skip to Main Content

”Elie Wiesel” Institute`s Journal:
Holocaust. Studii şi cercetări, vol. VII, issue 1(8), 2015

Title: Holocaust. Studii şi cercetări, vol. VII, no. 1(8)/2015
Price: 34 lei

List of Authors

*No more than two-thirds of the authors published in the journal are from the same institution.

Adina Babeş is a researcher at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and an associated lecturer at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration of Bucharest. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Sciences and is a graduate of MA programs in Social Sciences (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel), Hebrew Culture and Civilization (University of Bucharest, Romania), and Nationalism Studies (Central European University, Hungary). She has authored articles, book reviews, and translations published in volumes and academic journals, and participated with scientific papers in conferences, seminars, and round tables.

Ana Bărbulescu is a researcher at “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and a lecturer at the University of Bucharest, Section of Jewish Studies. She is working on the collaborative project “The Reconstruction of Holocaust Public Memory in Post-Communism” and also on a project on daily life in the ghettos of Transnistria during the Holocaust. She is the author of In-group vs. Out-group in the Biblical Imaginary, Tritonic, 2004) and co-editor, with Alexandru Florian and Alexander Climescu, of Forced Labor of the Jews in Romania (Polirom, 2013). She is the recipient of the Felix Posen Doctoral Fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as of fellowships from the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School and the Foundation for the Promotion of Jewish and Israeli Culture.

Lya Benjamin holds a Ph.D. in History. She is a researcher at the Center for the Study of the History of Jews in Romania. She has authored many volumes of documents, studies, articles, and lectures regarding the Romanian Holocaust and the history of the Romanian Jews. She has taken part in international conferences in Romania, Israel, Germany, France, the United States related to the history of the Jews and the Holocaust.

Alexandru Climescu is a researcher at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science of the University of Bucharest. He is working on the collaborative project “The Reconstruction of Holocaust Public Memory in Post-Communism” and has published widely on the Holocaust in Romania and on right-wing extremism. He is co-editor, with Ana Bărbulescu and Alexandru Florian, of the volume, Forced Labor of the Jews in Romania (Polirom, 2013).

György Csepeli is a professor of Social Psychology and holds the Chair of the Interdisciplinary Social Science Research Doctoral Program at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE). He holds a doctorate from ELTE and a DSc from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and has taught at Montclair State University, Yale University, the University of Gorizia, the New School for Social Research, the University of Michigan, Oregon State University, and UCLA. Dr. Csepeli’s research interests cover areas of the social psychology of intergroup relations such as national identity, antisemitism, anti-Gypsy sentiments, and conflict resolution, and he is involved in various projects on discrimination and European identity. Most recently, Dr. Csepeli’s interests have turned towards the use of Big Data in resolving social problems, and he is currently working on a project based on the textual database of interviews with Holocaust survivors, collected by the Hungarian Jewish relief organization, National Committee for Attending Deportees (DEGOB), starting in 1945.

Laura Ioana Degeratu graduated with an MA in History at the Department of History of the University of Bucharest with a dissertation on Romanian Cinematography in the 1970s
— Means of Propaganda? Case Study: The Movie „Puterea şi adevărul“ (Power and Truth, 1972). She is currently a researcher at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. Her research interests: forced labor of the Romanian Jews during the Second World War; the ghettos in Transnistria; cinema and propaganda.

Pothiti Hantzaroula is an assistant professor of Historical Anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology and History of the University of the Aegean (Mytilene, Greece). She received her Ph.D. in 2002, from the Department of History and Civilization of the European University Institute of Florence. Her fields of research include oral history, the memory and history of the Second World War, the history and historiography of gender and sexuality, and the history of emotions. She is a founding member of the Association of Oral History in Greece and currently a vice-president of the board of administration. Dr. Hantzaroula is one of the founding editors and members of the editorial board of the journal Historian: A Review of the Past and Other Stories. Her book Sculpting Subordination: Domestic Workers in Greece in the First Half of the Twentieth Century (in Greek, Papazisis, 2012) is an oral history of paid domestic work in Greece. It was converted to a theatrical performance by the Group Casus Belli, under the title “On Subordination” in 2013. Dr. Pothiti Hantzaroula was a member of the research programme “From Between the Wars to Reconstruction (1930- 1960). The Experience of the Jews of Greece in Audio-Visual Testimony”, supervised by Henriette-Rica Benveniste (University of Thessaly) and funded by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. The research team constructed a database that gathered all the oral testimonies conducted so far with the Jews of Greece. The database can help researchers orient themselves toward the available sources.

