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Dr. Michael Kraus

Dr. Michael Kraus
2017-2018 Ben and Zelda Cohen Fellow

“Digging Through the Ruins of Memory”

Professional Background

Dr. Michael Kraus is currently Frederick C. Dirks Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he is also Professor of Political Science. He holds a PhD and MA in politics from Princeton University, New Jersey, and his BA in international affairs from the University of Colorado in Boulder. As the Ben and Zelda Cohen Fellow, at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Dr. Kraus will be conducting research for his study “Digging Through the Ruins of Memory.”

Dr. Kraus is fluent in English, Russian, and Czech. He can also read German and converse and read Slovak.

Dr. Kraus’ research interests have dealt with transitional justice, the politics of memory, nationalism, Cold War, and democratization.  His publications include Irreconcilable Differences? Explaining Czechoslovakia's Dissolution (2000) and Russia and Eastern Europe After Communism: The Search for New Political, Economic and Security Systems (2003) as well as numerous book chapters and articles in the Journal of Democracy, Current History, Foreign Policy, Politique Internationale, New England Review, European Affairs, and elsewhere. His “Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes,”appeared in Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice (2013); “The Countries That Gave Me a Second Chance as a Refugee,” (2015) at the Open Society Foundations and “The Cold War in East-Central Europe, 1945-1989” in Journal of Cold War Studies (2017). He is the recipient of major national fellowships.

Fellowship Research

While in residence at the Mandel Center, Dr. Kraus conducted research on the study of his large Central European Jewish family’s war experiences and their connection with the Holocaust in the Czech Lands. Drawing on the Museum's resources and the International Tracing Service Archive, Dr. Kraus sought to trace the journey of his relatives who perished and those who were saved, in order to contribute to an understanding of how the Holocaust impacted Central European, how survivors in the Czech Lands coped with their experiences of war, and how the traumatic memory shaped subsequent generations.

Dr. Kraus was in residence at the Mandel Center until January 31, 2018.