Washington University in St. Louis
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
My book, "Pioneers and Partisans: An Oral History of Nazi Genocide in Belorussia," analyzes how the first generation of Soviet Jews experienced the Nazi genocide and how they remember it in a context of social change. Based on oral histories, video testimonies, and memoirs produced in the former Soviet Union, I show that the young Soviet Jews’ struggle for survival, and its memory, was shaped by interethnic relationships within the occupied society, German annihilation policy, and Soviet efforts to construct a patriotic unity of the Soviet population.
I elaborate this point by showing the significance of individual and collective efforts and reproductive labor for the struggle for survival, in hiding places and partisan formations, and how these efforts were subsequently erased in the construction of the Soviet war portrayal.
The work is part of a growing attention to the Nazi genocide in the occupied Soviet territories and the social dynamics associated with war and genocide. Foregrounding questions of identity and memory, the book contributes to understanding the problems and strategies of minority and displaced groups to attain social inclusion.
An ongoing research project looks at the long aftermath of the Nazi genocide in Belarus. In particular, I am interested in how people remember and live with the effects and repercussions of systematic violence. I try to account for the shared suffering of Jews and non-Jews during the German occupation, and for a mass murder that, in part, relied on local participation. I have been working in local archives, interviewed survivors and current residents, and explored local sites of persecution to understand, how communities, which in some cases lost more than half of their population, rebuilt life after genocide and remember the dead, or why some victims are intensely forgotten.
Pioneers and Partisans: An Oral History of Nazi Genocide in Belorussia (Oxford University Press, 2015).
Jüdische Partisaninnen. Der verschwiegene Widerstand in der Sowjetunion (Berlin: Dietz, 2007)
Migration and Mobility in the Modern Age: Refugees, Travelers, and Traffickers in Europe and Eurasia. Ed. by Anika Walke, Jan Musekamp, and Nicole Svobodny (Indiana University Press, 2017 [in press])
“Jewish Youth in the Minsk Ghetto: How Age and Gender Mattered,” Kritika–Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 15, no. 3 (2014): 1-28.
“Memories of an Unfulfilled Promise: Internationalism and Patriotism in Post-Soviet Oral Histories of Jewish Survivors of the Nazi genocide,” Oral History Review, 40, no 2 (2013): 271-98.
“Pamiat’, Gender, i Molchanie: Ustnaia Istoria v (Post-) Sovetskoi Rossii i Prizrachnaia Gran’ mezhdu Privatnym i Publichnym” (in Russian, Engl.: “Memory, Gender, Silence: Oral history in (Post-) Soviet Russia and the Blurry Line Between the Public and the Private”). Laboratorium: Zhurnal Sotsialnykh Issledovanii (St. Petersburg, Russia), 1 (2011): 72-95.
“Remembering and Recuperation: Memory Work in the Post-Soviet Context.” Zeitgeschichte (Vienna, Austria) 36.2 (2009): 67-87.
Recent Book Chapters
“Introduction” to Michael Kutz, If, By Miracle (The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs) (Toronto: Azrieli Foundation, 2013).
„Wir haben über dieses Thema nie gesprochen.’ Jüdischer Überlebenskampf und sowjetische Kriegserinnerung.“ Umdeuten, verschweigen, erinnern: Die späte Aufarbeitung des Holocaust in Osteuropa. Eds. Micha Brumlik and Karol Sauerland. Frankfurt/M: Campus, 2010, 25-46.
“’It wasn’t that bad in the ghetto, was it?’ – Living On in the USSR after the Nazi Genocide.” Survivors of Nazi Persecution in Europe after the Second World War: Landscapes after Battle Vol. I. Eds. Suzanne Bardgett, David Cesarani, Jessica Reinisch, and J.D. Steinert. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2010, 218-36.
Awards and Fellowships
2015 Heldt Prize of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies for Best Article in Slavic and East European Women’s Studies for “Jewish Youth in the Minsk Ghetto: How Age and Gender Mattered,” Kritika–Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 15, no. 3 (2014): 535-62.
Postdoctoral Fellowship, International and Area Studies, Washington University, 2011-2014.
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, German Historical Institute Moscow, 2013.
Chancellor’s Dissertation-Year Fellowship, UC Santa Cruz, 2010.
Thesis Fellowship of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, Paris (France), 2010.
Research Fellowship of the Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2010.
Humanities Global Outreach Fellowship, UC Santa Cruz, 2007 .
Dissertation Fellowship, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Berlin (Germany), 2006-08.
DAAD-Fellowship, research and teaching at UC Santa Cruz, 2006.
The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Junior Research Award, 2004.
DAAD-GoEast-Fellowship, research in St. Petersburg (Russia) and Minsk (Republic of Belarus), 2004 .
Courses at Washington University
HIST 333: The Holocaust: History and Memory of the Nazi Genocide.
HIST 3548: Gender, Sexuality, and Communism in 20th Century Europe.
HIST 3559: Socialist and Secular? A Social History of the Soviet Union.
HIST 3902 (IAS 390): Topics in Migration and Identity: Genocide and Migration.
IAS 129: Perspectives on Migration: History, Memory, and the Making of Modern Europe.
IAS 260: Migrations in Past and Present: An Introduction to Migration Studies.
IAS 384: Migration and Modernity: Human Mobility, Identity, and State Formation in Russia and the (former) USSR.