German Blood, Slavic Soil: How Nazi Königsberg Became Soviet Kaliningrad

Apr 26, 2024  | 11am - 12pm PT

Lecture at GHI Pacific Offce (201 Philosophy Hall, UC Berkeley) | Speaker: Nicole Eaton, Associate Professor of History, Boston College

Sponsor(s): German Historical Institute Washington | Pacific Office Berkeley, Institute of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, Institute of European Studies


In the wake of the Second World War, the German city Königsberg, once the easternmost territory of the Third Reich, became the Russian city Kaliningrad, the westernmost region of the Soviet Union. Königsberg/Kaliningrad is the only city to have been ruled by both Hitler and Stalin as their own—in both wartime occupation and as integral territory of the two regimes. During the war, this single city became an epicenter in the apocalyptic battle between Nazism and Stalinism.

Eaton’s book German Blood, Slavic Soil: How Nazi Königsberg Became Soviet Kaliningrad reveals how Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, twentieth-century Europe’s two most violent revolutionary regimes, transformed a single city and the people who lived there. Drawing on archival documents, diaries, letters, and memoirs from both sides, this talk presents an intimate look into the Nazi-Soviet encounter during World War II and shows how this outpost city, far from the centers of power in Moscow and Berlin, became a closed-off space where Nazis and Stalinists each staged radical experiments in societal transformation and were forced to reimagine their utopias in dialogue with the encounter between the victims and proponents of the two regimes.

Nicole Eaton received her PhD at UC Berkeley is now Associate Professor of History at Boston College. She teaches courses on the Soviet Union, Imperial Russia, modern Europe, authoritarianism, and mass violence. Her research interests include nationalism, communism, fascism, ethnic cleansing, borderlands, urban history, the Second World War, environmental history and the history of medicine in East-Central Europe and Eurasia. German Blood, Slavic Soil is her first book.

If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) or information about campus mobility access features in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Ray Savord at or (510) 642-4555 with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days before the event.