05 August 2019

The "Jewish Question" in Romanian Military Documents. 1941-1944 • "Chestiunea evreiască" în documente militare române. 1941-1944

Michelle Mazel: "It is doubtful whether there would have been a significant change in Rumanian public opinion had it not been for the country's earnest wish to join the European Union. Because of their EU candidacy the country's rulers reluctantly came to the conclusion that Rumania would have to make a more thorough investigation of what happened to the Jews and even open its archives to foreign researchers. …"

Courtesy: Elena Dagan on Academia

14 July 2019

Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine

UNC PRESS: "On 16 July 1941, Adolf Hitler convened top Nazi leaders at his headquarters in East Prussia to dictate how they would rule the newly occupied eastern territories. Ukraine, the 'jewel' in the Nazi empire, would become a German colony administered by Heinrich Himmler's SS and police, Hermann Göring's economic plunderers, and a host of other satraps. Focusing on the Zhytomyr region and weaving together official German wartime records, diaries, memoirs, and personal interviews, Wendy Lower provides the most complete assessment available of German colonization and the Holocaust in Ukraine. Midlevel 'managers,' Lower demonstrates, played major roles in mass murder, and locals willingly participated in violence and theft. Lower puts names and faces to local perpetrators, bystanders, beneficiaries, as well as resisters. She argues that Nazi actions in the region evolved from imperial arrogance and ambition; hatred of Jews, Slavs, and Communists; careerism and pragmatism; greed and fear. In her analysis of the murderous implementation of Nazi 'race' and population policy in Zhytomyr, Lower shifts scholarly attention from Germany itself to the eastern outposts of the Reich, where the regime truly revealed its core beliefs, aims, and practices."

Courtesy: The University of North Carolina Press

30 June 2019

Nostallergie - Die Czernowitzer Inkongruenzkompensationskompetenz • Nostallergy - The Czernowitzer Incongruence Compensation Competence

Martin A. Hainz: Czernowitz in retrospect: urban legend and legend of the urban. This was said to be exemplary there, as well as an ironically fractured enlightenment and, finally, multiculturalism. The most diverse ethnic groups, conceptions of life and speech communities lived together in harmony. Who says that and why? Is this to be the first story that was told sine ira et studio? This is to be answered in this paper as well as the question what Czernowitz has been. In order to do so, the author draws upon diverse readings such as Paul Celan‘s.

Courtesy: Center for Area Studies • Freie Universität Berlin / Kakanien Revisited

30 May 2019

Obsesia incertitudinii • The Obsession of Uncertainty


New York Insititute for the Humanities (NYIH): Norman Manea is a Romanian writer, living in New York City. His writing comprises novels, essays, short prose and his topic is, mainly, the individual destiny in extreme situations (holocaust, communist dictatorship, exile). Norman Manea received important Romanian, American and European cultural distinctions. He is the Laureate of the Romanian National Prize for Literature and is the first Romanian writer to be granted the American McArthur Fellowship, as well as the Italian international Nonino Prize, the French Medicis Etranger Prize, the German Nelly Sachs Prize, the Spanish Palau Fabre Prize. Member of the Berlin Academy of Art and of the Royal Society of Literature in Great Britain, he was decorated by the French government with the title of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He seems to be the Romanian writer mostly honored ever, outside his homeland. At the celebration of his 75th birthday at Bard College and at the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York writers, scholars and publishers from several countries debated and praised the literary originality and the moral core of his creativity. At this occasion, was published in Romanian and English the festive book In Honorem Norman Manea: Obsesia Incertitudinii - The Obsession Of Uncertainty, Polirom, Romania, 2011, with important literary contributors (Philip Roth, Claudio Magris, Antonio Tabucchi, Antonio Munoz Molina etc.). Numerous reviews, studies, essays on his work can be found in the main newspapers and cultural magazines in the USA, Romania, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and other countries were his writing was published. The Polirom Publishing House in Romania started a series of 25 volumes of his work, from which 17 have already appeared. The Swedish press in 2012 and the French press in 2013 reiterated Norman Manea's status as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature. In 2013, the Romanian Writers Union proposed his name as a Nobel candidate, as did – in previous years – the Romanian and Swedish PEN and several scholars in Romanian literature. In 2014, the Romanian PEN reiterated this proposal.

Courtesy: Polirom

26 April 2019

Bucureștii pe care nu i-am cunoscut • Bucharest Uncovered


esa Earth Watching: Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania and a primate city, located in the southeast of the country, lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 70 km north of the Danube River. Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459. It became the capital of Romania in 1862 and is the centre of Romanian media, culture and art. Its architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical), interbellum (Bauhaus and art deco), communist-era and modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the city's elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris". Although buildings and districts in the historic city centre were heavily damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, and above all Nicolae Ceauşescu's program of systematisation, many survived. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom.

04 March 2019

Czernowitz: Jüdische Stadt deutscher Sprache • Jewish City of German Language


Friedrich J. Ortwein: "Up until now, I was profoundly convinced, that the love and the devotion of the citizens of Cologne to their home town, the antique CCAA (Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium), one of the Daughters of Rome and free imperial city, cannot be exceeded by anybody in the world. But during the travel preparations for our journey to Galicia and Bukovina, when I came across the website of the Jews expelled from CZERNOWITZ, I had to reverse: The children and grandchildren of Czernowitzers, together with a few Holocaust survivors, have created a website containing a huge data volume and so they emphasize in an unique and inimitable way their love for the home country of their ancestors.

Forum members from all over the world, from the Americas, from Australia and South Africa, from Israel and Europe analyze, comment and swap ideas on events, research their genealogical roots, discuss and value rediscovered archival materials, enjoy old and new photos, exchange holiday and birthday wishes and all this happens in English with embedded German, Yiddish and Hebrew particles."

Courtesy: Friedrich J. Ortwein

28 February 2019

Forced and Slave Labor in Nazi-Dominated Europe


Paul A. Shapiro, USHMM: "Civilians, including concentration camp prisoners, deportees, foreign nationals, and Jews, as well as prisoners of war were forced into the sprawling forced and slave labor system that encompassed Europe and supported the war efforts of the Nazi regime and Germany’s Axis allies. Forced and slave labor was used in road-building and defense works; the chemical, construction, metal, mining, and munitions industries; in agriculture; at installations working at the highest levels of technology; and to perform menial tasks. Such labor was integral to concentration camps and their sub-camps, farms, ghettos, labor battalions, church institutions, prisoner-of-war camps, and private industries in Germany, other Axis countries, and Axis-occupied territories east and west. […] The uniquely compelling nature of survivor memory was underscored in William Rosenzweig’s account of his deportation east from his native Czernowitz, Romania, and his slave labor experiences in Romanian-occupied Transnistria. The final session 'Forced and Slave Labor Across Europe', began with Andrej Angrick’s (institution, place) discussion of the use of SS-assigned slave labor in the construction of DG-IV, a main transit road built by the Germans and essential to their assault on Stalingrad and the Caucasus."

Courtesy: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum