik und Recht (Frankfurt: Fischer, 2000): 272. 26 P. Horn, Women in the 1920s (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1995): 97. 27 C. Keen, ‘The cultural work of the type-writer girl’, Victorian Studies, 40:3 (1997), 401–27: 404. 28 M. Stibbe, ‘Enemy aliens and internment, in 1914–1918’, in International Encyclopedia of the First World War, https://encyclopedia.1914–1918-online. net/article/enemy_aliens_and_internment, accessed 18 May 2021; L. Davidson, Zero hour: the Anzacs on the Western Front (Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2010): 14. 29 Tampke, The Germans, 119. 30 ‘The Hun lady’, The Returned Soldier (16 January 1919). 31 Ibid. 32 NAA, D845, 1919/11, Leonore Peddie, statement, 17 January 1919. 33 ‘Beautiful Wilhelm!’, in The Mail, 25 January 1919, 2. 34 Tampke, The Germans, 126. 35 P. R Bartrop, ‘“Authority can take no risks”: Australia and the internment of enemy aliens during the Second World War’, in E. Turner-Graham and C. Winter (eds), National Socialism in Oceania: a critical evaluation of its effect and aftermath (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2010), 131–46: 134. 36 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, Police report, 13 February 1940. 37 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, D. Weger: particulars taken from application for passport by single woman, 27 March 1924. 38 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, positions held from 1919 to 1939, by Dorothea Weger, nd; NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, places visited by Dorothea Weger between periods of employment overseas and unaccounted for in her statement of employment, attached, nd. 39 Regarding touring as motivation for Australian women, see A. Woollacott, To try her fortune in London: Australian women, colonialism, and modernity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). 40 R. Felski, The gender of modernity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995): 131. 41 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, address book, nd. 42 L. T. Wood, ‘John Nelson (1873–1936) and the origins of Canadian participation in APEC’, Working Paper 18, Institute of International Relations, University of British Columbia.

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43 T. Akami, Internationalizing the Pacific: the United States, Japan and the Institute of Pacific Relations in war and peace, 1919–45 (London: Routledge, 2002). 44 This development can be easily reconstructed through the database League of Nations Search Engine provided by the Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe at Heidelberg University. Cf. www.lonsea.de, accessed 18 May 2021. 45 Herren, Internationale Organisationen, 11. M. Herren, ‘Geneva 1919–1945. The spatialities of public internationalism and global networks’, in H. Jöns, P. Meusburger and M. Heffernan (eds), Mobilities of knowledge (Heidelberg: Springer, 2017), 211–26. 46 League of Nations Archives, Geneva (hereafter LONA), S 902/1/R3724, Dorothea Weger to Emily McDonald, 27 August 1932. 47 LONA, S 902/1/R3724, Janet Smith to Emily McDonald, 6 September 1932. 48 Ibid. 49 LONA, S 902/1/R3724, Dorothea Weger to Emily M. McDonald, 9 September 1932. 50 LONA, S 929, minutes of the Tenth Meeting, 1 February 1930. 51 NAA, positions held; NAA, places visited. 52 ILO, personal notice, Miss Weger. 53 LONA, S 902/1/R3724, Dorothea Weger to the Head of Personnel, 3 August 1937. 54 NAA, places visited. 55 NAA, address book. 56 Bartrop, Authority can take no risks, 131–46. 57 N. Brown, ‘Enacting the international: Raymond Watt and the League of Nations Union’, in A. Woollacott, D. Deacon and P. Russell (eds), Transnational ties: Australian lives in the world (Sydney: Australian National University Press, 2008), 75–90. 58 National Library of Australia, TRC 306, J. D. B. Miller, interview with Sir Alan Watt. 59 Networks and contacts made in Geneva proved quite stable. Cf. B. Auberer, ‘Digesting the League of Nations. Planning the international secretariat of the future, 1941–1944’, New Global Studies, 10:3 (2016), 393–426. 60 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, McFarlane to the Officer in Charge, 12 March 1942. 61 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, Miss Mabel Dorothea Weger, resident at Kirribilli Hotel Milson’s Point, 17 July 1942. 62 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, W. A. Langford, Mabel Dorothea WEGER alias Margot WEGER, 29 December 1942. 63 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, Otto Bieri, report: on private property belonging to one Miss Mabel Dorothea WEGER, stored in an unused and locked ladies’ lavatory on the premises of Leo BURING, wine merchant, Scanlon House, 52a Pitt Street, Redfern Sydney, 11 December 1942. 64 NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, J. F. Rooney, secret dossier. Dorothea WEGER, also known as: Dorothy WEGER, 1 May 1943.



A woman with a typewriter: Dorothea Weger 241

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65 NAA, Weger, resident at Kirribilli Hotel. 66 For example, a ‘Photostat map of Greater Germany – Showing expansion 1938–1948 when Germany will dominate the world’. NAA, Dossier 7255, SP1714/1/N60256, Deputy Director of Security, South Adelaide, 24 May 1943. 67 Herren et al., Transcultural history, 118.

12 A white Atlantic life: the money, books, and family of Adrian Bentzon Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Gunvor Simonsen

In the second decade of the nineteenth century, an Antillean turtle died in Copenhagen. Perhaps it had spent its days slowly moving in a backyard, warning people of its presence in a hissing, coarse voice. Perhaps it had remained still and silent as it confronted curious city dwellers, surprised at the cold winds, heavy smells and foreign diet it found in Denmark’s capital. Perhaps it was advertised for sale in city newspapers, fresh and alive, or cooked-up as fine cuisine offered to city dwellers by Copenhagen’s restaurateurs at festive occasions. Whatever the case, this turtle and others that came to populate the city were sent as presents from Adrian Benjamin Bentzon to his friends and connections in the circles of Romantic writers and beaux-esprits in Copenhagen in the early nineteenth century.1 I mention the Antillean turtles and Bentzon in the same breath because their transatlantic journeys offer a suitable beginning for an analysis of what Atlantic space did in the life of Adrian Benjamin Bentzon. The presence of turtles in Copenhagen reminds us that spatial dissociation, the fact of being disjointed and far apart, worked as a resource for some while it obviously caused suffering and death to others. As Bentzon wrote to his friend and book supplier Johan Carl Heger, the private librarian to Prince Christian Frederik (King of Norway, 1814, and Christian VIII of Denmark, 1839–48), in 1818, ‘I shall send you a turtle in a short while, which I hope will live longer than the last one’.2 The turtles that arrived in Copenhagen, I suggest, were instrumental in maintaining Bentzon’s presence in the city, although he was no longer there. They can be understood as part of the material exchange that allowed Bentzon to distance himself, at least in front of his metropolitan friends and acquaintances, from the Creole whiteness he believed he experienced in the West Indies. As noted by Henri Lefebvre, ‘space is … instrumental – indeed it is the most general of tools’.3 It is this instrumental element of space and the question how it informed, perhaps even engendered, Bentzon’s position in the Atlantic world, that I explore in this chapter. However, Bentzon did

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A white Atlantic life: Adrian Bentzon 243

not live in space, but in particular places. To understand those places, it is helpful, as recently advocated by Sebastian Conrad, to draw on Jacque Revel’s notion of jeux d’échelles. This notion entails understanding space as constituted by ‘shifting scales’ that are mutually constitutive of larger structural processes and individual, localized lives.4 In Bentzon’s case, such scales included, amongst others, the Atlantic market for sugar, slaves and capital, Copenhagen’s emerging middling class and intellectual-literary elite, and the Caribbean practice of inter-racial cohabitation. The concept of scale, as used here, introduces an understanding of the Atlantic world as an assemblage of different, often incongruent spatial bundles, not ordered hierarchically, yet manifesting themselves as force fields with unequal effects. Bentzon took part in scaling processes that were Atlantic in scope and in many that were not. As we shall see, they were no less Atlantic for that. Approaching Bentzon in this manner is reminiscent of the cis-Atlantic approach identified by David Armitage more than fifteen years ago. Cis-Atlantic history, Armitage wrote, was ‘the history of any particular place – a nation, a state, a region, even a specific institution – in relation to the wider Atlantic world’. The contextually given suggestion, provided by Armitage, of how to perceive this wider Atlantic was as ‘a particular zone of exchange and interchange, circulation and transmission’.5 Adding to this conception of Atlantic space the notion of incongruent scales allows us to analyse space as constituted by processes of linking and of unlinking, thus complicating how we understand the wider context within which Bentzon was placed – and providing a way of understanding the instrumental element of space referred to by Lefebvre. A skeleton of Adrian Benjamin Bentzon’s life is easy to assemble. He was born in 1777 in Tønsberg as the son of a town magistrate and raised in Bergen, bordering the North Sea, in southern Norway. He arrived from Bergen in Copenhagen in 1793 and became part of the learned circles in the city. In 1797, he obtained a law degree from Copenhagen University with the highest possible distinction. In 1799, he travelled from Copenhagen to the Danish West Indies (St Croix, St Thomas, and St John in the Lesser Antilles, today the US Virgin Islands) to take up a position as government councillor. In the early 1800s, Bentzon formed a relationship with Henriette Franciska Coppy, a free woman of colour. During the first British occupation of the Danish islands (1801–2), he met John Jacob Astor in New York, whose daughter Magdalen he married in 1807. During the second British occupation of the Danish West Indies (1807–15), he acted as Astor’s business agent in the USA and on travels to Europe, including Russia. In 1816, upon British surrender of the Danish Caribbean possessions, Bentzon became governor-general, only to be discharged in 1821, because his financial enterprise had impinged on his government service. Meanwhile

