Language, Nationalism and Ethnic Cleansing in 20th-Century Central and Eastern Europe (Open Association, Retirement Group Lecture Series)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


Unlike in western Europe or North America, it is not the state that makes the nation in central and eastern Europe, but language. Speakers of a single language are seen as the nation for whom a nation-state should be built. In such a nation-state speakers of other languages are seen as 'foreigners,' who need to be removed for securing the 'purity' (homogeneity) of the national polity. Between 1912 and 1989, this widely accepted ideological compulsion of ethnolinguistic homogeneity led to the expulsion of around 80 million people and the extermination of over 10 million people in the region with about 250 million inhabitants.
Period12 Nov 2019
Held atSchool of History
Degree of RecognitionRegional


  • ethnolinguistic nationalism
  • ethnic cleanisng
  • nationalism
  • civic nationalism
  • Central Europe
  • Western Europe
  • Europe