The Holocaust in Rostov-on-Don: Official Russian Holocaust remembrance versus a local case study
thesisposted on 11.04.2016, 13:33 by Christina Winkler
This thesis provides a complex and in-depth analysis of Russian Holocaust remembrance on the level of memory politics and its manifestations that is contrasted with a local case study on Rostov-on-Don using oral history interviews and archive research. In a first step the thesis delivers an analysis of the Russian post-Soviet public treatment of the Holocaust and what share remembrance of the katastrofa has within remembrance of World War II in Russia. Drawing on approaches from Halbwachs, Assmann and Welzer on communicative and multigenerational memory research as well as historical studies it is furthermore demonstrated how the largest mass killing of Jews on Russian territory is remembered by different generations of Rostovians today and how this private representation of World War II and the Holocaust contrasts with public forms of remembrance. Above all, the thesis provides new facts about the Holocaust in Rostov-on-Don by introducing previously unexamined eyewitness accounts. In doing so, the thesis illustrates that a tradition of privileging perpetrator sources in previous western studies has worked to the detriment of research on the events in occupied Rostov, for which we have relatively more first-hand testimony. The thesis thereby adds an important contribution to the discourse surrounding the blank spots in the Russian memory of World War II.