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International Workshop: Soviet Partisans and the Holocaust – New Research and New Approaches (January 13 – 14)

The Center for Research on the History of Soviet Jewry during the Holocaust located at Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research will hold an international workshop on the topic "Soviet Partisans and the Holocaust – New Research and New Approaches." The workshop will take place in Israel at Yad Vashem. The Workshop is being organized with the generous support of the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the European Jewish Fond, and the Gutwirth Family Fund

Many Jews who survived on Nazi-occupied territories of the USSR (within its borders of June 22, 1941) participated in the partisan movement. Therefore, the topic of Jewish partisans in these regions is directly connected with the attitudes toward Jews of the local population and of the partisan leadership and to the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis and their local collaborators.

The sources for studying this topic have expanded greatly in recent years. New documents from archives of the former Soviet Union (reports, official correspondence, and personal wartime writings) have become available and previously unpublished memoirs have appeared. The number of works about the partisan movement in general has also increased, including reassessments of its activities and achievements. This enables researchers to look at the topic of Jews, partisans, and the Holocaust afresh, within the framework of new general historical approaches to the war, the partisan movement, and inter-ethnic relations.

Goals of the Workshop:

This workshop is intended to provide a forum to discuss a number of questions related to the fate of the Jews and the partisan movement: 1) the general military and political aims of the partisans and the problem of saving Jewish lives; 2) ethnic, social, and gender issues in the partisan movement and their relation to the fate of Jews; 3) forms of self-organization of Jews in partisan units; 4) relations between partisans, Jews, and collaborators; 5) Soviet wartime propaganda about the partisan movement and the fate of the Jews; 6) the image of the non-Jew in writings by Jewish partisans and the image of the Jew and attitudes toward the Holocaust in writings of non-Jewish partisans; 7) the image of Jewish participation in the partisan movement in German and collaborationist propaganda and internal correspondence as a pretext for the annihilation of the Jewish population; 8) the partisan experience in post-war Jewish writings and its place in Holocaust historiography.


All speakers should present a summary of their research findings. Presenters have 30 minutes to raise their most important questions, present their project, talk about their sources, introduce methodological problems encountered during their work, etc. Each presentation will be followed by a 30-minute discussion period.

Preparation Prior to Workshop and Presentation

We would like to receive the proposal for your presentation by October 20, 2013. The decision about the participants chosen will be made by November 1.

We would appreciate it if those who will be participating in the workshop send, by January 1, 2014 a paper of 15-20 pages in English, as well as some documents or parts of documents – in the original languages – that they are planning to present. We will send this material to the other participants a week before the workshop.

Accommodation and food will be covered by the organizers of the workshop. The Research Institute is pleased to be able to offer travel funding support for some conference participants. However, the Institute does not have the resources to offer support to every participant. Therefore we are asking all participants to first seek travel funding from their home university or institution. Those who are unable to secure funding for their flight expenses should contact Dr. Arkadi Zeltser as the number of travel grants is limited..

All applicants please to send the following materials:

· Completed application form

· One-page abstract of your proposed paper including title

· A curriculum vitae with list of publications

· For doctoral students: a one-page description of your doctoral thesis


Dr. Arkadi Zeltser

Director of the Center for the Study of the History of Soviet Jews during the Holocaust

The International Institute for Holocaust Research

Yad Vashem


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