From time to time political events tend to change perspectives in history. Since the opening of the borders to the East in 1989 Austria is once more increasingly seen as part of Central-, East- and Southeast Europe. As a result also East-West relations during the Cold War became of fundamental interest. This is of special significance for Austria since three of the socialist planned economies had been successor states of the same Habsburg Monarchy from which also the Republic of Austria had emerged. How meaningful were "everlasting neutrality" and traditional neighbourly relations during these politically dominated times? The question how these necessarily "delicate relationships" to the CMEA-region had nevertheless been kept up belongs to the fascinating themes of economic contemporary history.
In the contributions presented in this volume historians take up this theme. Next to the Austrian perspective also the views from Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia (especially Slovenia and Croatia), but also Poland and the GDR are discussed. An essay on Finland offers a valuable comparison. Further the situation regarding availability of sources in archives of the concerned countries is comprehensively described. This representative international portrayal directs its focus on a field of research which is of principal interest for European history of the 20th century.