One-Day Symposium, November 6, 2003
Masses of rich archival material that have become available since the dissolution of the Soviet Union have provided new insight into previously under-researched aspects of the Holocaust on Soviet territory. In this symposium, scholars discuss the initial effects of the Nazi occupation on Jewish communities; the centralized and local initiatives that culminated in the mass murder of Soviet Jewry; the murder, mass starvation, and forced labor of Soviet prisoners of war; the participation of Jews in the Soviet war effort; and the impact of the Holocaust on the postwar Soviet Union.
This symposium is made possible by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.
Paul A. Shapiro, Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)
- Paul A. Shapiro is Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM. He served earlier as Assistant to the Museum Director for Special Projects. Before joining the Museum, Mr. Shapiro was involved for over a decade in the development of the Museum’s archival collections. A specialist in the Holocaust in Romania and a former editor of the Journal of International Affairs (New York) and Problems of Communism (Washington), Mr. Shapiro holds degrees in government, international affairs, and history from Harvard University and Columbia University.
Session I: World War II and The Final Solution
Chair—Robert M. Ehrenreich, Director, University Programs, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Volhynian Jews under Polish Rule and Triple Occupation, 1939–1944—Timothy Snyder, Assistant Professor of History, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
- Timothy Snyder is Assistant Professor of History, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. He is author of Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz, 1872–1905 (1997) and The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569–1999 (2003).
Regional Features of the Holocaust in Ukraine: A Case Study of the Generalbezirk Zhytomyr, 1941–1944—Wendy Lower, Director,Visiting Scholars Program, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
- Wendy Lower is Director of the Visiting Scholars Program in the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. A scholar of the Holocaust in Ukraine, she is currently working on a book manuscript entitled "Nazi Colonial Dreams: War, Genocide and Society in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, 1941–1944."
On the Front Lines: Soviet Jewish Photojournalists Confront World War II and the Holocaust—David Shneer, Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Assistant Professor of History, University of Denver, Colorado, and 2004 Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
- David Shneer is Director, Center for Judaic Studies, and Assistant Professor of History, University of Denver, Colorado, and 2004 Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM. He is author of Yiddish and the Creation of Soviet Jewish Culture (forthcoming) and Dismantling Diaspora: Jews in a Global World, with Caryn Aviv (forthcoming).
Session II: Ghettos
Chair—Geoffrey Megargee, Research Scholar, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Ghettos in the Occupied Soviet Union: The Nazi "System" and the Jewish Perspective as Recorded in the Yizkor Bikher—Martin Dean, Research Scholar, and Andrew Koss, Research Assistant, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
- Martin C. Dean is a Research Scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), and author of Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941–1944 (2000), published in association with the USHMM. He is coordinating the preparation of German-Administered Ghettos, which is volume two of the Center’s Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos in Nazi Germany and Nazi-Dominated Territories, 1933–1945, a project supported by the Helen Bader Foundation.
Ghettos in Gomel Oblast, Belorussia: Commonalities and Unique Features—Leonid Smilovitsky, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of the Humanities,Tel Aviv University, Israel
- Leonid Smilovitsky is Fellow of the Yoran-Sznycer Research Foundation in Jewish History and Researcher at the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel. He is author of numerous books on the history of Belarus Jewry, including Jews in Belarus: From Our Common History, 1905–1953 (1999), Holocaust in Belarus, 1941–1944 (2000), and Jewish National and Religious Life in Belarus, 1944–1953 (forthcoming).
Jews and Belorussians against the German Occupation:The Minsk Ghetto Underground, 1943—Barbara Epstein, Professor of the History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Barbara Epstein is Professor of the History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz. Her works include Political Protest and Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the 1970s and 1980s (1991). She is currently preparing a monograph on Jewish underground movements in the ghettos of the occupied east during World War II.
Session III: The Fate of Jewish and Gentile Soviet Soldiers
Chair—Vadim Altskan, Program Coordinator, International Archival Program, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Memory Confronts “History”: Oral Histories of Soviet Jewish War Veterans—Zvi Y. Gitelman, Professor of Political Science and Preston R.Tisch Professor of Judaic Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- Zvi Y. Gitelman is Professor of Political Science, Preston R. Tisch Professor of Judaic Studies, and former Director of the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Professor Gitelman is author of numerous works on the Soviet Union and Soviet Jewry, including A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present (1988, 2001) and Bitter Legacy: Confronting the Holocaust in the Soviet Union (1997). Among his recently published books are The Emergence of Modern Jewish Politics: Bundism and Zionism in Eastern Europe (2003) and Jewish Life after the USSR (2003). He is editor and contributor to New Jewish Identities: Contemporary Europe and Beyond (2003).
The Fate of Soviet POWs—Reinhard Otto, Director of the Memorial at Former Soviet Prisoner-of-War Camp 326 (Dokumentationsstätte Stalag 326), Senne, Germany
- Reinhard Otto is Director of the Memorial at Former Soviet Prisoner-of-War Camp 326 (Dokumentationsstätte Stalag 326), Senne, Germany, and scientific director of the German-Belorussian project to settle the fate of Soviet prisoners of war. He is author of Prisoner-of-War Camp 326-VI K in Senne, 1941–1945: Soviet Prisoners of War as Victims of the National Socialist Ideological War, with Karl Hueser (1992), and German Armed Forces, Secret State Police and Soviet Prisoners of War in Greater Germany, 1941–1942 (1998).
The Soviet Union Postwar: The Impact of the Holocaust and the Fate of Survivors—Amir Weiner, Associate Professor of History, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
- Amir Weiner is Associate Professor of History, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Author of Making Sense of War: The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution (2001) and editor of Landscaping the Human Garden: 20th Century Population Management in a Comparative Framework (2003), he is currently completing a monograph titled WildWest, Window to the West: Russia’s Western Frontier, 1939 to Present.
Robert E. Weinberg, Professor of History, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania
- Robert E. Weinberg is Professor of History, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. He is author of Stalin’s Forgotten Zion: Birobidzhan and the Making of a Soviet Jewish Homeland (1998) and The Revolution of 1905 in Odessa: Blood on the Steps (1993).
- Occasional Paper: The Holocaust in the Soviet Union. 2005 (PDF)