Gergely Kunt is a social historian and lecturer at the University of Miskolc, Hungary; he teaches the social history of Hungary and East-Central Europe. His dissertation on social ideas and prejudices during World War II was based on a comparative analysis of Jewish and Christian adolescent diaries. He has been collecting privately-owned diaries and has acquired a great number of unpublished diary manuscripts from the period of the Holocaust. Kunt earned his Ph.D. in History at the University of Budapest (ELTE) in 2013.

Linda Margittai is a Ph.D. candidate in Modern History at the University of Szeged, Hungary. Her research interests include the implementation and effects of Hungary’s antisemitic laws, the involvement of non-Jews in the Aryanization of Hungary’s economy, and the social basis of the Hungarian Arrowcross Party. Her dissertation analyzes the regional characteristics of the Hungarian authorities’ anti-Jewish policy in the Southern Province (Voivodina). Ms. Margittai is a participant in the Yad Vashem Archives’ Research Group on Hungary and currently a Fellow at the Claims Conference Saul Kagan Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Studies.

Raluca Moldovan is a university lecturer at the Department of International Relations and American Studies of Babeș-Bolyai University, where she teaches American Studies and Jewish Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the same university, with a thesis entitled The Representation of the Holocaust on Film. Dr. Moldovan has published widely on film and the Holocaust, and the role of film as an educational tool for preserving the memory of historical events such as the Holocaust and is the author of Reel Trauma: The Representation of the Holocaust on Film (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012).

Liviu Neagoe has a Ph.D. in History (2013), specializing in Modern History. He was editor of the magazine Cuvântul and editorial secretary of the periodical History, Culture, and Society of the “George Bariţiu” Institute of History and is a member of the editorial board of The Journal for Democracy and Electoral Studies. He coordinated the volume Elite, Nation, and Society in Modern Romania (2012) and published the book Citizenship, Nation, and Ethnicity. A Comparative Perspective (2014).

Andreea-Iulia Olaru (Vasile) has a Ph.D. in Philology at the Department of Letters of the University of Bucharest in 2013, with the thesis titled Tales of Intercultural Communication as a Way of Life. She attended post-graduate masters in Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, and Folklore at the Department of Letters.

Gergő Prazsák is a lecturer at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and a secretary of the Interdisciplinary Social Research Doctoral Program of the Department of Social Sciences. He received his doctorate from the University of Pécs, in Philosophy, in 2009. His fields of research are the study of social networks, information society, human values, and inter-cultural communication. He won a János Bolyai scholarship from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences between 2012 and 2014, during which he analyzed the value systems of marginal groups and proved that the conflicts between the majority and minority groups were largely derived from their different value systems. Prior to pursuing his academic career, Dr. Prazsák worked in public administration for almost a decade.

Michael Shafir is Professor Emeritus at the Doctoral School of International Relations and Strategic Studies of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. Dr. Shafir is the author of three books and more than 300 articles on communist and postcommunist affairs, published in collective volumes and in professional journals in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Viktoriya Sukovataya is a Ph.D. and Doctor of Habilitation in Philosophical Anthropology, professor at the Theory of Culture and Philosophy of Science Department, Kharkiv National Karazin University, Ukraine. She has published more than 150 articles and won at least 12 individual grants, including fellowships at the Hamburg University (Germany), the Free University (Berlin), the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies (USA), The George Washington University (USA) and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (the Netherlands).

Svetlana Suveică is a researcher at the Institute of East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) in Regensburg and an associate professor at the Moldovan State University in Chişinău. She studied history in Chişinău and earned her Ph.D. in Iaşi, Romania. Dr. Suveică was a Humboldt research fellow at IOS Regensburg in 2012-2014 and a Fulbright research fellow at Stanford University in 2009-2010. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Romanian, Moldovan, and East European history and society between 1914 and 1945, and has authored two monographs and one edited volume, as well a number of publications on the transition from empires to nation-states, post-WWI order, nation-state building after WWI and WWII, post-Soviet social and political transformations. In May 2015, Dr. Suveică started a two-year research project, “Institutions in a Time of Extremes: Local Administration of Bessarabia and Transnistria in 1939-1945”, sponsored by Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Germany.

