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“Understanding Local Genocide: A Galician Town in the Time of the Holocaust”
Professor Omer Bartov
Wednesday, February 13, 7–8:30 p.m.
Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and a professor of history and of German studies at Brown University.
In his lecture, Professor Bartov will describe and analyze the mass murder of the Jewish population of Buczacz, a small town in Eastern Galicia, in 1941–44. Buczacz had been a multiethnic town for four centuries, inhabited by Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews. During the German occupation in World War II, about half of the Jewish residents were taken to extermination camps, while the other half were murdered in the town and its vicinity in what were often public acts of mass violence.
The killings were accomplished with a great deal of local collaboration, especially by Ukrainian policemen and auxiliaries. In the latter part of the occupation, Ukrainian nationalist militants violently ethnically cleansed the Polish population.
Professor Bartov will investigate why this community of coexistence was transformed into a community of genocide; to what extent this was a common phenomenon at the time in Eastern Europe; and what sources can be used to reconstruct the event and understand the motivations of the protagonists.
One of the world’s leading specialists on the subject of genocide, Professor Bartov is the author of seven books and editor of three volumes. His most recent book, Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine (2007), examines the politics of memory in Western Ukraine and the removal of both the memory and the few material remains of Jewish culture there. He is currently writing a book titled The Voice of Your Brother’s Blood: Buczacz, Biography of a Town.
The J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship, endowed by the J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Charitable Trust, enables the Center to bring a distinguished scholar to the Museum each year to conduct innovative research about the Holocaust and to disseminate this work to the public. The scholar-in-residence also leads seminars, lectures at universities in the United States, and serves as a resource for the Museum, educators, students, and the general public.
This lecture has been made possible through the generosity of the J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Charitable Trust.
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