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Oliver Jens Schmitt on the Perverse Lure of Extremism

On January 27, as part of our Feraru Conferences series, Swiss historian Oliver Jens Schmitt, professor of the University of Vienna and one of the most influential international specialists in Romanian and South East European history, examined the dark fascination of radical political ideas throughout the 20th century and in today's world and shared his reflection on Romania’s modernization, identity and future in a European Union fighting the pandemic and its complicated aftermath.

Oliver Jens Schmitt graduated in Byzantine studies, modern Greek, East European history and Greek philology in Basel, Vienna, Berlin and Munich. He taught at the universities of Munich and Berne and, since 2005, has been a professor of South East European history at the University of Vienna. In 2010, he was visiting professor at the Collège de France. He has been a full member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences since 2011 and president of its Division of Humanities and the Social Sciences since 2017. He is the author of România în 100 de ani. Bilanţul unui veac de Istorie (Bucharest, 2018), Corneliu Zelea Codreanu. Ascensiunea şi căderea “Căpitanului” (Bucharest, 2017, enlarged translation of: Căpitan Codreanu. Aufstieg und Fall des rumänischen Faschistenführers, Vienna, 2016), Politics and Peasants in Interwar Romania. Perceptions. Mentalities, Propaganda (Newcastle upon Tyne, 2017, co-edited with Sorin Radu), Kulturgeschichte der Überlieferung. Quellen und Methoden zur Geschichte Mittel- und Südosteuropas (Cologne-Weimar-Vienna, 2017, co-edited with Elisaebth Gruber and Christina Lutter), and The Ottoman Conquest of the Balkans. Interpretations and Research Debates (Vienna, 2016), among others.

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