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he divorced Magdalen in 1819. He ended his life as a private planter and merchant in St Croix in 1827. Notwithstanding this sketch of Bentzon’s life, he remains a somewhat surprising mystery. Surprising, because Danish and Norwegian historians and colonial connoisseurs have mused about his supposedly rich archives and urged others to write his biography. In 1913, Anthon M. Wiesener, librarian at Bergen city museum, called for ‘a historian, resident in Copenhagen’, to write Bentzon’s history. In 1940, Danish church historian Hermann C. J. Lawaetz repeated the call, and in 1962 the genealogist H.  F.  Garde bemoaned the fact that nobody had picked up the mantle. Indeed, the Danish National Biography’s online edition still features an article in which historian Svend E. Green-Pedersen notes that Bentzon’s private archive is stored at Rigsarkivet, the Danish National Archives. But if a wonderful, voluminous Bentzonian collection is stored there, it is well hidden and has yet to materialize. Instead, Bentzon’s history, as it follows here, has been pieced together by collecting the twenty or so short letters in his hand at the Danish National Library, scrutinizing the thousands of pages of his probate estate preserved in the Danish National Archives, looking for signs of Bentzon in US collections and searching for him in the ever-growing corpus of, in particular, English-language online material. Consequently, Bentzon’s reconstructed story may appear more fragmented than his life actually was, and it may show a stronger Anglophone twist than might be warranted. Certainly, it contains more speculation about Bentzon’s inner life than can be expected from the biography of a white man of the early-nineteenth-century elite.6

Atlantic money Bentzon arrived in the Danish West Indies while the Haitian revolution (1791–1804) was refiguring the global sugar market. Saint-Domingue had been the world’s largest producer of sugar, before the revolution. As Africans and African Caribbeans fought for the overthrow of slavery and, ultimately, for national independence, the island’s sugar output plummeted, opening scope for the expansion of sugar production in the rest of the Caribbean region and beyond. Though the white elite in the Danish West Indies worried about the political consequences of Haitian developments, they ultimately appeared confident that their system of slavery was manageable. Perhaps they were inspired by the events in Guadeloupe where enslaved rebels had – as Bentzon noted – been almost ‘entirely exterminated’ by Napoleon’s forces in 1802.7 More than anything else, revolution and war created profitable opportunities for planters in the Danish West

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A white Atlantic life: Adrian Bentzon 245

Indies. They enjoyed the benefits of Danish neutrality in the Napoleonic Wars and they relied on privileged access to Danish metropolitan consumers whose per capita intake of sugar equalled that of their British counterparts, so was among the highest in Europe.8 Upon his arrival in the Danish colony, the possibilities that Bentzon would make a success had already been prefigured by the configuration of Danish Atlantic space. Indeed, we can imagine that the sugar estates lying side-by-side on the fertile plain of St Croix and the government institutions distributed in the island’s urban centres, Christiansted and Frederiksted, already had a position ready for him. He was fitting into the white high caste of Caribbean society without apparent friction, though he lacked one vital component for success: capital. And just as Bentzon needed capital to enter the slave-plantation business, capital needed Bentzon to grow and prosper. In February 1802, during the first British occupation of the Danish West Indies, perhaps during his stay in New York, Bentzon established a partnership with John Jacob Astor who, as is well known, was on his way to becoming one of the wealthiest men in America.9 In June 1803, they bought the medium-sized estate Upper Love in the Prince Quarter in St Croix, which came with fifty-two enslaved men, thirty-nine enslaved women and eighteen ‘half grown’ slave children.10 During their first year of ownership, the partners increased the estate’s labour force significantly. In 1804, it now held eighty-six male slaves, forty-three female slaves and twenty-three older children, many of whom had been ‘moved from the town to the plantation’.11 This euphemism covered Bentzon’s substantial purchases of enslaved people in the years following the acquisition of Upper Love.12 The partnership with Astor appears a turning point in Bentzon’s story. Bentzon arrived on St Croix around September 1799, and during his first years in the colony he was not, it seems, involved in the market for capital, land, slaves or sugar. In the thousands of pages penned by officials of the  Christiansted Probate Court in order to settle Bentzon’s complicated estate after his death in 1827, there are few references to economic activity before the purchase of Upper Love in 1803.13 By all accounts Bentzon was a charismatic figure with a latent networking ability, yet these talents were only of use because he was able to move beyond island shores. His encounter with Astor enabled him to mobilize capital while also making him into a vehicle for its accumulation. Hence, personal talent and the racialized structure of Danish Caribbean society is only part of Bentzon’s story. His Caribbean localization meant that he could potentially provide access to valuable slavegrown sugar land, and this generated an interest in him, from afar, that he would presumably not have met, had he stayed in Denmark or Norway. Neither his Norwegian family nor his acquaintances in Copenhagen could

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provide sufficient financial support to enter the plantation-slave business in the West Indies. John Jacob Astor could.14 The Astor connection allowed Bentzon to enter the plantation-slave business, but Bentzon also knew how to use Danish imperial connections to his advantage. Bentzon and Astor received the deed for Upper Love on 30 June 1803. One month later, on 3 August, Bentzon applied to the Danish state’s Caribbean debt management programme, the West India Debt Liquidation Directorate. In this application to the metropolitan branch of the directorate, Bentzon argued that it would be both fair and sensible to grant his request, noting that he represented Denmark, king and nation in the Caribbean. It could not ‘be entirely unimportant to the mother country whether the colonial property is in English or in Danish hands’, Bentzon stated, an argument that conveniently left out Astor’s co-ownership of Upper Love.15 To bolster his case further, Bentzon provided a list of officers who had received favourable terms on their outstanding debts before him. On 28 December 1803, Bentzon’s application was approved. He had succeeded in translating his spatial anchoring, this time in Denmark and Norway, into a financial opportunity in the Caribbean.16 Bentzon’s ability to garner the support of the Danish-Norwegian state for his private ventures stands out from the records of his debts to various royal trusts and credit programmes. By November 1807, he had already received financial support against security in Upper Love, with loans extended for more than 80,000 rix dollars dwc (Danish West Indian currency). Lesser sums were also in circulation, such as the 2,000 rix dollars extended to him from the Danish state fund to maintain local schools.17 Even in times of trouble, royal support continued to undergird Bentzon’s financial transactions. During the inquiry into Bentzon’s administration in the early 1820s, which ultimately led to his discharge, he received royal recognition of his purchase, in partnership with one Dr Williams Stevens, of the estate of Carlton in St Croix’ Westend quarter. The purchase of Carlton made Bentzon the joint master of 179 people: the 62 enslaved men, 61 women, 23 boys and 33 girls at Carlton. By Crucian standards, this placed Bentzon (and Stevens) among the largest slave owners on the island.18 The purchase was covered – it appears – by a bond of 300,000 rix dollars from the Debt Liquidation Directorate.19 At his death, the directorate was Bentzon’s largest creditor.20 The central place of capital speculation in Bentzon’s economic endeavours stands out from his probate estate. At the settlement, the estate had claims for more than 230,000 pieces of eight in eleven plantations.21 A list of Bentzon’s outstanding claims as of May 1827, noting 32 debtors together owing him 324,761 pieces of eight, likewise testifies to Bentzon’s position in the Crucian capital market.22 These many claims underline that Bentzon

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A white Atlantic life: Adrian Bentzon 247

secured a good part of his income from lending money to the capital-hungry planters of St Croix. Indeed, during the inquiry into his financial transactions in the 1820s, the inquiring commission found that Bentzon had used his position as governor-general to refuse a planter support from the royal treasury, instead offering loans at significantly higher interest from his own coffers.23 As long as land and sugar prices were rising in St Croix – and this was the case until the early 1820s – the lending business provided Bentzon with both income and authority. Capital would flow back to Bentzon as planters paid their instalments, and in case of default, he could demand to take over the estate.24 However, by the 1820s, the real estate market in St Croix was no longer a secure investment. The financial energy of sugar had got out of hand and the bubble was bursting. Indeed, it would presumably have been a financially sound decision to move out of St Croix, but at this moment – divorced in 1819 and dismissed in 1820 – Bentzon’s connections to wider scales were weaker than hitherto. In 1825, Bentzon described his ‘pecuniary state’ as ‘mediocre’, and he was, he declared with passion, close to bankruptcy.25 Bentzon’s probate settlement showed the bind he had got into. In 1829, the guardian of Bentzon’s children, legal councillor Pontopiddan, complained that Christiansted Probate Court had not collected the estate’s outstanding claims. Bentzon’s ‘assets stand’, Pontopiddan pointed out, ‘in real estate, in which they are either insecure or will become so since such estate is of less and less value’.26 The problem, according to the court, was that Bentzon’s capital could not be realized ‘without loss’.27 Suddenly, friction hampered the smooth Atlantic world of capital. Although the settlement was in Bentzon’s favour, his estate lacked liquidity and could not fully honour the obligations made to his children, his sister and to his partners in his will.28

Atlantic books There is little doubt that Bentzon devoted a substantial amount of time and energy to making money out of his Caribbean location and that ­long-distance connections, both Anglo-Atlantic and Danish imperial, meshed with and benefited his economic projects. While Crucian sugar land, slave labour and imperial aspirations served him economically, his location did not allow him to translate his strong intellectual engagements smoothly from Copenhagen to Christiansted, St Croix, and back. Far from Copenhagen’s literary circles, Bentzon experienced the Caribbean as a challenge to his ability to remain a man of literature and knowledge. Though he could perhaps have felt secure with a head covered with blond locks and a pale Norwegian body, his letters suggest that he needed to explain to his literary and intellectual

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acquaintances and friends in Copenhagen that he was not becoming a part of white Creole society.29 As in other European states with Caribbean colonies, Danish authors writing about the country’s Caribbean possessions associated white Creoles with a number of questionable traits; traits that were understood as resulting from the demoralizing effects of slave mastery. Arrogance, haughtiness, irascibility, laziness, self-indulgence and cruelty were some of the common accusations levelled against them. In 1791, the Danish author Georg Høst, for instance, described Caribbean whites as ‘rotten [fuuele] and lazy, for which reason they call and consider slaves those whom they observe being industrious, and dislike that any white shall work’.30 Bentzon added intellectual oafishness to this list of native European charges against whites in the Caribbean. In Copenhagen, Bentzon had been part of the Danish Romantic movement, emerging with heavy inspiration from German Romanticism around the turn of the century. In his letters, Bentzon claimed as friends a number of characters well known in the Danish national literary canon, such as the brothers Ole Hieronymus Mynster, founder of one of the first science

Figure 12.1  Adrian Benjamin Bentzon, copperplate by Gilles-Louis Chretien, early 1800s. Source: Courtesy of the Danish National Library.

