Indispensable Yet Suspect: Moldavian Jews under Late Stalinism
About the Event:
Dr. Diana Dumitru will analyze Jewish life inside the Soviet state during the first post-Holocaust decade, a period heretofore often viewed predominantly through the lens of Stalin’s terror and marginalization. She will demonstrate that developments in Soviet Moldavia, which had been part of interwar Romania, followed a different trajectory from those in the center. Local expediencies, derived from the needs of a newly Sovietizing territory with “suspect” locals, encouraged the professional advancement of ethnic Jews to positions of power and prestige previously unmatched in this region. The lecture will also examine key postwar issues agenda for many local Jews, namely the return of stolen property, revenge against perpetrators of the Holocaust, and combating renewed antisemitism. Dr. Dumitru will highlight the impact of the legacies of the Romanian era within this region and the resulting difficulties the population faced in adjusting to Stalinist policies and practices.
About the Speaker:
Diana Dumitru is the Visiting Ion Raţiu Chair of Romanian Studies at Georgetown University. Her field of research includes the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, nationalism, and Jews under late Stalinism. Dr. Dumitru has held multiple fellowships that include a Woodrow Wilson Center’s Fellowship (USA), Gerda Henkel Stiftung Fellowship (Germany), Simone Wiesenthal Institute Visiting Researcher (Austria), and the Rosenzweig Family Fellowship for research at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USA). She has authored over forty academic articles and two books. Her second book, The State, Antisemitism and Collaboration in the Holocaust: The Borderlands of Romania and the Soviet Union, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. Together with Chad Bryant and Kateřina Čapková, she is currently working on a book titled “The Trial that Shook the World: The Slánský Process and the Dynamics of Czechoslovak Communism.” She is also writing a separate book focused on Jewish life in the Soviet Union after World War II. Dr. Dumitru is an editorial board member of the scholarly journals Holocaust and Genocide Studies, East European Jewish Affairs, and Journal of Genocide Research. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the EU-funded European Holocaust Research Infrastructure.
Georgetown University is a fully vaccinated campus. We encourage guests to wear masks during the lecture.
This event is sponsored by Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES) and by the Ion Raţiu Chair of Romanian Studies.