Terézia Szűcs is a literary historian, critic, and independent researcher. She gained her Ph.D. in 2009 at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Her research focuses on the literature of the Holocaust, and Romani literature. She is the author of The History of Forgetting – The Witness of the Holocaust in Literary Works (2011, published in Hungarian) and editor of Representations of Jewish Identities in Twentieth-Century Hungarian Literature (2013, published in Hungarian).

Carmen Țâgșorean is a Ph.D. candidate (Communication Studies, Babeş-Bolyai University). Main fields of interest: postwar journalism and the Holocaust in Romania; Romanian journalists of Jewish origin. She is editor-in-chief of the Romanian Journal of the History of the Press; author of several articles: “Marius Mircu’s collaboration at the newspaper The Nation”; “The image of Ana Pauker in 1947 press”, “Life on the frontline and the horrors of WWI as seen by the Romanian newspapers of Transylvania: Liberty, Awakening, and The Romanian (1914-1918)”, etc.

George Voicu is a professor at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration. He has published several books on radical political ideas and antisemitism (such as The Myth of Nae Ionescu, Antisemitic Theses in the Public Discourse, The Malevolent Gods: The Culture of Conspiracy in Post-Communist Romania, or X-Raying an Expatriation: the Case of Lazăr Șăineanu).


Adina Babeș


A long list of laws, decisions, and decrees with impact on the Jewish population of Romania has been enacted between 1940 and 1944. Moreover, brutal actions towards the Jews, violent pogroms, and significant isolations, ghettoizations, and deportations took place throughout that period. Their impact made the subject of a considerable number of researches and studies. In this study, I am particularly interested in presenting the results of research that investigated the impact on Jewish life in Bucharest and on how the Jewish community responded to all that. I am particularly interested in seeing how that is reflected in the diaries that focused on the period in question. Through their personal and informal approaches, those diaries bring to the public a complementary understanding of the topic. From bringing charity under the form of food or medical assistance to making use of their official positions and approaching the state leaders, the Jewish leaders tried to cover as much as possible from the personal to the professional life of the community members.

Keywords: Jewish life; Jewish community; Diaries; antisemitic measures and events; Pogroms; Holocaust

Laura Degeratu


Under the Romanian administration instituted in Transnistria during the years 1941-1944, most Romanian Jews were deported to ghettos and camps organized in this region. In 1942, the majority of communist Jews were detained in the Târgu-Jiu camp, and during that year they were deported to the camp in Vapniarka, situated in northern Transnistria. The present study gathers information regarding the detention regime instituted in the camp in Vapniarka. I propose a brief analysis of how the Vapniarka case remained in the memory of the surviving prisoners and in the archives.

Keywords: Transnistria; Vapniarka camp; Jews; memory; prisoners testimonies

Carmen Ţâgşorean


During World War II, Romania underwent one of its history’s most troubling times, leading to a significant decrease in numbers of a minority which had played an important role in the modernization of the country prior to these events. Specifically, I refer to the Jewish community and the Holocaust. It is our duty of honor to preserve the memory of those tragic moments: from 1941 to 1944, some of the Jewish community’s most prominent members were killed in pogroms in Bucharest, Bessarabia, and Bukovina, Iaşi, or in concentration camps in Transnistria. In Moldova’s counties, the number of those killed or deported represents a large percentage of the population (in places, the entire Jewish population was wiped out), while in Bucharest reprisals were particularly emotional, political, or economic. Here, the authorities’ official attitude on the issue triggered a series of atrocities committed against the Jews between 21 and 23 January 1941. Given the involvement of the civilian population in the looting, robberies, and acts of violence against the Jewish population, we can say without hesitation that the manipulation and propaganda conducted by the Romanian authorities and by the most influential intellectuals served their purpose really well. Information about the events in Bucharest was recorded in official documents, in the Jewish writers’ volumes, in the eyewitnesses’ testimonies, their memoirs, and press articles. The articles, from which strong antisemitism transpires, should be treated with caution. It is also necessary to take into account the censorship imposed by the authorities, characteristic of periods of military conflict, but also of totalitarian regimes. Regarding the memories, the information should be evaluated carefully, because of the emotional involvement of their authors who tend to exaggerate. This study aims at presenting the pogrom in Bucharest and analyzing how it was presented in official documents, in the volumes of the Holocaust historians, in memories, and in the central press.