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A white Atlantic life: Adrian Bentzon 249

journals in Denmark, and Jakob Peter Mynster, prominent churchman and from 1834 bishop of Zealand. Likewise, he was connected to Johan Carl Heger, Henrik Steffens and Adam Oehlenschläger, who were all major players in the Danish Romantic movement, the latter enjoying celebrity status. In 1803, Oehlenschläger published Digte [Poems], a collection that was recognized by contemporaries as a radical break with earlier rational ideas of art and poetry.31 As a member of this circle, Bentzon established himself as an advocate for the importance of sensuous perception to poetic expression. In 1796, he won Copenhagen University’s gold medal for his contribution to an essay competition with the set question: ‘What age is best suited for the creation of the great poet, the raw and uncultivated, or the cultivated?’ At the end of his forty-page excursion, Bentzon concluded: ‘Consequently, I repeat once again that the raw age is best suited for the creation of the great poet’.32 Great poets, Bentzon argued, thrive where rational thinking has not yet impaired the immediacy of perception. Indeed, the great poet has the ‘ability’ to ‘give all things the highest possible sensuous power and ­presence’.33 Poets need to make impressions rather than to provoke rational speculation. The expressive ability upon which great poetry rests consists in ‘the power of the imagination’; a power that in turn depends on spontaneous perception. One of the more interesting elements of Bentzon’s exposure of the imagination – particularly in light of his later Caribbean existence and the mixing of cultures that occurred there – was his claim that the imagination gains its force by its ability to turn compound impressions and notions into clear expressions. In contrast, by analysis and abstraction the intellect reduces compound impressions into reductive notions. Culture, or civilization, ‘weakens the imagination’ because it favours the use of rational enquiry and acumen.34 Prehistory showed Bentzon that poetry had existed from the very moment that humankind rose above sheer necessity. This fact was proved by ‘the raw people [de rå slægter]’ of his own time. They carried with them signs of the ‘efforts of the heart, but very few or almost none of the efforts of the head’.35 Indeed, ‘nature’s children’ are capable of feelings that are ‘true’ and ‘simple’.36 Civilization, philosophy and rationality were not presented simply as advantages to humankind in Bentzon’s medal-winning essay. They could easily turn into ‘barbary and the corruption of taste’.37 At first glance, Bentzon’s poetic critique ought to have made him receptive to the cultural mixing he met in the Danish West Indies. Danish Romanticism, however, did not travel easily across the Atlantic. Bentzon appears to have found white Creole society in the Danish West Indies particularly difficult to reconcile with his youthful literary personae. In 1816, in a letter to Johan Carl Heger, Bentzon disparagingly explained that he occasionally received

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Danish newsletters and journals from white West Indians because ‘such reading exactly fits the digestive abilities of the Creoles’. In contrast, Bentzon positioned himself as a reader of serious literature. Indeed, it was access to books that provided him with ‘spiritual nourishment’ and ensured that his ‘soul would not be completely exhausted in the West Indies [udmarves i Vestindien]’.38 In 1817, Bentzon again complained about the company he was forced to keep: ‘I live drearily. I am bored among the poseurs [skabhalse] with whom I can converse … and I am unhealthy’.39 Writing to his Danish friends about literature was tightly bound up with Bentzon’s attempt to distance himself from the white elite of St Croix. Indeed, boredom and poor health were recurring themes in Bentzon’s letters from St Croix to Danish friends. In 1818, Bentzon confessed to Adam Oehlenschläger that he had nothing ‘cheerful to write’ since the ‘boredom of living here is surpassed by nothing and day by day it is almost becoming worse’.40 According to Bentzon’s epistolary self, these supposedly Caribbean maladies were only offset by study and collecting books. In 1823, in a letter to Heger, he made the link clear. Asking Heger for yet another shipment of books, Bentzon explained that he had been lying ‘flat on a sofa or a bed for 2½ years’. His only ‘resource’ was ‘therefore studying’. Bentzon complained that there were not ‘many books’ in St Croix and used the term ‘craving [trang]’ to describe his need of books, thereby underlining how central these were to his very being.41 In contrast, he seldom mentioned his involvement in Atlantic planting and commerce in letters to Denmark. Indeed, Bentzon’s Romantic personae could not easily be aligned with his commercial activities. Writing from Copenhagen in 1806, Bentzon complained that he was ‘submerged in a dunghill of petty business’, presumably a reference to his commercial transactions.42 With few exceptions, his letters are free of descriptions of the material foundations of his wealth (slave mastery, growing cane, sugar refining). In 1817, while he was heavily involved in planting, Bentzon greeted his friend Ole Hieronymus Mynster with the following witticism: ‘as soon as I get enough money, I shall buy him a plantation. He is predestined to be a planter because of his laziness.’43 By ironically playing with the stereotype of the idle white slave master and planter, Bentzon could pretend to the Mynster brothers, and perhaps to himself, that he was somehow a cut above white society in St Croix. Indeed, Bentzon appears to have tried to stabilize his metropolitan personae through books that would preserve his ‘soul’, as he wrote. At his death, he had a library of at least 2,500 titles, including for instance the Icelandic sagas, the works of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, not to mention all the ancient classics he could get his hands on. The library obviously catered to Bentzon’s intellectual and literary curiosity, yet it is by no means certain

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that Bentzon would have had the desire or the means to turn himself into a bibliophile had he stayed in Copenhagen. In 1823, as he faced financial difficulties, he asked Heger to buy him books at auctions or privately since buying from booksellers would be ‘too expensive’.44 So, Bentzon’s large library was also the material result of his attempts to maintain or protect his metropolitan being in the face of what he found to be a society lacking ‘spiritual nourishment’. At the probate auction, Bentzon’s book collection was sold, over five days, for around 3,400 pieces of eight.45 The many books allowed Bentzon to move the literary engagements of his time in Copenhagen to the Caribbean. The move was not entirely successful, however. Even the books could not resist the Caribbean. In 1817, Bentzon explained to a Danish friend and book provider: ‘I want the Italian pocket lexicon, because I read quite some Italian [here in St Croix], and because it is inconvenient for me to consult the damned large quarto lexicon that I got in this sluggish country’.46 The Crucian climate and heat meant that getting up to consult the large Italian dictionary was too much of an effort. To read in this climate, a smaller lexicon that could be kept close to his bed was what he needed. Perhaps Bentzon was becoming as lazy as the white Creoles he wrote so disparagingly about. In return for books and literary conversations, Bentzon sent money, letters and greetings, wine, tobacco and turtles to Copenhagen. Though evidence is scanty, Bentzon appears to have provided financial support to Henrik Steffens and Adam Oehlenschläger,47 a support that was tied to his Caribbean localization. Indeed, at some point in the 1810s and while in Copenhagen, Bentzon explained that if he had been ‘in the West Indies’ he could have ‘provided’ Oehlenschläger with the ‘negligible’ sum of 400 rix dollars without ‘difficulty’, but at present he could only offer his surety.48 The Caribbean, in other words, was a place where money could be had with relative ease. A letter to Heger, written in St Croix on 11 December 1816, also illustrates the spatial transactions Bentzon attempted. First, Bentzon thanked Heger for the last consignment of books, then he complained about the condition of his ‘soul’ in the West Indies. Now followed an evaluation of the books he had received, a list of items he needed and a short commentary on the in-fighting between prominent members of the Romantic literary circles in Copenhagen. Concluding his letter, Bentzon sent his greetings to Adam Oehlenschläger and Henrik Steffens, and finally he promised Heger that he would send him ‘a turtle with wine’. In a postscript, Bentzon added: ‘I would be satisfied if I could make some kind of acquaintance with Prince Christian’. As librarian of the Prince’s private collection, Johan Carl Heger lived at Amalienborg, the royal palace.49 When Bentzon shipped turtles to Heger while musing about the future ruler of Denmark, he may have hoped to insert himself, in lieu of a turtle, into the circles around the

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Danish monarchy. One year later, in 1817, Bentzon in fact shipped a turtle to ‘his majesty’, presumably Frederik VI.50 However – as already noted – turtles had the disadvantage that they were mortal.

