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Diana Dumitru, “Two Worlds Apart? The State, Antisemitism and the Holocaust in the Soviet-Romanian Borderlands”
November 3, 2015 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
The Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is delighted to host a guest lecture by Diana Dumitru, an associate professor of history at “Ion Creangă” State University of Moldova.
Based on original sources, this study on the Holocaust explores regional variations in civilians’ attitues and behavior toward the Jewish population in Romania and the occupied Soviet Union. Gentiles’ willingness to assist Jews was greater in lands that had been under Soviet administration during the inter-war period, while gentiles’ willingness to harm Jews occurred more in lands that had been under Romanian administration during the same period. While acknowledging the disasters of Communist rule in the 1920s and 1930s, this work shows the effectiveness of Soviet nationalities policy in the official suppression of antisemitism. This study offers a corrective to the widespread consensus that homogenizes gentile responses throughout Eastern Europe, instead demonstrating that what states did in the interwar period mattered: relations between social groups were not fixed and destined to repeat themselves, but rather fluid and susceptible to change over time.
Dumitru’s fields of expertise include the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, Soviet history, ethnic relations, nationalism and the politics of history. Dumitru has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants, and her second book, The State, Antisemitism and the Collaboration in the Holocaust: The Borderlands of Romania and the Soviet Union, will be published by Cambridge University Press in February 2016.
Co-presented by the UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies and the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies. This event is in part supported by the Fulbright Outreach Lecture Fund.