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Destiny of the conventions 1939 – 1941: from war prisoners to war refugees



Conference venue: Kaunas, Sugihara house, Vaižganto st. 30
Period: 2020, May 28 – 29

Deadline for submitting proposal:31st of January 2020


Description of the Conference

Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation in its Platform Casablanca of the North Academy jointly with Vytautas Magnus University (Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy)andValdas Adamkus Presidential Library organized two international conferences: Casablanca of the North: refugees and rescuers in Kaunas 1939 – 1940 (2016) and World after Evian Conference (2018) where scholars from Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Italy, Russia, USA, IsraelandJapan took participation.


Partners of the conferences were Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassies of Poland, Sweden, Germany, Japan. After the 1st. conference publication of articles under the title Casablanca of the North: refugees and rescuers in Kaunas 1939 – 1940 followed in 2017, World after Evian Conference volume is under the preparation.


Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation third conference aims to discuss destiny of conventions in 1939 – 1941 period, when and where basic agreements, mutual respect cease to exist? Do the same norms can be applied to our people and the alien? Were there any geographical, ideological, national/ ethnic, propaganda framework applied in warring world 1939 – 1941?


Fate of the conventions is worth analysing since after the shock of WW I a lot of efforts were put to protect human dignity, war refugees and war prisoners, as well as civilian citizens and stateless people. Conventions of Hague and Geneva, activities of Nansen International Office for Refugees, remarks of the League of Nations were followed by Evian Conference in 1938 and drastically different treatment of the enemies during WW II.

The conference will focus on:

  • Nazi and Bolshevik ideology and propaganda towards enemies
  • Ideological divisions in our and alien territories and treatment of local population
  • Cases of mistreatment of local population, war prisoners, war refugees
  • Role of diplomacy and acts of personal dignity or knavery in 1939 - 1941
  • Crimes against humanity conducted by Nazis and Bolsheviks and their allies in 1939 – 1941
  • Silent agreement and secret correspondence of Western powers vis-a-vis violation of conventions in Europe and East and South-East Asia in 1939 - 1941
  • The issues of modern warfare – where the front-line ends?
  • The concept of total war after WWI


Guidelines for submission

Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation’s departure point was Chiune Sugihara’s and Jan Zwartendijk’s activities in summer of 1939 in Kaunas, naturally followed the escape roots of Sugihara – Zwartendijk’s survivors. That’s why Foundation’s research primarily focuses on period of 1939 – 1941, following WW II refugees passages escaping two aggressors in Europe Nazi Germany and USSR, in this period tightly bounded by Molotov - Ribbentrop Pact. Since all of them landed in Japan or Shanghai these regions are in the research sight as well, not neglecting other European countries involved in the “phony war”, or followed by aggressors occupations such as Latvia, Estonia, France or the Netherlands, including and successful Winter war fights in Finland.


Please submit your paper proposals till 31st of January 2020 e–mailing them and short CV to: confconventions@gmail.com.


Confirmation of the acceptance to the conference will be sent till 2nd of March, 2020.


Best papers will be selected for publishing in conference proceedings.

Conference organization, Scientific committee:

  • Dr. Linas Venclauskas (Vytautas Magnus University, Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation, Kaunas)
  • Prof. habil. dr. Egidijus Aleksandravičius (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas)
  • Dr. Simonas Strelcovas (Šiauliai)
  • Prof. dr. Šarūnas Liekis (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas)
  • Prof. dr. Stefano Bianchini (University of Bologna, Bologna)
  • Assoc. prof. dr. Giedrius Janauskas (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas)
  • Dr. Olga Barbasiewicz, (Jagellonian University, Kraków)

Conference organization, Organizational committee:

Dr. Linas Venclauskas (Vytautas Magnus University, Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation)

To more information:
e-mail: Davor Pauković, davor.paukovic@unidu.hr.

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