How does an institute deal with its 70th anniversary when, from today's point of view, its founding involved a number of problematic aspects? This is the question that the Institute for German Culture and History in South-eastern Europe (IKGS) is currently grappling with. In this research project, the Institute examines the genesis, the prehistory, and the activities of the Südostdeutsches Kulturwerk (Southeast German Cultural Society, or SOKW) an organization that, from the 1950s, brought together creative artists, cultural professionals and scholars from the German minorities in Southeast Europe.
The Südostdeutsches Kulturwerk (“Southeast German Cultural Society”, SOKW) was established in Munich in the early 1950s by artists, cultural professionals and scholars whose roots lay largely in Southeastern Europe – for example in the 
ron. Banat, hun. Bánság, srp. Банат, hrv. Banat, deu. Banat, srp. Banat

The Banat is a historical landscape located in South-Eastern Europe, in the states of Serbia, Hungary and Romania. The region is situated between the rivers Danube, Marosh and Tisza, as well as a southern part of the Carpathian Mountains and the lowland plain of Hungary. The main city of the Banat is Timișoara in Romania.

deu. Siebenbürgen, deu. Transsylvanien, deu. Transsilvanien, ron. Transilvania, ron. Ardeal

Transylvania is a historical landscape in modern Romania. It is situated in the center of the country and is populated by about 6.8 million people. The major city of Transylvania is Cluj-Napoca. German-speaking minorities used to live in Transylvania.

deu. Bukowina, ukr. Буковина, ukr. Bukowyna, ron. Bucovina, deu. Buchenland

Bukovina is a historical landscape in modern Romania and Ukraine. The northern part is situated in the Ukrainian Chernivtsi Oblast, while the southern part is part of the Romanian Suceava County. The region once formed a part of the Principality of Moldavia and the Habsburg Monarchy.

rus. Bessarabiya, rus. Бессарабия, ukr. Bessarabiya, ukr. Бессарабія, ron. Basarabia, deu. Bessarabien

Bessarabia (rum. Basarabia, ukr. Бессарабія) is a historical landscape in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by the river Dniester in the east, Pruth in the west and the Black Sea in the south. Nowadays, the territory of the historical area of Bessarabia is over large parts congruent with the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

deu. Dobrudscha, ron. Dobrogea, bul. Добруджа, deu. Trans-Danubien, eng. Dobrudja, bul. Dobrudža

Dobruja (rum. Dobrogea, bulg. Добруджа) is a historical landscape in the border area between southeastern Romania and northeastern Bulgaria. Dobrogea is situated on the Danube and the Black Sea.

eng. Lower Styria, eng. Slovenian Styria, hrv. Donja Štajerska, deu. Untersteiermark, slv. Spodnja Štajerska, slv. Štajerska, slv. Spódnja Štájerska

Lower Styria (Štajerska in Slovenian) is a historical region in eastern Slovenia, located on the rivers Mura and Sava. The largest city in the region is Maribor (German: Marburg an der Frau). Lower Styria is inhabited by about 705,000 residents.

. From the very beginning, the registered association operated a research center, published books with literary or historical content and produced the periodical entitled "Südostdeutsche Heimatblätter", which later became the "Südostdeutsche Vierteljahresblätter".
In the context of its forthcoming official 70th anniversary (1951–2021), a review of institute's history is being undertaken, including an examination of the protagonists involved, the events and conditions that shaped them personally, socially and politically, as well as their discourses and the impact they made. The aim of the project is to prepare a well-founded monograph on the history of the SOKW, the predecessor institution of the Institute for German Culture and History in South-East Europe (IKGS), and to hold a conference on the history and context of this institution in 2021. The project will be carried out in close coordination with the indexing of the estate of Heinrich Zillich at the IKGS, who was one of the formative members of the SOKW until his death in 1988. The completion of the monograph is planned for the end of 2022. It will take into account source material from a wide variety of archives and documentation and is to be published in the IKGS publication series.
On April 18, 2020, as part of the Virtual Austrian Contemporary History Day, a panel with the participation of IKGS staff on the topic "Southeast German" Cultural Work on Trial. Continuities, Networks, Research Potentials, which was moderated by Dr. Linda Erker (University of Vienna).
-   PD Dr. Tobias Weger: The Southeast German Cultural Work in Munich in the Context of West German "Expellee Cultural Work" after 1945.
-   Dr. Enikő Dácz: From "god-blessed" writer to editor. Heinrich Zillich's Literary Network before and after 1945
-   Dr. Florian Kührer-Wielach: A Difficult Anniversary. The Southeast German Cultural Work 1951-2021.
On October 7, 2022, Tobias Weger presented a paper on Munich and the German culture and history of Southeastern Europe after 1945 at the conference "Eastern European Munich in the Postwar Period and the Cold War," organized October 5-7, 2022, by the Chair of History of Southeastern and Eastern Europe at the LMU in cooperation with the Munich City Museum and the Jewish Museum Munich.
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