Keywords: Pogrom; newspapers; Bucharest; memoirs; WWII

Gergely Kunt


This paper is an analysis of two unpublished diaries written by young Hungarian Christian women: Éva Kornássy (pseudonym — 1925) and Matild Forgács (pseudonym — 1930). I discuss Éva’s worldview, social imaginary, and internalized prejudices, that were uniquely self-reflexive compared to the views of her contemporary peers, as my comparative analysis of the diaries of Éva and Matild aims to show. As early as at age fifteen, Éva supported certain tenets of conservative feminism and her views on issues such as the oppression of women and inequality were remarkably progressive compared to those of other adolescent diary-writers. However, her internalized antisemitic prejudices greatly affected her political views and the development of her relationships until her early twenties, when Éva fell in love with a Jew and entered into a romantic relationship with him. The relationship forced Éva to reflect on her own antisemitism and recognize her internalized negative views as prejudices, that resulted in a long struggle to overcome it. Although Éva ultimately failed to overcome her antisemitic prejudices, the fact that she acknowledged them and struggled to change her views makes her case atypical among other Christian adolescent diary-writers, including Roman-Catholic Matild Forgács. Both diarists were courted by Jewish men, but Matild’s entries show a typical, unreflexive antisemitism which differs from Éva’s account.

Keywords: Hungary, antisemitism, life writing, conservative feminism, World War II.

György Csepeli, Gergő Prazsák


In the year 1944, the Hungarian Jewry became the target of the German intent of annihilation. More than 400,000 Jews living in the countryside were deported to Auschwitz and to other camps throughout Germany. 60,000 Hungarian male Jews served in the Hungarian Army as subjects of “labor service”. Most of the Jews living in Budapest survived. Right after the collapse of the Third Reich, tens of thousands of former deportees returned to Hungary. Many Jews had returned from the “labor service”. More than 100,000 survived living in Budapest. After the liberation, 6,000 survivors were interviewed orally by the interviewers recruited by the Deportáltakat Gondozó Bizottság (DEGOB). The texts of the interviews were immediately written down and archived. The texts, however, disappeared for decades. After 1989, the texts unexpectedly resurfaced and have been made available for research. Now the database formed by the digitalized texts in both Hungarian and English can be assessed on the website Three paths were identified during the Holocaust. One was the path leading to Auschwitz. The second path was the so-called “labor service”, that was established for Jewish males serving in the Hungarian Army. Most Jews living and hiding in Budapest were not deported. They survived in one of the two Budapest ghettos at the end of 1944 and in early 1945. In the presentation, we will demonstrate the different strategies of survival of those who were deported to Auschwitz, with a special emphasis on the internal and external factors hindering or facilitating the escape from annihilation.

Keywords: Discrimination; ghettoization; deportation; eyewitness report; psychological space of persecution

Svetlana Suveică


The paper deals with an under-researched topic: the behavior of the local civil administration in Transnistria in the Holocaust, during the Romanian military occupation, from 1941 to 1944. Although not directly responsible for “cleansing the terrain” of Jews, the institutions of the local administration, subordinated to the Civil Governorate of Transnistria, were expected to express loyalty and cooperated with central as well as regional civil and military authorities. The primary sources showcases of conflictual cooperation between the local institutions themselves, which were often shaped by personal conflicts between the public servants. These conflicts subsequently influenced the decisions related to the Jews. The moral and professional conduct of the public servants was often judged by the expected behavior related to the status of the Jews; the charges of having intimate relationships with Jewish women added significantly to the vulnerability of the public servants, on the one hand. On the other hand, the documents reveal the vulnerability and fragility of the life of Jewish women, who were exposed to continuous moral and physical humiliation, being often turned by public servants into tools for sexual pleasure and personal revenge.

