TWO SIDES OF THE BATTLE LINE - Photo exhibition on Austro-Hungarian and Russian Prisoners of WWI

March 25, 2015 - 13:00 - May 31, 2015 - 18:00
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Exhibition Hall
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CEU host unit(s): 
Center for Arts and Culture (CAC)
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TWO SIDES OF THE BATTLE LINE - Photo exhibition on Austro-Hungarian and Russian Prisoners of WWI

WWI was the first war with huge numbers of POWs. About 2.2 million POWs were located in ca. 50 camps in Austria-Hungary and about 2.9 million POWs were kept in 410 camps in the Russian Empire. The majority of POWs in Austria-Hungary came from Russia and in Russia the majority were from the Habsburg monarchy. 

In Austria-Hungary the main problems of POWs were food shortages and different kind of diseases. In the Russian Empire, POWs mainly suffered because of the severe climate conditions and infections, in spite of the relatively good food supply. The situation for POWs was particularly bad in Turkestan (modern Kazakhstan and Central Asia) and Siberia regions of Russia. An estimated 400 000 POWs in Russian camps died.  POWs of both Empires were ethnically diverse and the attitude toward them, their life in camp and forced labor conditions were related to a great extent to their ethnicity. 


The exhibition was organized by Alexei Miller (Department of History, CEU), Irina Molodikova and Ruben Mnatsakanian (Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Editor and designer: Lilla Foldy-Molnar (Center for Arts and Culture, CEU)


This exhibition is prepared to commemorate WWI and devoted to the everyday life of the prisoners of WWI in both sides. It is based on photo documents from archives of Hungary, Austria, Russia and other international sources.


The photo materials were acquired with the assistance of Russian Society  of Military History (G. Shkundin), Yarislavl’ Regional museum (M. Kerbikov), Irkutsk Regional Museum (A. V. Anyfriev), Institute of World History of Russian Academy of Science (T. V. Kotyukova), History Department of North Caucasus State University (I. V. Kruchkov), Janus Pannonius Muzeum (István Burján), the Hungarian Archival Office, Moscow Research in the Russian Archives (Attila Seres), Journal “Slavyanovedenie” (A. S. Stykalin), ICRC, Center ‘Bridge’.