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Atlantic family While Bentzon’s capital accumulation and his metropolitan literary personae thrived through his long-ranging connections, important parts of his life became possible because spatial dissociation was as important to the making of the Atlantic world as were the connections made by trade and empire. Indeed, Bentzon’s sexuality and family life were made possible by Copenhagen, New York, Paris and St Croix being far apart. He had relationships and fathered children with three women: Henriette Franciska Coppy (St Croix), Magdalen Astor (New York) and Marie Virgin Clemendot (Paris). Little is known about the latter relationship, which may have been no more than a fleeting encounter. It took place following Bentzon’s divorce from Magdalen Astor and while he was still sharing house and children with Henriette Franciska Coppy in St Croix. Bentzon met Clemendot in Paris in 1819–20 while on his way to Copenhagen. In December 1820, the couple had a daughter, Adrienne Olympe, whom Bentzon acknowledged in his will of 1823, making her a legatee and providing her mother with a significant endowment.51 More is known about Bentzon’s long relationships with Coppy and Astor, respectively. Indeed, mapping these relationships illuminates that the unlinking processes entailed in the racial configuration of Atlantic space made particular familial patterns possible. In the Danish West Indies – as in the surrounding Caribbean colonies – it was common for white men and free women of colour to maintain a relationship in which sex, care and often capital were exchanged for enhanced social status. Yet these relationships never received official sanction, so no official paper trail could secure their safe and regular passage around the Atlantic to Europe and North America.52 Bentzon and Henriette Franciska Coppy established a relationship in the early 1800s and maintained it on and off until his death in 1827, after which she claimed reimbursement for ‘several expenses incurred at the funeral of the deceased’.53 In 1804, she and Bentzon had a daughter, Eliza Frederika Bentzon, and in 1808 – exactly one year and two days after Bentzon’s New York marriage to Magdalen Astor – Coppy gave birth to their son, William Frederik Bentzon. While Bentzon was absent from the islands while they were under British occupation, Coppy seemingly partnered with the American consul in St Croix, one Joseph Ridgway, and bore a daughter by him in 1813.54 Yet she was living in Bentzon’s town house

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on Droningens Tværgade in Christiansted in 1814, before Bentzon returned to the islands and took up the governorship in 1816. The Bentzon-Coppy children were recognized by Bentzon in 1823 at a time when they were both in the north-western German city of Bremen in the household of a former West India revenue inspector. Eliza Frederika married into a merchant family in Goslar in Lower Saxony, while William Frederick pursued studies in the law, first in Göttingen and later in Berlin. By 1836, he was back in St Croix, and had taken over the plantation Judith Fancy on his own and his sister’s behalf.55 Coppy’s portfolio was shaped by her ties to members of the white male elite in St Croix. She was described in contemporary sources as a ‘Mustee’ (meaning having one African grandparent) and born in St Croix as the daughter of the Danish lawyer Nikolaj Adler Coppy and a free woman of colour, surnamed Trott. Coppy was a woman of some means and with some experience of interracial relationships when she met Bentzon. In 1800, she baptized a son to whom Bentzon was godfather, and during the first decades of the 1800s she amassed an independent estate. In 1804, upon her father’s death, she inherited part of his estate and in 1805, she was taxed as the owner of one enslaved woman. In the years that followed, she was registered as the owner of between one and five slaves, men and women. In 1819, she acquired a town house at Kompagnigade 12 in Christiansted, renting it out until 1827, when upon Bentzon’s death she moved in herself.56 She died in 1857 on Judith Fancy.57 Despite children and an emotional (and/or financial) tie that survived prolonged separation, Adrian Bentzon did not see his relationship to Coppy as something that ought to travel beyond the shores of St Croix. Reading the Coppy-Bentzon relationship against the Astor-Bentzon marriage makes this adamantly clear. As noted, Bentzon married Magdalen Astor in 1807, having met her in 1801–2 during the first occupation of the Danish West Indies, and after acting as John Jacob Astor’s business partner in St Croix.58 The marriage to Magdalen took place in September 1807, after which the couple moved into Richmond Hill, a Georgian mansion, once the headquarters of George Washington, in Lower Manhattan. From their new home, the couple began to entertain as part of the New York elite. Visitors to the Bentzon-Astor household were impressed by his learning. Guilan Verplanck – New York art connoisseur, lawyer and politician – remarked that Bentzon appeared a man who ‘had traveled in every part of the world, knew everything and talked all languages’, a true cosmopolitan.59 It is unclear how Bentzon envisaged his future at this point. He was in St Croix three months after the wedding, impregnating Henriette, before leaving the islands again because of the British occupation in December 1807. Without knowledge of the future, with a Danish empire on its knees, Bentzon may

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have tied his fortune even more tightly to the Astor family; there are for example no extant letters to Danish friends during the years 1807–15. In 1810, the couple had a son, John Jacob Bentzon, and in 1813 a daughter, Sarah Bentzon, who died early.60 While Bentzon’s relationship to Coppy was a localized affair, his marriage to Astor travelled far in fact and in words. The marriage enabled Bentzon to move with ease between members of the American politicalcommercial elite and the Danish imperial system.61 As Astor’s son-in-law and agent, Bentzon encountered the highest political authorities in the USA. In 1810 and 1811, for instance, he was introduced to President James Madison and Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin.62 In March 1811, the Bentzons travelled to Russia so Bentzon could conduct negotiations with the Russian American Company on behalf of his father-in-law. Husband and wife reached St Petersburg in early August, and there they met John Quincy Adams, serving as the United States ambassador to Russia at this point. Later, in 1814 and once more in Europe, Bentzon again met Quincy Adams. This time, Adams described Bentzon as ‘one of us’, one of the Americans. In 1816, as governor-general of St Croix, the Astor connection enabled Bentzon to approach President James Madison in a ‘[p]rivate’ letter, ‘presuming on the[ir] personal acquaintance’, to explain why approval from Copenhagen was needed for the appointment of a new US consul in St Croix.63 Without Magdalen and her father, Bentzon would probably not been able to claim a personal tie to the US president. Though with less frequency than financial reports, words about the Bentzon-Astor family also circulated around Bentzon’s disparate locations, particularly in times of crisis. Writing to his father-in-law from Washington in 1810, possibly during Magdalen’s first pregnancy, Bentzon lamented that it was ‘extremely singular’ that he had had ‘no letter from Magdalen’. It made him ‘perfectly uneasy’. Turning to God, he hoped that ‘nothing has happened in the family’.64 Luckily, nothing had. Likewise, in 1818, a year before his divorce, Bentzon informed Adam Oehlenschläger that he had suffered a ‘great accident’. Writing of his son John Jacob by Magdalen Astor, Bentzon wrote ‘my only son … about nine years old and with talent, drowned in the ice in America. For several reasons, this loss is irretrievable and irreparable.’65 Bentzon did not detail the ‘several reasons’ that turned the death of one of his sons into a loss; perhaps he glimpsed the end of his marriage and of Astor’s business patronage. What stands out in Bentzon’s short letter, however, is that fact that he wrote of John Jacob as his ‘only son’. After all, Bentzon also had William Frederik Bentzon with Henriette Coppy. At this point William Frederik was 10 years old and presumably, he was living in the Coppy-Bentzon household. While John Jacob’s death crossed the Atlantic in epistolary form, William Frederik’s existence was

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kept in the Caribbean for now. Bentzon’s letter to Oehlenschläger and other friends in Copenhagen suggest that they had no knowledge of his Caribbean family and children. During the second British occupation of the Danish West Indies, while Bentzon was in North America and Europe, engaged on Astor’s behalf, Coppy may, as noted, have formed a relationship with St Croix’s American consul. Perhaps she realized that Bentzon had left her, perhaps she had other reasons. No evidence exists that would allow us to answer these questions. In contrast, the end of Magdalen’s and Adrian’s marriage was a wide-spanning and wordy affair. The couple was divorced twice, on each side of the Atlantic, in New York and in Copenhagen. The New York divorce happened after Astor’s agent in St Croix, one Benjamin Clapp, confirmed that Bentzon was living with a free woman of colour. It is unclear whether Clapp’s information was in fact new to the Astors, or was a way of proving Bentzon at fault, conforming to the stipulations of New York divorce law.66 Up to the point of the divorce, all parties to the marriage may have relied on the public–private continuum that made mixed-race relationships in the Caribbean known but never officially recognized. The couple’s other divorce, however, the one in Copenhagen, suggests that Bentzon had succeeded in keeping his long relationship and cohabitation with Coppy a secret; at least in the true sense of that word, as that which is not spoken but still known as suspicions, rumours, whispers. Parallel to their New York divorce, the Bentzons were divorced by Danish royal decree in August 1819. Bentzon petitioned the Danish Chancellery for divorce on the grounds of the ‘incompatibility that rules between’ them. Indeed, ‘their states of mind and dispositions’ would ‘never … allow that they could live happily together’.67 The petition included Magdalen’s notarized declaration that she agreed to the divorce and documentation that Bentzon had settled their economic account by transferring 25,000 piastres to her.68 The couple got their divorce, yet they got it because their spatial existence – being present in New York and in Christiansted, being a US citizen and a Danish royal subject – challenged Danish divorce law. Upon receiving Bentzon’s petition, the officials of the Danish Chancellery worried that a number of legal requirements for divorce had not been met. While Adrian attached a statement from the Lutheran priest in Christiansted attesting that he had attempted a reconciliation with his wife, no such statement was provided on Magdalen’s behalf. In addition, the couple had not provided proper documentation that they had lived apart for three years. Though the Chancellery was reluctant to suspend Danish legislation, the many spatial scales that Bentzon navigated challenged Danish imperial authority. First, the Chancellery conceded that Magdalen’s long stay with her parent in New York, while Bentzon was in St Croix, sufficed as

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e­ vidence of the required separation. More than such legal quirks, however, Chancellery officials recommended divorce because a divorce case was also being pursued in New York. In this light, the Chancellery found it ‘more appropriate that the marriage is annulled by royal resolution than through the wife gaining divorce by the decision of the court of a foreign country’.69 Again, space showed itself instrumental in Bentzon’s life and gave him the divorce he wanted.