Keywords: Transnistria; Holocaust; local administration; professional conduct; personal conflicts; Jewish women

Linda Margittai


This article discusses the shaping and implementation of the economic Aryanization policies of the Hungarian governments with regard to Northern Transylvania, a region that was re-annexed from Romania to Hungary in 1940 and remained so until the end of the Second World War. In the anti-Jewish regulations introduced from 1938 on, the Hungarian governments’ fundamental aim was to treat the symptoms of the country’s economic and social problems rather than introduce hard solutions. Thus, the goal was to reduce the “excessive” social and economic influence of the Jews by transferring properties and positions held by Jews to ethnic Hungarians. Decision-makers, however, understood that a poorly thought total Aryanization process would entail serious economic disruption. Until Nazi Germany’s occupation of Hungary in March 1944, the authorities across the country generally insisted on a relatively careful implementation of the economic Aryanization plans. In Northern Transylvania, like the other multi-ethnic borderlands Hungary re-annexed with Axis support, antisemitic Aryanization efforts took place in the context of a wholesale re-Magyarization of society and economy, that targeted both Jews and members of other ethnic minorities. In these re-annexed regions, the special administrative, political, and social conditions also allowed for harsher antisemitic initiatives than those implemented in the mother-country. This article focuses on the Hungarian governments’ plans to carry out, based on a comprehensive procedure, the so-called “vetting of business licenses”, a large-scale Aryanization/ nationalization of Northern Transylvania’s commerce and industry and discusses the economic and social constraints decision-makers faced in implementing this program. Its scope of reducing the economic share of the Jews in Northern Transylvania carried beyond the usual course of economic Aryanization in the mother-country. In these plans, the Hungarian government also targeted ethnic Romanians initially, but eventually refrained from introducing an openly anti-Romanian procedure, in order to avoid aggravating political tensions with Romania. At the same time, the government also knew that wholesale efforts to eliminate the role of the Jews would undermine the region’s economy. Decision-makers, for instance, drew lessons from the “unsuccessful” radical Aryanization experiments that had been initiated in regions re-annexed before Northern Transylvania. The liquidation of Jewish businesses in Northern Transylvania was also often stymied by a lack of competent ethnic Hungarian replacements and by the fact that the authorities did not want to strengthen the economic positions of the members of other non-Hungarian minorities.

Keywords: Hungary; Northern Transylvania; Aryanization; economic nationalization; ethnic policy

Viktoriya Sukovataya


This paper is devoted to the specifics of the Holocaust in the Ukrainian Kharkiv region (Eastern Ukraine) in comparison with the other Nazi-occupied regions of Europe. The history of the Holocaust in Kharkiv is being considered against the background of many factors which defined its particularities. They are the pre-war Jewish life in Kharkiv; the ideological status of Kharkiv in the German propaganda, as being the first capital of Soviet Ukraine; the attitude of the Nazis towards the non-Jewish ethnic and social groups of the Kharkiv population as motivation for the Holocaust in Kharkiv; the specifics of the Nazi occupation in the large Soviet cities of Eastern Ukraine. A discussion is being made on the fact that the genocide against the Jews took extremely brutal forms in Ukraine. Specific to the Holocaust in Ukraine was an interweaving of racial and ideological reasons for genocide. Soviet Jews were considered to be the racial-political enemy. The Holocaust in Eastern Europe cannot be considered as a phenomenon of Jewish history only, but at the background of the relationships between the Jews and the Slavs whose were victims of the Nazis, too; many non-Jewish people who tried to saved the Ukrainian Jews shared the “Jewish fate”.

Keywords: Holocaust; Ukrainian Jews genocide; non-Jewish victims

Raluca Moldovan


Artistic representations of the Holocaust (be they literary, visual, or cinematic) have, more often than not, stirred up controversies and provoked heated debates in the academic and non-academic circles alike. Of these kinds of representations, the cinematic ones — by virtue of the medium’s undeniable popularity — have often been at the forefront of such discussions, in which their content and mode or representation have been analyzed and scrutinized for authenticity, appropriateness, and historical accuracy. The aim of my paper is not so much that of doing a content analysis of films about the Holocaust, but rather to investigate the social and historical context in which they were made, by looking at three case studies of Central- and East-European countries: Poland, Hungary, and Romania. All three countries share similarities (the fact that they were all part of the Soviet bloc until 1989), but also notable differences: while in Poland and Hungary, popular dissent with the communist regime was more vocal and visible in the latter half of the ninth decade, the national-communist Romanian regime tried to stifle completely any form of political opposition. The legacy of the Holocaust was also dealt with differently in all three cases, a factor that undoubtedly influenced both the number and the content of films directly or indirectly representing it. My intention, therefore, is to make a comparative analysis of Holocaust representations in Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian cinema by focusing on films made both before, and after 1989, from Andrzej’s Wajda’s Samson to István Szabó’s Sunshine and from Péter Forgács’ Free Fall to Radu Gabrea’s Gruber’s Journey, with the aim of discovering whether the social and political context in which these films were made had any impact on their representation of the Holocaust and, if so, to what extent.

