2002–03 Rosenzweig Family Fellow Dr. Vladimir Solonari
Dr. Vladimir Solonari received a Ph.D. in history from Moscow State University and a B.A. in history from Chisinau State University. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Political Sociology, the State University of Moldova in Chisinau. For his Rosenzweig Family Fellowship for the Study of the Fate of Jews in Transnistria, Dr. Solonari conducted research for his project “Decision-Makers, Executors, Populace: The Holocaust in Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.”
From 1990 to 2001, Dr. Solonari served as Member of Parliament in Moldova. He served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and National Minorities from 1994 to 2001 and Rapporteur for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the issue of the Muslim minority in Western Thrace, Greece from 1999 to 2000. Dr. Solonari also participated in the rewriting of the Moldavian constitution as a member of the commission that drafted the document between 1993 and 1994 and amendments to it in 2000. Over the past decade Dr. Solonari’s scholarship has focused on the history of nation-building, minorities and ethnic conflict in Moldova with some comparative work on Latvia. He is the recipient of several fellowships and has been a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, International forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, D.C. He has presented his research on post-Soviet politics and economy at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Solonari is fluent in Russian, Romanian, and English, and reads French and Ukrainian.
During his tenure at the Museum, Dr. Solonari traced how the politics of forced deportation of the Jewish population were articulated and justified in the official Romanian documentation, i.e. laws, decrees, etc., as well as in the public speeches and exchanges between government officials. He also studied the implementation process and the role of functionaries as executors and initiators of antisemitic policies. He gave particular attention to the history of rampant corruption among the regional and local officials. Dr. Solonari utilized the Museum’s vast holdings from Romanian archives as well as some collections from Ukrainian archives.