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Dr. Lev Simkin
2011-2012 Diane and Howard Wohl Fellow

"Collaborators: Soviet Trials of Accomplices in the Killings of Jews"

Professional Background

Dr. Lev Simkin is a professor at the Russian State Institute of Intellectual Property in Moscow, Russia. He received a doctorate of juridical sciences from Moscow State University and a PhD from the Soviet Union Institute of Soviet Legislation. For his Diane and Howard Wohl Fellowship, he conducted research for his project “Collaborators: Soviet Trials of Accomplices in the Killings of Jews.”

Dr. Simkin has held a number of public and academic posts in Russia. He has worked for the Ministry of Justice and is a member of several committees, including the Intellectual Property Committee of the Russian Chamber of Commerce, the Expert Council of the Culture Committee of the Russian State Duma, and the Arbitration Court of the Russian Chamber of Commerce. Awarded the title of Honorable Advocate of Russia, he received the Federal Bar Association Medal for distinguished human rights service, the Russian Internet Award in the Intellectual Property Protection category, and the Award for Expert Assistance and Personal Contribution to the Campaign for Public Legal Education in Russian Mass Media from the Russian Fund of Legal Reforms. In 2009 he was the Galina Starovoitova Fellow on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute.

He has presented on his work about religious freedom, legal systems, and democracy at conferences in the United States and Europe and has written numerous articles and books on intellectual property and religious-state relations in Russia, including “Istoki Russkogo Protestantizma: istoricheskie miniatyury” (“Beginnings of Russian Protestantism: Historic Miniatures,” Religion and Law, #2, 2010); “Der Einfluss der Weltreligionen auf die Rechtssysteme der Laender” (Schriften der Rechtsanwaltskammer Frankfurt am Main, 2009); and “Rulings of European Courts” (Religion and Law, #3, 2007). He has language skills in Russian and English.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Center, Dr. Simkin constructed a general picture of collaboration in Soviet territory during World War II based upon court materials from the trials begun in 1942 of Soviet collaborators for war crimes committed against Jews in Soviet territory. His research provides a historical and legal analysis of these cases with regard specifically to war crimes committed against Jews, which has never been done before.

In order to complete this research, he utilized the Museum’s copies of materials relating to these trials, especially the records of the Federal Security Services (formerly the KGB) of the Russian Federation. At the Museum, Dr. Simkin also used oral history transcripts from the Jewish Fates-Ukraine 20th Century project, as well as World War II veteran testimony and other documents relating to the Jewish experience during the war.

Dr. Simkin was in residency at the Mandel Center from March 1 to May 30, 2012.