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Lena Radauer

Friends, colleagues, mediators. Austrian and German artists as prisoners of war in Siberia during World War I and their ties with the local art world.


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Since October 2011, I have been a member of the faculty of East European History at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, where my advisor is Prof. Neutatz. Previously, I earned a degree in Slavic studies from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium and a Master of Science in Russian and East European studies at the University of Oxford. I have also studied the culture and history of Russia at the Russian State Universities in Saint Petersburg and Irkutsk and social anthropology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland.



  • Beiträge für die International Encyclopedia of the First World War (http://www.1914-1918-online.net/)

  • mit Matthias Egger: "Kultur im Lager. Kulturelle Aktivitäten der österreichisch-ungarischen Kriegsgefangenen in Russland 1914-1918, in: Österreich in Geschichte und Literatur 2/2014, S. 160-178

  • "'Sie reflektierten Sibirien.' Deutschböhmische Künstler in sibirischer Gefangenschaft während des Ersten Weltkrieges", in: Eine verlorene Generation? Deutschböhmische bildende Künstler der 1. Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts zwischen Prag, Wien, München und Dresden. Technická univerzita v Liberci 2013, S. 114-125

  • mit Dietmar Neutatz: "Besetzt, interniert, deportiert. Der Erste Weltkrieg und die Zivilbevölkerung im östlichen Europa", in: Alfred Eisfeld/Guido Hausmann/Dietmar Neutatz (Hg.), Besetzt, interniert, deportiert. Der Erste Weltkrieg und die deutsche, jüdische, polnische und ukrainische Zivilbevölkerung im östlichen Europa. Klartext Verlag, Essen 2013, S. 9-25 

  • Do vstreci! Russisch für Anfänger, Schulbuchverlag E. Weber, Eisenstadt 2012.

  • Hans Franta: Seine Linzer Jahre, in: Oberösterreichische Heimatblätter Heft 1/2 bzw. 3/4 2011.

  • Hans Franta: Sibirien. Katalog zur gleichnamigen Ausstellung des Nordico-Museum der Stadt Linz, 3. März bis 1. Mai 2011, Linz 2011. 

PhD-Thesis Project

Friends, colleagues, mediators. Austrian and German artists as prisoners of war in Siberia during World War I and their ties with the local art

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dietmar Neutatz

Historians dealing with prisoners of the First World War in Russian captivity have focused largely on the fate they endured within POW camps. However, when studying the many memoirs of former POWs detained in Siberia, it quickly becomes obvious that personal relationships with the local population not only existed, but were an important factor in their survival.
In my thesis I will look at a sample group, that is German and Austrian POW artists, to investigate how they overcame the mentality of war and stereotypical prejudice to form close personal ties with Russian colleagues and employers.
These relationships were not only of a transnational character, but were created under very unfavourable conditions, in the context of both World War I and the Russian Civil War.
My main goal is to investigate how these friendships nevertheless developed and to determine what role they played in the life of the actors.


In order to understand both the situation of POWs in Siberia and the character and scope of these friendships I will attempt to find answers to the following questions:
Were these friendships of a one-on-one nature or did they also exist between groups of people?
Was the scale of this rapprochement larger in the town of Krasnoyarsk, where POWs initiated a particularly sophisticated artist circle?
Did the natural splendour and mythical character of Siberia inspire the artistic interest of a Central European POW population?
Was the bond between local and captive artists indicative of the integration of said POWs into Siberian society?
Were those POWs of Slavic descent more likely to interact with their Russian colleagues?
Did the POWs’ military ranks affect the character of these relationships?
I also hope to understand the motivation of those artists who had their artistic debuts as POWs and commenced their professional training while in Siberia.


  • Postadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    c/o Historisches Seminar
    Rempartstr. 15 - KG IV
    79085 Freiburg 
  • Besuchsadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    Erbprinzenstraße 13
    79098 Freiburg
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