Biography and the Atlantic spatial configuration What is to be gained by studying global history, in this case in its Atlantic version, through a biography, except of course the peculiar story of a man whose turtles crossed an ocean? The notion of the Atlantic world relies on the widely accepted premise that social space is constructed, and that it is made up of the connections that Atlantic people forged between the societies bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The editors of a recent introduction to Atlantic history, for example, note that the Atlantic world came into being because goods, people and ideas ‘began to move regularly back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean’.70 Connections were made, they deepened and they changed the people and societies involved. Conceptualizing Atlantic history – and global history – in terms of connections, interconnectedness and even intermingling is obviously meaningful, yet Bentzon’s biography underscores that it may blind us to spatial processes that were also key to the making of Atlantic societies. Bringing Bentzon’s biography into dialogue with the notion of spatial scales results in a view of the Atlantic as a fairly fragmented world. Bentzon emerges in the evidence as many personae – and this could result in a view of him as a similarly fragmented subject – yet his personae can be shown to relate to Atlantic scalar processes that directed assets in his direction, be they financial, intellectual, sexual or familial. Indeed, the scales important to Bentzon were those that implicated him in processes of spatial dis- and reintegration. Their scalar force was not related to their nesting in a spatial hierarchy but rather to their ability to channel, or clog, particular resources from coming within his grasp. The Atlantic world of Adrian Bentzon emerged through connections and notably through the spatial dissociations that kept the places and people of his life apart. It was Bentzon’s ability to shift between scales – some wide, others narrow – that made him what he was: turtle dealer, governor, merchant, business agent, planter, slave owner, bibliophile, father of five and partner of three. Talent and charm worked for Bentzon, but more than those ephemeral qualities, his shifts of scale were possible because he could claim for himself a position as a white man. It is telling that in the few

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personal letters surviving from his hand, Bentzon complained about the white Creoles in the Danish West Indies, while rarely sharing news about business and family. Building his claim to metropolitan whiteness was important to Bentzon, his biography suggests, because his shifts of scale – from capital to literature to family and back – hinged on his racialized position. Whiteness facilitated shifts of scale, because whiteness was seen as central to both colonial and metropolitan societies, yet it also turned the Atlantic world into a more disjointed and uneven entity than suggested by the metaphors of connection and circulation. Indeed, Bentzon’s biography shows that the Atlantic system worked by linking some, while unlinking others, by allowing some things to flow, while slowing or blocking others.

Notes  1 See for example Kiøbenhavns Kongelig alene priviligerede Adresse-Contoirs Efterretninger on 8 May 1810, 27 August 1817, 21 July 1818 and 16 August 1820; www2.statsbiblioteket.dk/mediestream/avis, accessed 1 August 2019.  2 Det Kgl. Bibliotek (the Danish Royal Library, hereafter KB), Ny Kgl. Samling (hereafter NKS) 2110 2°, Breve til Carl Heger, letter from Bentzon, St Croix, 28 May 1818. Translations from Danish are mine unless otherwise noted.  3 H. Lefebvre, The production of space, trans. D. Nicholson-Smith (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1991): 289.  4 S. Conrad, What is global history? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016): 137. A clear presentation of the concept of scale is provided by N. F. Sayre and A. V. di Vittorio, ‘Scale’, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2009). For a critique of the concept, see C. G. de Vito, ‘History without scale: the micro-spatial perspective’, Past & Present, 242:14 supplement (2019): 355. For more positive appraisals, see S. Legg, ‘Of scales, networks and assemblages: the League of Nations apparatus and the scalar sovereignty of the government of India’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 34:2 (2009); A. Escobar, ‘The “ontological turn” in social theory. A commentary on “Human geography without scale”, by S. Marston, J. P. Jones, and K. Woodward’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 32:1 (2007): 111; S. A. Marston, J. P. Jones and K. Woodward, ‘Human geography without scale’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 30:4 (2005).  5 D. Armitage, ‘Three concepts of Atlantic history’, in Armitage and M. J. Braddick (eds), The British Atlantic world, 1500–1800 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002): 16, 22. My italics.  6 Dansk Biografisk Leksikon (hereafter DBL), 3rd edn, Sv. E. Green-Pedersen and K. Larsen, ‘Adrian Benjamin Bentzon’, https://biografiskleksikon.lex.dk/ Adrian_Benjamin_Bentzon, accessed 10 March 2021. See also A. M. Wiesener, ‘Guvernør Adrian Benjamin Bentzon’, Personalhistorisk Tidsskrift, 34:6:4 (1913), 255; H. F. Garde, ‘Generalguvernør Adrian Beboni Bentzon og hans

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vestindiske efterkommere’, Personalhistorisk Tidsskrift, 14:4:1–2 (1962), 9. For Wiesener, see ‘Bibliotekar Wiesener fikk forevigt interiøret i sin nye villa’, Årstad Posten, 27 January 2019, www.arstadposten.no/2019/01/27/bibliotekar wiesener-fikk-foreviget-interioret-i-sin-nye-villa/, accessed 13 March 2020.  7 Danish National Archives, Rigsarkivet (hereafter RA). Generaltoldkammeret, 424. Vestindisk-guineisk renteskriverkontor: Dokumenter vedr. Kommissionen for Negerhandelens bedre indretning, Bentzon letter to Schimmelmann, 24 July 1802.  8 P. P. Sveistrup, Bidrag til de tidligere Dansk-Vestindiske Øers økonomiske historie, med særligt henblik paa sukkerproduktion og sukkerhandel (København: Instituttet for Historie og Samfundsøkonomi, 1942): 136; D. W. Tomich, Slavery in the circuit of sugar: Martinique and the world economy, ­1830–1848 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990): 51–75; G. Simonsen, N. T. Jensen and P. E. Olsen, ‘Reform eller revolution, 1803–48’, in Olsen (ed.), Vestindien: St Croix, St Thomas og St Jan (København: Gad, 2017); K.  Rönnbäck, ‘An early modern consumer revolution in the Baltic?’, Scandinavian Journal of History, 35:2 (2010): 183–4.  9 For works on John Jacob Astor that also occasionally highlight Bentzon, see K. W. Porter, John Jacob Astor: business man, vols I and II (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013); A. Madsen, John Jacob Astor: America’s first multimillionaire (New York: Wiley, 2000); J. D. Haeger, John Jacob Astor: business and finance in the early republic (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1991). 10 RA. Vestindiske lokalarkiver. 38.58.74. Christiansted byfoged, Sager til ekstraktprotokollerne 1827–1/I, no. 213, Revisionsforretning (hereafter 38.58.74. Revisionsforretning) 1, nos 1 and 2; RA. 86.39. Reviderede Regnskaber, Matrikel for St Croix (hereafter RR, MC), 1803–1804, f. 80. 11 86.39. RR, MC, 1803–1804, f. 82. 12 38.58.74. Revisionsforretning, 1–7. 13 Ibid., 1–257. 14 B. W. Higman, A concise history of the Caribbean (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011): 110. See also 38.58.74. Revisionsforretning, 22, no. 96, nd; 38.58.74. Revisionsforretning, 171, no. 202, 8 September 1815. 15 KB, Den Abrahams’ske Autografsamling 40, Aa-Bern, no. 153, letter from Bentzon to Philip Ernst Kirstein, 15 September 1803; and RA. Vestindiske lokalarkiver. Den vestindiske gælds Likvidationskommission for St Croix, 46.3.3. Kopibøger for breve til direktionen i København, 6 August 1803. 16 On the debt management provided to planters in the Danish West Indies see J.  Vibæk, Dansk Vestindien 1755–1848: Vestindiens Storhedstid, vol. 2 of Vore Gamle Tropekolonier, ed. Johannes Brøndsted (Denmark: Fremad, 1966): 55–62. See also Den vestindiske gælds Likvidationskommission for St Croix. 46.12.4. Referatprotokoller, 1803–1815, f. 49, no. 20. 17 38.58.74. Revisionsforretning, 5 no. 47 and 12 no. 61. 18 86.53. RR, MC, 1826, f. 96. See also P. E. Olsen, ‘Godserne på St. Croix ­1733–1800’, Bol og by 2 (1996): 89.

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19 RA. Vestindiske lokalarkiver, 38.39.6. Christiansted byfoged, Skifterets­sessions­ protokoller for kgl. betjente (hereafter CB, SKB), 209, 16 May 1827, probate 1827/1. 20 38.39.7. CB, SKB, 20–1, 27 January 1830, probate 1827/1. 21 38.39.7. CB, SKB, 120 pp, 19 January 1831 and 133, 23 February 1831, probate 1827/1. 22 RA. Vestindiske lokalarkiver. 38.58.74. Christiansted byfoged, Sager til ekstraktprotokollerne 1827–1/I, no. 81, 5 February 1827. 23 Vibæk, Dansk Vestindien 1755–1848, vol. 2, 246. 24 38.58.74. Revisionsforretning, 142, no. 196, 21 June 1824. 25 NKS 2312 4°, Bentzon to Mynster, St Croix 22 September 1825. 26 38.39.7. CB, SKB, 1–2, 26 August 1829, probate 1827–1. 27 Ibid., 127, 12 February 1831, probate 1827–1. 28 Ibid. 29 H. B. Dahlerup (ed.), Mit livs begivenheder, 1815–1848 (Gyldendalske Boghandel: Nordiske Forlag, 1909): 106. 30 L. Sebro, ‘Kreoliseringen af eurocaribierne i Dansk Vestindien – sociale relationer og selvopfattelse’, Fortid og nutid 2 (2005): 93. For the wider Caribbean see C. Petley, ‘Gluttony, excess, and the fall of the planter class in the British Caribbean’, Atlantic Studies, 9:1 (2012); T. Burnard, ‘Et in arcadia ego: West Indian planters in glory, 1674–1784’, ibid.; D. Lambert, White Creole culture, politics and identity during the age of abolition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 31 See entries in DBL 3rd edn concerning ‘Adam Oehlenschläger’, ‘Ole Hieronymus Mynster’, ‘Jakob Peter Mynster’ and ‘Henrik Steffens’, www.denstoredanske. dk, accessed 7 August 2019. 32 A. B. Bentzon, ‘Forsøg til en besvarelse af spørgsmaalet: Hvilken alder er bedst til at danne den store digter, den raae og udyrkede, eller den cultiverede?’, Minerva (April, 1796): 41. 33 Ibid., 16. 34 Ibid., 7, 8. 35 Ibid., 3. 36 Ibid., 27. 37 Ibid., 5. 38 NKS 2110 2°, St Croix, 11 December 1816. 39 Ibid., 10 August 1817. 40 NKS 1674 2° 2, letter, Bentzon to Oehlenschlæger, St Croix, 12 June 1818. 41 NKS 2110 2°, St Croix, 9 July 1823; see also letter of 22 September 1825. 42 NKS 2312 4°, Copenhagen, 22 September 1806. 43 Ibid., St Thomas, 24 June 1817. 44 NKS 2110 2°, St Croix, 9 July 1823. 45 RA. Vestindiske lokalarkiver, 38.37.42. Christiansted byfoged, Auktions­ protokoller, 1824–1828, 194ff, 28 April 1827 to 3 May 1827. 46 NKS 2110 2°, St Croix, 10 August 1817.

