Annual Rabin/Brill Lecture:
“Neighbors in Difficult Times: Jews and Gentiles in the Borderlands of the Soviet Union and Romania during the Holocaust”
Thursday, April 8th, 12:30-2:00 pm | Register here
In this lecture, Dr. Diana Dumitru will explore differences between how civilians treated the Jewish populations of Romania and the occupied Soviet Union during the Holocaust. Contrary to most accounts that describe gentile behavior in Eastern Europe as almost uniformly negative in their interaction with Jewish neighbors, Dr. Dumitru demonstrates that the role of governments in the lead-up to the Holocaust mattered a great deal, with more inclusive nationality policies resulting in significantly better outcomes, even in territories with a long history of antisemitism, and exclusivist nationality policies resulting in significantly worse outcomes for Jews. The lecture will discuss Soviet and Romanian nationality policies between World Wars I and II, as well as uncovering the deadly impact this had during the Holocaust. Based on original archival research and hundreds of interviews with gentiles and Jews, the results suggest that relations between ethnic groups are not fixed and destined to repeat themselves, but are instead fluid and susceptible to change over time.
Dr. Diana Dumitru is Associate Professor of History at Ion Creanga State University of Moldova. Her field of research includes the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, nationalism, and Jews under late Stalinism.