Mag. Dr. Matthias Kaltenbrunner

Office: Institute of East European History (IOG), Spitalgasse 2, Hof 3


Phone: +43-1-4277-41102

e-Fax: +43-1-4277-841102


Research interests: history of Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries with special focus on Poland, Ukraine and the Soviet Union, WWII and Stalinism as well as migration and global history.

Current research project: "Cars for the East: The (Il)legal Car Market in Poland, 1980-1990s". The "Polish Car Thief" is still a persistent stereotype. In my project, I focus on different actors engaged in the transnational market of used cars in Poland in the 1980s and 1990s, with legal and illegal spheres overlapping. I argue that this market is not a by-product of the political, economic and social transformation processes but existed well before 1989 and was shaped by these very transformation processes itself. In a case study, I investigate a highly differentiated transnational network of "car thieves" based in the Western city of Szczecin, spanning over most of Poland to Germany, Ukraine and Belarus. My main sources are court records, police and prison files as well as interviews.

Flucht aus dem Todesblock. Der Massenausbruch sowjetischer Offiziere aus dem Block 20 des KZ Mauthausen und die "Mühlviertler Hasenjagd". Hintergründe, Folgen, Aufarbeitung. Innsbruck: Studienverlag 2012 (448 pages).

Das global vernetzte Dorf. Eine Migrationsgeschichte. Frankfurt am Main: Campus 2017 (601 pages).