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Ms. Holly Case

Yetta and Jacob Gelman Fellow
"The Events of WWII and the Holocaust in History and Memory: A Case Study on the Northern Translvanian Town of Kolozsvar/Cluj"

Professional Background

Ms. Holly Case received an M.A. in history from Stanford University and a B.A. in European studies from Mount Holyoke College. During her fellowship at the Museum, she was a Ph.D. candidate in history and humanities at Stanford University. For her Yetta and Jacob Gelman Fellowship, Ms. Case conducted research for her project “The Events of WWII and the Holocaust in History and Memory: A Case Study on the Northern Translvanian Town of Kolozsvar/Cluj.”

As an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke, Ms. Case studied Polish at the Uniwersytet Jagiellonski in Krakow, Poland and Hungarian at Jozsef Attila Tudomanyegyetem in Szeged, Hungary. She received two fellowships to undertake this language study, one from the National Security Education Program and the other from the Frederick and Elsa Sell Foundation. During her studies in Poland and Hungary, Ms. Case wrote a prize winning paper comparing the literature of Slawomir Mrozek and Peter Esterhazy. In August 1997, she was awarded a Fulbright Foundation Fellowship for study and research in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The result of this research was a scholarly article, “Slovene Self Perception through the Slovene and German Language Press, 1848,” Historicni Seminar (Ljubljana, 2000). Ms. Case has skills in several languages: German, Hungarian, Slovene, Romanian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Czech, Russian, and Yiddish.

Fellowship Research

During her tenure at the Museum, Ms. Case researched wartime inter-ethnic relations among the Hungarians, Romanians, Germans, Jews and Roma who were living in the Hungarian provincial capital of Kolozsvar/Cluj. Prior to August 1940 and throughout the interwar period the capital was in Romanian hands. Ms. Case studied the diverse memories of the Second World War and the Holocaust in Kolozsvar from three levels: the nationalistic interpretations; the primary or archival-based view; and the view of eyewitnesses and survivor testimonies. Ms. Case closely examined the rescue of Hungarian Jews by the town’s rabbi and his Hungarian ally, Raoul Sorban. She utilized several of the Museum’s archival collections including the Randolph Braham collection, documents from the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Romanian Ministry on National Defense, the Federation of Jewish Communities from the Socialist Republic of Romania as well as numerous oral and written testimonies.

Ms. Case was in residence at the Mandel Center from February 1 to May 30, 2003.