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47 NKS 2110 2°, London, 10 January 1815 and NKS 2110 2°, 10 August 1817 as well as two undated letters in NKS 2110 2°. 48 NKS 1674 2° 2, nd. 49 NKS 2110 2°, St Croix, 11 December 1816 and http://bakkehussamlingen.dk/ personer/heger-carl, accessed 29 April 2019. 50 38.58.74. Revisionsforretning, 32, no. 134, 1 July 1817. 51 Garde, ‘Bentzon’, 12. 52 N. A. T. Hall, ‘Anna Heegaard – enigma’, Caribbean Quarterly, 22:2–3 (1976): 62; M. V. Olsen, ‘Sexual relationships and working lives of free Afro-Caribbean women’, Scandinavian Journal of History, 41:4–5 (2016): 571. 53 38.39.6. CB, SKB, 161, 21 February 1827, probate 1827–1. 54 Garde, ‘Bentzon’, 10, 11, 16. 55 Ibid., 12, 16–7. 56 Coppy’s ownership of enslaved people and real estate can be followed in taxation lists: see 86.40. RR, MC, 1805, f. 26; 86.42. RR, MC, 1815, f. 27; 86.46, RR, MC, 1819, f. 6; and 86.54. RR, MC, 1827, f. 6. 57 Garde, ‘Bentzon’, 14–5. 58 Madsen, Astor, 77–8. 59 Quoted in ibid., 58, 78. 60 Porter, Astor, vol. II, 1034–5; Haeger, Astor, 202. 61 Letter from John Quincy Adams to Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, 18 November 1814; see also letters from John Quincy Adams to Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, 9 September 1814, 22 November 1814, 27 December 1814 at https://founders.archives.gov/, accessed 3 May 2020. 62 Haeger, Astor, 131–2. 63 US National Archives and Record Administration, Record group 59: General records of the department of state, Department of State, Office of the Secretary, letter from Governor Adrian Bentzon to President James Madison, 20 December 1816. 64 Porter, Astor, vol. I, 411. 65 Quoted in Garde, ‘Bentzon’, 12. 66 Porter, Astor, vol. II, 1035, 16. 67 RA. Danske Kancelli. 3. Departement, Forestillinger og resolutioner, f. 129, 1819–745, 14 August 1819. 68 New York Historical Society, Bentzon family, 1819, box 1, folder 13, bond from Bentzon. 69 RA. Danske Kancelli. 3. Departement, Forestillinger og resolutioner, f. 129, 1819–745, 14 August 1819. 70 P. D. Morgan and N. P. Canny, ‘Introduction: the making and unmaking of the Atlantic world’, in Morgan and Canny (eds), The Oxford handbook of the Atlantic world, c. 1450 – c. 1850 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 1.

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Index

Page numbers in bold refer to figures. Abdülhamid II, Sultan, 165, 168 Abdülmecid I, Sultan, 166 Achkanov, Griorgiy, 209 actor-centred investigations, 236 Adams, Charles E., 150–1, 151, 152 Adams, John Quincy, 254 African Liberation Committee, 113–14 African National Congress, 110 African nationalism, 106 Afro-Americans, 16, 204–16 Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organisation, 114 agency, 9, 192, 205, 206, 214 Aghnides, Thanassis, 10–11, 25–39, 238n11 background, 26, 27–8 cultural surveys, 33 diplomatic connections, 26 diplomatic reporting, 30–3 imperial past, 26 League of Nations career, 26, 35, 35–8 multiple different Wilsonian moments, 37 Paris Peace Conference, 28 personal negotiation of the Wilsonian moment, 35–8 political nationalism, 33–5 Rosing concert review, 29–30, 33–5 and the Wilsonian moment, 27 world view, 28–39 Albania, 32, 125 Albanian Brotherhood, 128, 139n13

Albanian diaspora, 131–5, 140n27, 141n45 Albanian Orthodox Church, 125, 132, 138n8 Aldrich, R., 73 Aleksiun, N., 12 All-African People’s Conference, 114, 115 All African Youth Festival, Omdurman, 111–12 Almagor, L., 15–16 American Jewish Committee, 188 American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 186, 187–92 Amirell, S. E., 14 Anadarko incident, 149–53 Andrade, T., 2–3 Andrésson, Kristinn E., 11, 44–57 Angola, 115 Anschluss, the, 82, 92, 95 anti-Americanism, 11, 56 anticolonial conferences that never happened, 110–13 anticolonial movements, 25 anti-imperialism, 106 anti-movements, 204–5, 211–13 antisemitism, 84, 91–6, 173, 187, 195–7 Arendt, H., 202n57 Armenian genocide, 32 Armitage, D., 243 ASC, Second Anti-Colonial Bureau, 113–17

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262 Asian Socialist Conference, 111–12 Astor, John Jacob, 245, 246 Astor, Magdalen, 252, 253–6 Athens, 35–8 Atlantic world, the, 17, 242–57 assemblage, 243 the Black, 16, 204–16 family, 252–6 intellectual engagements, 247–52 money, 244–7 racial configuration, 252–6 scales, 242–3, 256–7 social construction, 256 Auberer, B., 16 Australia, 223, 225–7, 232–5, 235 Austro-Hungarian Empire, 32 autobiography, 19–20n34, 148–9, 158–9 Balfour, Arthur James, 32 Balkan wars, the, 135, 171, 174–5 Bandung Conference, 105, 109, 111, 118 Baron, Salo Wittmayer, 196 Bayly, C. A., 18n11 Beaulieu, Paul Leroy, 164 Beijing, 55 Bengal, 4 Bentzon, Adrian, 16–17, 242–57, 248 divorce, 255–6 estate, 246–7 family life, 252–6 intellectual engagements, 247–52 life, 243–4 metropolitan personae, 250–1 money, 244–7 partnership with John Jacob Astor, 245, 246 scales, 242–3, 256–7 slave-plantation business, 245–7 Berat Congress, 136 Berger, Miriam, 86–7 Berlin, 208, 210 Bertaux, D., 6 Bindseil, R., 64 biographical approach, the, 8–9, 11, 15, 20n42, 205

Index biographical method, 6–7 biographical research, 6–7 biographical turn, the, 6 biographical uncertainties, 6 biography acceptance, 2–3 analytical and methodological benefits, 3 as approach, 1, 2, 5–9 global, 9–17 in global history, 2–5 strengths, 39 Black Atlantic, the, 16, 204–16 anti-movements participation, 211–13 concept, 206 players, 206–9 Black belt thesis, 206 Blumi, I., 13–14 Bock, Rudolf, 87, 90 Bombay conference, 113–14 Bosnia and Herzegovina, 171 Boston, 131 Bourdieu, P., 8, 157 Brit Shalom, 193 Buber, Martin, 193, 194 Bulgaria, 32, 126–7, 171 Bureau for African Affairs, 115–16 Buring, Rudy, 233 butterfly effect, 162 Caine, B., 7 Camondo, Isaac, 167 Canada, 227–8 Canadian Institute of International Affairs, 228 Caribbean, the, 243 Carlton, Lieutenant Colonel Caleb Henry, 151, 152 Cavid Bey, Mehmet, 14, 162–76 early life, 164–5 exceptionality, 169–73 and financial colonization, 163, 165–8, 176 later career, 173–6 loan talks, 1910–11, 171–2, 173 Minister of Finance, 165, 169–73

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Index 263

sources, 177–8n15 unpopularity, 172–3 world view, 169–73 Central African Federation, 107, 115 Champion, M. S., 10 Chicago, 16 International Folk-lore Congress, 156 China, 3, 45, 49, 55, 56 Clapp, Benjamin, 255–6 Clemendot, Marie Virgin, 252 Cleveland, Grover, 157 Clifford, J. L., 5–6 Cold War, 11, 12, 53, 56, 72, 98, 106, 115–16 collective biography, 82–98 Colley, L., 8 Cologne, German Colonial Exhibition, 70 colonial masculinity, 62–75 activities, 71–2 career applications, 66–72 dynamics, 72–4 roots, 63 white man’s burden, 73 colonialism, 63 Comintern, 204, 205, 206, 207–8, 210, 214, 215, 216 Committee of Union and Progress, 163, 164–5, 170, 171, 173–4 Communism, 11, 16, 44–57 Black Atlantic network, 204–16 Communist Party USA, 206–7, 210, 215 comparisons, 7–8 Conference on Jewish Relations, 194 Connolly, W., 126 Conrad, S., 5, 10, 96, 243 Constantinople, 28, 34 Cooper, F., 15 Copenhagen, 50, 242, 243, 248, 250, 251 Coppy, Henriette Franciska, 252–3, 253, 254, 255 Cossart, B., 204 counter-space, 205 Crimean War, the, 166

crises, and time frames, 49 cross-cultural connections, 47, 204–5 cultural diplomacy, 47 cultural identity, 97 Czechoslovakia, 48, 58 Danish Romantic movement, 248, 249–50 Danish West Indies, 243, 244–7, 249–50, 252–6, 253–4, 255 Davis, N. Z., 5 Dawidowicz, Lucy, 189 de Vito, C., 162–3 de Vries, J., 225 Deacon, P., 7 decolonization, 13, 62, 106, 109, 117–18 de-Stalinization, 48, 49–51 Deutsche Bank, 168, 170, 172 Diebold, J., 64 Dinur, Ben-Zion, 194 Dishnica, Kristaq, 133 domino effect, 162 double consciousness, 7 Drummond, Eric, 28, 36 Dubnow, Simon, 202n63 Dubois, W. E. B., 7 Duçi, Milo, 128, 131, 139n14 Eastern Question, the, 166 economic development, 3, 164 Edwards, B. H., 205 Egypt, 127–31, 134, 139n15 Eker, Ignac, 86, 92 emotional responses, 56 ethnographic capital, 14, 157, 159, 161n47 ethnography, 6 eugenics, 69 Eurocentrism, 1, 162 Euro–Ottoman relations, 165–8, 169–73, 174–5, 176 European civilizing mission, 14 European Commission for Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, 185, 188, 194 European conditionality, the, 168

