2008–09 Pinchas and Mark Wisen Fellow Dr. Vladimir Solonari
Vladimir Solonari received a Ph.D. in history at Moscow State University in Russia and a B.A. cum laude in history at Moldova State University in Chisinau. During his tenure at the Museum, he was Assistant Professor of history at the University of Central Florida. For his Pinchas and Mark Wisen Fellowship, Professor Solonari conducted research for his project, “Gentiles and Jews in Transnistria, 1941-1944.”
Dr. Solonari’s publications include, Purifying the Nation: Population Exchange and Ethnic Cleansing in World War II Romania (Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press), which was forthcoming at the time of his tenure, as well as a number of articles including, “Etnicheskaia chistka ili bor’ba s prestupnost’iu? Deportatsiia rumynskikh tsygan v Transnitriiu” [Ethnic Cleansing or Crime Prevention?: Deportation of Romanian Gypsies in Transnistria], in Golokost i suchastnist [Holocaust and Modernity] (Kyiv, Ukraine), 2008, no. 1 (3): 65-87; “Patterns of Violence: The Local Population and the Mass Murder of Jews in Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, July-August 1941,” in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 8 no. 4 (2007): 749-787; “An Important New Document on Romanian Policy of Ethnic Cleansing during World War II,” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 21 no. 2 (2007): 268-297; and “‘Model Province’: Explaining the Holocaust of Bessarabian and Bukovinian Jewry,” in Nationalities Papers 34, no. 4 (2006): 471-500. Dr. Solonari is the recipient of many awards, including a University of Central Florida In-House Research Grant to support archival research in Romania, the 2002-2003 Rosenzweig Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship from the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. He is fluent in Russian and Romanian, and is proficient in French, Ukrainian, German, Bulgarian, and Macedonian.
During his tenure at the Center, Dr. Solonari reconstructed Gentile-Jewish relations in Transnistria under Romanian occupation. Many ethnic undesirables were removed to Transnistria and it quickly became the site for the worst atrocities against Jews in Romania. Jews in concentration camps were tortured and murdered, as were local Jews beginning in 1941 when the Romanian and German armies conquered the land from the Soviet Union. Dr. Solonari examined the relationship between local Gentiles – Ukrainians, Russians and Germans – and the Jewish deportees using Romanian and Soviet sources. His project contributes to the scholarship of both Transnistria and Gentile-Jewish relations in WWII. He used the Museum’s oral histories and its many archival collections, including the Odessa regional archive, among others, to complete his research.