Keywords: Holocaust film; Central and Eastern Europe; communism

Ana Bărbulescu


Seventy-four years ago, Bessarabia, Bukovina, and Transnistria, territories under Romanian authority at the time, became the scene of mass-murders, tens of thousands of men, women, and children being killed for being Jewish. The events are well-documented by historians today, so my interest was in the reconstruction not of the historical facts, but of the social and symbolic worlds and, consequently, the parallel realms built up by the three categories of actors (perpetrators, bystanders, and victims). The approach I propose is a structuralist one, while the explanatory model I construct uses Agamben’s and Goffman’s theorizations.

Keywords: Homo sacer; sovereign ban; total institution; ritual disobedience

Terézia Szűcs


The paper seeks to explore how the memory of the Romani Holocaust is represented in two novels about the twentieth-century fate of the Roma in Hungary — The Color of Smoke (1975), by Menyhért Lakatos, and Nobody Will Pay for Jóska Átyin (1997), by Béla Osztoj- kán. Both novels perceive the event of the Holocaust as part of the long, grim history of the Hungarian Roma, a cataclysm embedded in the ongoing process of traumatizing violence and humiliation. Shifting from the event-based understanding of trauma, both narratives present the continuous state of exclusion from society. They establish a link between the Holocaust and other events of twentieth-century Hungarian history and represent the connection between the Roma and the Jewish experience of the Holocaust. Thus, these novels bear multiple witnesses: they give a testimony of racial and historical traumatization, and they speak not only for the community they chose to represent, but for the Hungarian Jewry, too, and the whole of the Hungarian society. These narratives impose a challenge as they inspire us to apply a cross-cultural, extended model of trauma.

Keywords: Roma; Holocaust; Hungarian literature; trauma

Pothiti Hantzaroula


The current study approaches the children’s experiences of the Holocaust through the use of oral testimonies of child-survivors. It explores the strategies of families confined by the extremely limited choices that existed during the introduction of anti-Jewish legislation and the implementation of the “Final Solution” in Greece and investigates the aid networks and the relationships that developed and enabled survival. The imprint of the Holocaust in memory is mediated by age and by the specific circumstances in which Jewish communities and families were caught during the war. To investigate the ways in which the experience of the Holocaust shaped post-war subjectivities, the study focuses on three age groups of child-survivors. The first age group consists of children who were born during the war. The second age group consists of children who belong to 1.5 generation, a term improvised by Susan Rubin Suleiman to designate child-survivors who were too young to have an adult understanding of what was happening to them, but old enough to remember the Nazi persecution of Jews. The third age group concerns adolescents. The article analyzes the distinct biographical histories of the above-mentioned age groups and illuminates the ways in which historical consciousness is formulated through the complex interrelationship between memory, family, and history. The transmission of family history to subsequent generations becomes a duty and a political issue, as well as a form of historical consciousness.

Keywords: Child-survivors; testimony; hidden children; Bergen-Belsen; postmemory

Michael Shafir


In the first part, this article shows that “denazification” is a legend transformed into a myth (in the Sorelian sense of this term) and reflects a clash of memories rather than a dispute among historians. The “myth as legend” undergoes a transmogrification into “myth-asaction” and is employed for the purpose of justifying calls for a “symmetric” treatment of the Gulag based on the precedent of the Holocaust, in order to bring to justice those perceived as culpable of the crimes of the former regime, as well as for lustration. The second part shows that the clash is also part and parcel of the postcommunist search for a “usable past”, entailing a pronounced subjective dimension; it also insists on the “social frameworks” of memory (Halbwachs) and on the role of “myth-providers”. The extent and, above all, the limits of denazification in postwar Germany are analyzed in the third part, while the fourth does the same for the Austrian case. The fifth part refers to the extent and the limits of the French and Italian postwar retribution of former officials of the Vichy and Mussolini regimes, the punishment of collaborators, and the “mis-memory” of their actions. In a counterfactual section, the sixth part again refers to subjectivity, presenting an imaginary postwar trial of Benito Mussolini. The concluding remarks attempt to bring some novel analytical angles based on some sociologists’ treatment of collective memory and its subjectivity.