264

Index

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exceptional normal, the, 12–14, 143–4, 158, 224–5 exceptionality, 13–14, 105–6, 107, 110–19, 131–7, 144, 159, 169–73, 216 exceptional normal events, 144, 149–53, 158 exclusionary power dynamics, 113 Farádi, László, 93 Featherstone, D., 205 Federal Bureau of Investigation, 206 Felski, R., 227 financial colonization, 163, 165–8, 176 First World War, 10–11, 30, 70, 84–5, 171, 176, 226–7 Paris Peace Conference, 25–6, 28, 32–3 Ford, James W., 16, 204–16 anti-movements participation, 204–5, 211–13 exceptionality, 216 in Hamburg, 207, 208, 210, 211, 212–13 International Trade Union Conference of Negro Workers, 215–16 limited agency, 214 in Moscow, 240, 207, 208, 210, 215 return to the USA, 214–16 as secretary of the ITUCNW, 208, 213–14 sources, 206–9 status, 209, 216 transnational period, 209–11 vice-presidential nomination, 215 France, 62, 170–1, 171–2, 172–3, 174–5, 212 Friends of the Soviet Union Society, 45 Galicia, 86 Gallatin, Albert, 254 Gamsa, M., 4–5 Gaulis, Georges, 170 Gebhard, O., 64 Geertz, C., 6 gender roles, 72

gender-based discrimination, 89 Geneva, 16, 223, 228–9, 230, 231, 234, 235 German Colonial Exhibition, Cologne, 70 German Colonial Society, 70 Germany, 11–12, 62, 70–1, 77n23, 187–92, 194, 212 Germany, Nazi, 70–1, 196 Gerritsen, A., 15 Ghobrial, J.-P. A., 1, 7 Ghost Dance movement, 150–1, 156, 158 Gide, Charles, 164 Gilmore, Mary, 233 Gilroy, P., 7, 205 global biography, approaches, 9–17 global context, 2 global history, 1–2, 9 biography in, 2–5 global identity, 96 global labour union, 208–9 global lives, 4–5 global microhistory, 5 global narratives, 49 globalization, 5, 15, 204 Goebbels, Joseph, 71 Graham, Hardy, 234 Gram-Skjoldager, K., 223 Greco-Turkish Population Exchange, 35–8 Greece, 26, 28, 30–5, 35–6, 127 Green-Pedersen, E., 244 Grendi, E., 143–4, 224 Grey, Edward, 30 Gross-Moszkowski, Dora, 89 Grünberg, Hans, 234 Gulbenkian, Calouste S., 174, 175 Häberlen, J. C., 204 Hacker, Edith (née Popper), 100n33 Hagberg, Hilding, 50 Haitian revolution, 244 Hallgrímsdóttir, Halla Kristjana, 52 Hamburg, 16, 207, 208, 210, 211, 213 International Seamen’s Club, 212–13

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Index 265

Hayes, Carlton, 193, 195–6 Haywood, Harry, 206 Hearst, Phoebe A., 156 Heger, Johan Carl, 242, 249–50, 251–2 heroic figures, 124 Herren, M., 224 historical disappointments, 118 historical narrative, 55 Hitler, Adolf, 71 Holocaust, the, 12, 46, 83, 93, 97, 98, 196 Hoxha, Enver, 125, 136 Huiswoud, Otto, 206, 209, 215, 216 Hungarian uprising, 44, 48, 51, 52, 53, 54 Iceland, and Soviet socialism, 44–57 Icelandic Communist Party, 44–57 Icelandic Socialist Party, 49 identity politics, 125 Ikonomou, H. A., 10–11, 238n11 imperial careering, 225 imperial knowledge, 74 Imperial Ottoman Bank, 167, 168, 172, 173–4, 175 imperialism, 14, 73 independence movements, 13 individual lives, and narration, 108 Institute of Pacific Relations, 228, 229 intellectual engagements, 247–52 International Labour Office, 229, 231 International of Seamen and Harbour Workers, 209, 210, 211 International Olympic Committee, 63, 72 International Seamen’s Club, Hamburg, 212–13 International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers, 206, 208, 216 International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers of the Red International of Labour Unions, 210, 211–12, 213–14, 215 International Trade Union Conference of Negro Workers, 215–16 International Union of Socialist Youth, 114

International Union of Students, 111–12 internationalism, 223–36 characteristics, 224 importance of study, 224 as localized phenomenon, 224 personal, 228–32, 235–6 scalar entanglements, 223 scale of observation, 224 Second World War influence, 231 social significance, 235 women, 223–36 intersectional identity, 97 Istanbul, 169, 171, 173–4 Janowsky, Oscar, 194 Jerusalem, 192 Jewish cultural heritage, survival of, 187–92 Jewish Social Studies (periodical), 185, 188, 193 Jewish studies, 185–98 Jews, 12, 14 aspirations, 88 cultural capital, 86–7 geographic trajectories, 85–6 medical students in Vienna, 82–98 refugees, 187–92 social background, 87 Johnson, Alvin, 185, 188 Judt, T., 48 Junack, R., 64 Jünger, Ernst, 203n78 Kalomiris, Manolis, 34–5 Kamouzis, D., 37 Karl, Anita, 82 Karl, Joel, 82–98 Kaunda, Kenneth, 108, 117 Kelemen, A., 87, 88 Khrushchev, Nikita, Secret Speech, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49–53, 55, 56 Kling, Igor, 88 Kohn, Hans, 193–4 Kolonja, Shahin bey, 130–1 Konitca, Faik, 134, 140–1n39 Kouyaté, Tiemoko Garan, 205

266

Index

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Kristiansson, Kurt, 114 Kun, Miklós, 87 Kuusinen, Otto Ville, 204 Kyoto, 228 La Méditerranée Orientale (periodical), 31–5 Lambert, D., 146, 225 Lampertheim affair, 197 Landau, Ludwik, 84 Laurent, Charles, 170, 171, 172–3 Lausanne, Treaty of, 35, 36 Lawaetz, H. C. J., 244 Laxness, Halldór, 59n31 League of Nations, 16, 25, 26, 30, 35, 42n60, 223–5, 228–30, 231, 232–3, 235–6 Lefebvre, H., 242, 243 Lehr, David, 91, 92–3, 93–4 Lenin, V. I., 125 Lester, A., 146, 225 Levi, G., 12 Liao Chengzhi, 213 liberal internationalism, 11 Lindsay, A., 8–9 Liwewe, Dennis, 108, 110 Lloyd George, David, 32 Luarasi, Petro Nini, 140n27 Lumumba, Patrice, murder of, 115 McNeill, J., 3 McNeill, W., 2, 3 Madison, James, 254 Magnes, Judah, 192 Magnúsdóttir, R., 11 Mahmud Şevket Paşa 172, 174 Manela, E., 25 Mao Zedong, 45, 49, 55, 56 marginality, 12 masculinity activities, 71–2 colonial, 62–75 dynamics, 72–4 temporalities, 62–75 materialist concerns, 9 Mecklenburg, Duke Adolf Friedrich zu, 11–12, 62–75, 64

Africa Expeditions, 67–8, 73, 78n24, 78n25, 78n26 background, 65–6 career, 66–72, 74–5 colonial masculinity, 63, 72–4 international recognition, 72 sources, 64–5 medical students, Jewish, 12, 82–98 anatomy lessons, 89–91 antisemitism, 84 encountering Vienna, 84–9 experiences of antisemitism, 91–6 female, 87–8, 88–9, 90–1, 94–5, 99n20 global identity, 96 silence, 96–7 meta-narratives, 2 microhistory, 4–5, 6, 12, 20n42, 143, 163 micro-perspectives, 5 microspatial approach, 162–3, 176 migrants and migration, 128, 131, 135 Miles, General Nelson Appleton, 154 Milford I., 13 Mischehen debate, 68–9 Mitchell, Kathlenn, 234 mobility, 7–8, 227–8, 228–32, 230, 235–6 Mohun Roy, Raja Ram, 18n11 Moscow, 16, 204, 207, 208, 210, 215 Moyn, S., 4 Münzenberg, Willi, 212 Murumbi, Joseph, 114 Musical Times, The, 29–30 Mynster, Jakob Peter, 248 Mynster, Ole Hieronymus, 248–9, 250 Napoleonic Wars, 244–5 narration, and individual lives, 108 Natermann, D. M., 11–12 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 212 National Bank of Turkey, 172 national heroes, 124 national self-determination, 11

