Prof. Dr. Susanne Schattenberg: Leonid Brezhnev as Statesman and Performer


Mon. 25.01.2021 | 17:00 o' clock

Wir laden herzlich zum Vortrag unserer Außenstelle in Vilnius ein. Frau Prof. Dr. Susanne Schattenberg wird zu Leonid Brezhnev als Staatsmann und Performer referieren. Der englischsprachige Vortrag findet online über die Plattform Zoom statt.

Beginn: 17:00 Uhr (Litauische Zeit) bzw. 16:00 Uhr (polnische/deutsche Zeit). 


In cooperation with Lithuanian Institute of History and University of Vilnius (Faculty of History)

The lecture will be held online via Zoom on 25 January, 5 pm Lithuanian time (4 pm Polish/German time) - please register to attend here: malinauskaite(at) 
Registration deadline: 25 January, 4 pm

All registered participants will receive an invitation link to the event, which will be activated 5 minutes before the lecture.

The last great General Secretary of the USSR (1964-1982) dreamed as a child to become an actor. His acting talent helped him later when he ruled the politburo to present himself as a man who replaced the terror of Stalin and the humiliations of Khrushchev with trust and care. He was not a "hardliner" or "re-stalinizer," but had suffered himself under Stalin. Having witnessed the misery of the people before, during and after the war he declared "prosperity for all" to be the general line of the party. The horror he had experienced in the Second World War made him seek a balance with the West since 1969. Brezhnev played the Western statesman and was accepted by his Western political partners as one of their own. But when the new "Big Four" Brandt, Pompidou and Nixon resigned or died in 1974, he found himself faced with the ruins of his policy of détente. What nobody suspected: there was no change of political course in the Kremlin in 1975. Stress and insomnia led Brezhnev into an addiction to pills, which ruined his peace efforts: The invasion of Afghanistan destroyed his previous policy of détente. He died a man who had brought his people not prosperity and peace, but stagnation and a bloody war.Susanne Schattenberg is Professor of Contemporary History and Culture of Eastern Europe and Director of the Research Centre for Eastern Europe at the University of Bremen. After a doctorate on "Stalin's Engineers" in Frankfurt (Oder) and her habilitation on "Corrupt Province" in the Tsarist Empire at the Humboldt University in Berlin, she worked on the cultural history of diplomacy. Her Brezhnev-biography appeared first in German in 2017, in Russian 2018 and will be released in English by I.B. Tauris in 2021. She is currently researching the topic "At the drip of the big brother? Soviet oil and gas supplies to East and West (1966-1970)".

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