Martin Müller-Butz MA

Curriculum vitae

  • August 2011-present: PhD student and research fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

  • 2010-2011: research assistant and student-editor of the "Patterns of Remembrance: Soviet Crimes-Russian Memory" Internet project

  • 2004-2010: completed a master´s degree in Eastern European history and political science in Jena and Krakow with an MA-thesis on: "Those who feel the pathos of history": How the Polish Opposition Dealt With History, based on the example of the Movement of Young Poland (Ruch Młodej Polski) 1977-1981 (in German).

Dissertation project

Uncanny Heimat? The Tsarist Empire in Polish Memoirs and Autobiographies of the Twentieth Century (working title)

In this research project I focus on Polish memories of the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917. I examine how the disintegration of the Russian Empire, the emergence of the new Polish State, and personal experiences of flight, expulsions and violence were remembered throughout the twentieth century in the autobiographies, memoirs, and diaries of Poles from the western provinces (gubernii) of the Russian Empire and from the Russian interior against the background of the establishment and development of the Soviet Union. I pay particular attention to the temporal context in which these memories arose, asking what contemporary interpretative frameworks informed the autobiographical processing of personal experiences of the tsarist empire and the failure of the imperial social order. What images of and ideas about tsarist Russia are constructed in these texts? Using Reinhart Koselleck's categories of the space of experience (Erfahrungsraum) and the horizon of expectation (Erwartungshorizont), I also investigate the role played by personal memories in the development of national ideas and political concepts in the interwar period, during the Cold War in the People's Republic of Poland, and in Polish post-war exile. Memoirs and autobiographies that never found their way into the Polish public sphere - be they private family memoirs or censored parts of published autobiographies - are of particular interest for this project. They allow us to draw conclusions about the limits and freedoms that existed in different parts of the Polish public sphere in the interwar period and later in Polish exile and in the People's Republic. At the same time, the entanglements and interdependencies of these three memory discourses play an important role.

Main areas of research

  • Twentieth-century Polish and Russian history
  • Contemporary Polish history
  • Theories of and approaches to historical culture and the culture of memory
  • Applied history


  • Member of the German-Polish Society of Thuringia

  • Künstler für Andere e.V. (Sponsor of the Thuringian Archive for Contemporary History "Matthias Domaschk")