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Index 267

nationalism, 13, 28, 33–5, 73, 126–7, 171, 174, 176, 193, 194, 196 nationality, 31 nationhood, 25 Native Americans, 14, 147–8, 153–4, 153–7, 156–7, 160n17, 161n47 Anadarko incident, 149–53 Ghost Dance movement, 150–1, 156, 158 Wounded Knee massacre, 150, 151, 152 NATO, 56 Nazism, 12, 193, 196–7 rise of, 83, 87–8, 91–6 Negro Worker, The, 208, 209, 213, 215 Nemec, B., 93 networks, 112–13, 118, 192–5, 197–8, 204 Nicolson, Harold, 28 Nkrumah, Kwame, 115 nobility, the, 12, 65–6, 69 Noli, Fan S., 13–14, 124–37 background, 126–7, 137 Balkan trip, 1911, 134–5 Balkan trip, 1913, 135, 141n46 Dishnica funeral scandal, 133 in Egypt, 127–31 exceptionality, 131–7 hostility towards, 137 passion for the theatre, 126, 129–30 political education, 127 relationship with AOC, 132 social contexts, 126 status, 125–6, 131, 137 in USA, 131–5, 140n27 Non-Aligned Conference, Lusaka, 116–17 Non-Aligned Movement, 106, 107, 115–16, 118 O’Brien, P., 2 Oehlenschläger, Adam, 249, 250, 251, 254–5 Offenbach Archival Depot, 187–8, 189, 192

Olympic Games, 72 Olympio, Sylvanus, 62, 75–6n2 Omdurman, All African Youth Festival, 111–12 oral history, 64–5 Organisation of African Unity, 116, 117 Osterhammel, J., 3–4 Ottoman Empire, 14, 26, 27–8, 30, 32, 39, 124, 124–31, 135, 136, 162–76 Ottoman Free Society, 164–5 Ottoman Public Debt Administration, 167, 168, 172 Ottomanism, 124 Ozavci, O., 14 Padmore, George, 205, 206, 208, 209, 213, 214, 215, 216 Palestine, 192, 194 Pan-African Congress, 212 Pan-African Youth Conference, 112 pan-Africanism, 208, 216 Pant, Apa, 109 Paris, 28 Paris Peace Conference, 25–6, 28, 32–3 Parkman, F., 147–8 Patriotic Brotherhood of Dardha, 132 Pears, Sir Edwin, 28 Peçi, Sotir, 132, 133, 134 Petridis, Petro, 35 Phoutrides, Aristides E., 33 Pinson, Koppel S., 15–16, 185–98, 186 and antisemitism, 195–7 background, 185–6 character, 188 the Lampertheim affair, 197 moral behaviour, 190 and Nazism, 193, 196–7 networks, 192–5, 197–8 personal investment, 190 refugee work, 185, 186, 187–92, 197 role, 191 scales, 186–7 scholarship, 192–5 status, 185, 197–8 and Zionism, 191–2, 194–5

268

Index

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Pirianz, Antoni, 167 place-based research, challenges facing, 1 Poland, 48 Pomeranz, K., 3 Possing, B., 9 Prague, 111–12 Prucha, F. P., 147 Putnam, L., 8 racial categorization, 69 racialist essentialism, 170 racism, 146–7 real people, need for, 2–3 Red International of Labour Unions, 204, 205, 208, 210, 211–12, 214, 216 Negro Bureau, 207, 214 refugees, 35–7, 135, 185, 186, 187, 187–92, 197 regional level, 175 religious identity, 97 Rennert, Zila (née Rakowitzky), 86, 89, 91, 96 Rentis, Konstantinos, 35 representativeness, 108, 197 Resurgent Africa (periodical), 111–12 Reuß, Heinrich XV Prinz, 64–5 Revel, J., 186, 243 Reykjavík, 45, 53 Ricoeur, P., 10 Rizal, José, 124–5 romanticism, 14 Roosevelt, Theodore, 157 Röpcke, A., 64 Rosenboim, O., 4 Rosing, Vladimir, 29–30, 33–5 Rothschild Library, 187 Runciman, D., 49 Russian American Company, 254 Salonica, 164 Sartori, A., 4 scale, 15–16, 186–7, 225, 242–3, 256–7 Schiller, John, 233 Schneersohn, Joseph Isaac, 190

Scott, Hugh Lenox, 14, 143–59, 145 career, 144–6 ethnographic capital, 14, 157, 159, 161n47 exceptional normal, 145–6, 158, 159 exceptional normal biography, 153–7 exceptional normal events, 149–53 interest in Native Americans, 147–9, 153–4, 156–7, 159, 160n17, 161n47 letters, 146–8 mission to Anadarko, 149–53 racism, 146–7 sources, 145, 146–9 Sebald, P., 69 Second World War, 46–7, 186, 187–92, 223, 231, 232 self-determination, 25, 39n5 Sémélas, Demetrios Plato, 31–2 Sharpeville massacre, 115 Sheridan, Phil, 154 Shoah Foundation Visual Archive, 82–98 Simonsen, G., 16–17 Sinha, M., 73 Sipalo, Munukayumbwa, 13, 105–19 as African radical, 105–6, 108–10, 118 alcoholism, 117 anticolonial patrons, 113–17 background, 105–6, 107, 108–9 Bandung rumour, 105 commitment to publishing, 115–16 conferences that never happened, 110–13 exceptionality, 105–6, 107, 110–19 networks, 112–13, 114, 118 slaves and slavery, 244–7 Smith, Janet, 228–9 Smollett, B., 185 social capital, 69 social change, 65–6, 72 social contexts, 126 social hierarchy, 69 social relations, 12 social space, 256 Soja, E., 205

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Index 269

Solf, Wilhelm, 69 Solow, Herbert, 196 Solzhenytsin, Aleksander, 49 sources, 64–5, 144, 145, 158, 177–8n15, 206–9, 224 South Africa, Sharpeville massacre, 115 sovereignty, 25, 36–7, 163–6 Soviet Union, 11 Soviet Union and Soviet socialism, 44–57 space and scales, 14–17 spaces of agitation, 16, 204–16 spatial approach, 205 spatial dissociation, 242, 252, 256–7 spatial hierarchy, 17, 242–57 Special Committee of all the Liberation Movements in Africa, 112 Stalin, Josef, 46, 49, 50, 52–3 Stang, Fanny (née Knesbach), 87–8, 88–9, 90–1, 94–5 Steffens, Henrik, 251 Steinmetz, G., 157 Stockholm, 50 Streicher Collection, 190, 197 Studer, B., 205, 209, 210 Sturgis, Colonel Samuel Davis, 154 Sturmer Verlag Collection, 190 subaltern imprints, 137 subjectivity, 4 place of, 45–55 Subrahmanyam, S., 7–8 Sudan, 111–12 Suez Crisis, 48, 112, 113 sugar, 244–7 supra-historical individuals, 4 Sydney, 232–3 symbolic capital, 157 Taft, William Howard, 157 Tampke, J., 227 Tandler, Julius, 89 Taschwer, K., 93 Tashko, Athanas, 128–9, 134–5, 139n18, 139–40n21, 140–1n39 Tashko, Thanas, 130, 131, 132 temporalities, 10, 26–7, 49 colonial masculinity, 62–75 layered, 75

Third World project, the, 13, 105–19 Bandung Conference, 105, 109, 111 Bombay conference, 113–14 conferences that never happened, 110–13 exclusionary power dynamics, 113 internal contestations, 106 time and periodization, 10–12 time frames, and crises, 49 Togo, 62, 68–70, 73–4, 75 Trivellato, F., 143 Tuchman, B. W., 1, 2 Turkey, 28, 32 United Nations, 115, 116 United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, 188, 189 United Negro Improvement Association, 212 United States Information Agency, 54 United States of America, 33, 129, 131–5 Albanian diaspora, 131–6, 140n27, 141n45 Anadarko incident, 149–53 Communism in, 204–16 Dishnica funeral scandal, 133 imperialism, 14, 143–59 Indian problem, 154 Wounded Knee massacre, 150, 151, 152 University in Exile, 185 Valaoritis, Aristotelis, 33 Vatra, 135, 141n44, 141n46 Venizelos, E., 26, 28, 30, 31, 32–3, 34, 35 Versailles, Treaty of, 70 Vienna, 12, 211 anatomy lessons, 89–91 antisemitism, 84, 91–6 appeal of, 88 encountering, 84–9 female medical students, 87–8, 88–9, 90–1, 94–5, 99n20

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Vienna (cont.) Jewish medical students, 82–98 Ostjuden, 83, 85, 97–8 Vigfúsdóttir, Þóra, 11, 44–57 Voice of Africa (periodical), 115–16 Vruho, Jani, 130, 131 Washbrook, D., 4 Watt, Raymond, 232–3 Weger, Dorothea, 16, 223–36 background, 225–8 career, 223, 228, 235–6 contacts, 231, 233, 234–5 focus, 230 internationalism, 228–32 as a potential threat, 232, 233–5, 235 return to Australia, 232, 232–5, 235 sources, 224 travels, 227–8, 228–32, 235–6 Weiss, H., 16 Weltsch, Robert, 193, 194 West India Debt Liquidation Directorate, 246 Western modernity, 34 White Bear, 148 whiteness, 257 Wiesener, A. M., 244 Wilhelm II, Kaiser, 67, 67–8, 77n23

Wilson, Woodrow, 11, 25, 26, 29, 31–2, 39n5, 157 Wilsonian moment, the, 10–11, 25–6, 27, 29–39 Wilsonian sovereignty, 25, 36–7 witnessing, 74 Wolikow, S., 204 womb-to-tomb narrative, rejection of, 6 women, internationalism, 223–36 Women’s International Democratic Foundation, 47 Wood, L. T., 8–9 Woolf, V., 6 World Alliance of YMCAs, 231 World Peace Council, 47, 50 World Youth Conference, 231 Wounded Knee massacre, 150, 151, 152 YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science, 185, 187–8 Young Turks, 14, 162–76 Yugoslavia, 32 Zambia, 13, 105, 107, 108–10, 115, 116–17 Zionism, 191–2, 194–5 Zukas, Simon, 105, 106, 117