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The State, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust in the Soviet-Romanian Borderlands

The State, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust in the Soviet-Romanian Borderlands
170 St. George Street, JHB Room 100
Time: Mar 28th, 4:00 pm End: Mar 28th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Religion, Study of (FAS), Jewish Studies, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), 2000-
Lecture Series by Diana Dumitru, University in Moldova

The Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies presents

Dr. Marvin C. and Sharon A. Gerstein Lecture Series

1. Monday, March 28 at 4:00pm

The State, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust in the Soviet-Romanian Borderlands

In this talk, 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 treat gentile behavior 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 exclusive nationality policies resulting in significantly worse outcomes. The talk will discuss Soviet and Romanian nationality policies between World Wars I and II, as well as the uncovering the deadly impact this had during the Holocaust. Based on original archival research and hundreds of interviews with gentiles and Jews, the results suggests that relations between ethnic groups are not fixed and destined to repeat themselves, but are instead fluid and susceptible to change over time.


2. Monday, April 4 at 4:00pm

The Turning Point: The Soviet State and Its Jewry in the Aftermath of the Holocaust

Dr.Dumitru's talk will examine the perplexing trajectory of the Soviet state policies towards its Jewish population in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Both primary and secondary sources indicate a rise in both official and mass-level antisemitism in the late Stalinist period, which slowly evolved into a policy of tacit prohibition of public references to Jews, but with a creeping antisemitism. Were there any links between the physical obliteration of a significant part of Soviet Jewry during the Holocaust and the regime's demonstrated change towards this group in the post-war period? Why and how did Soviet Jewry become an "invisible group" in the postwar era? This talk will explore these questions and, more broadly, examine the impact of multiple new realities which came to bear on the lives of surviving Jews in the Soviet Union after the Second World War, including the absence of social security, state support, and new challenges for feeling and acting Jewish in the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the Holocaust.


Diana Dumitru is the 2015-16 Gerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto. She is professor at the Ion Creanga State Pedagogical University in Moldova.

This event is free and open to the public. No registration required. Limited seating. For further information, please contact the Centre for Jewish Studies at 416 978-1624


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