Keywords: History; memory; denazification; Nürnberg

George Voicu


Starting from the premise that the leading Romanian public intellectuals, widely perceived as representing the very intellectual elite of the country, have a major impact on the public opinion, the present study analyzes the positions and attitudes expressed by the latter — in books, articles, interviews, statements, etc. — with regards to the Holocaust. The study finds that there is a strong connection between the many distortions in the public image over the tragedy experienced by Jews during World War II and the opinions expressed by the aforementioned intellectuals.

Keywords: Leading public intellectuals; communism; fascism; Gulag; Holocaust

Alexandru Climescu


This study addresses the cases of persons convicted of war crimes after 1945 and acquitted after 1989 by the Romanian judiciary. It will explore the judges’ and prosecutors’ depiction of criminal responsibility, their use of evidence, and their knowledge about the Holocaust. The final aim of the article is to explain the factors which made possible these acquittals and to assess their meaning for the relationships between justice, history, and memory.

Keywords: Holocaust; war criminals; post-communism; memory; trial; Romania

Lya Benjamin


Studiul de faţă prezintă particularităţile politicii antisemite a mareşalului Antonescu, politica sa de românizare şi de purificare etnică, de demonizare a populaţiei evreieşti, considerată mai periculoasă decât duşmanul extern. Această politică nu a fost impusă de al Treilea Reich, ea avea rădăcini istorice autohtone.
Keywords: Antisemitism; invazie evreiască; evreul parazit; iudeo-bolşevism; purificare etnică; omogenizare rasială

Liviu Neagoe


The radicalism of the antisemitic interwar discourse originated in the cultural paradigm of the antisemitism later nineteenth century. The ideologues of interwar antisemitism took and quoted selectively from the political and literary texts of the intellectual elite from the latter half of the nineteenth century, to justify their own radicalism and the exclusion of the Jews from Romanian culture. This paper analyzes the cultural paradigm of nineteenth-century antisemitism, focusing on a few case studies: two precursors of cultural antisemitism: historian B.P. Hasdeu and poet Vasile Alecsandri, and the cultural exclusion of philologist Lazăr Şăineanu. The three cases illustrate the relationship between Jews and Romanians as a form of adequation to a certain ethnic background. Consequently, Romanian culture was considered an identity matrix and a patrimony exclusively dedicated to the Romanians.

Keywords: Cultural antisemitism; B.P. Hasdeu; V. Alecsandri; L. Şăineanu

Andreea-Iulia Olaru (Vasile)


The subject of mental formation of an image about the Other brings together and creates a relationship between areas seemingly not in an obvious connection, such as Cultural Anthropology, Imagology, Sociology, and the area of Communication Studies. In other words, the essence of intercultural communication and research is understanding how cultures, subcultures, or, better said, groups generally communicate to others and among themselves. Because any communication is fundamentally intercultural, it means accepting the Other, understanding the cultural game differences, and different ways of thinking. Having the central focus of analysis on imagology and ethno-psychology, the theme of the research is to show how the Jewish community of Romania has built their auto-image and hetero-image in recent years. This contributes to observing the construction of identity through multiple attributions that make a differentiating picture. The study aims to show how the identity and alterity are built through images about the Self and images about the Other. This type of analysis has been applied in various ways to different ethnic or cultural communities, as members issued their own perceptions of the world and of alterity, conceptualized through images and symbols. Images about ourselves and about the others have an important role in social construction and the result of and depend on, how we relate and communicate with the Other. If the socio-mythical-economic portrait of the “Jew” has been so far widely discussed in Andrei Oişteanu’s work (2004), which is based on the stereotypical image of the Jews in European culture until the early 1970s – 1980s, this paper tries to illustrate how the image of the Romanian Jewish community is being perceived today. This research is part of a larger study dealing with life stories as means of intercultural communication and has as a central point the stories of the Shoah survivors.

Keywords: Intercultural communication; identity; auto-image; hetero-image; Romanian Jewish community

Back To Top
×Close search
Skip to content