Holocaust in Eastern Europe: Historiography, Archives Resources and Remembrance

Adina Babeş, Ana Bărbulescu (Eds.)

by Adina Babeş ("Elie Wiesel’ National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania, Romania), Veerle Vanden Dealen , Dorien Styven , Charlotte Hauwaert , Giles Bennet , Attila Gidó (Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities, Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Ionuț Biliuță (Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania), Alona Bidenko (Uppsala University, Sweden), László Bernát Veszprémy (Veritas Research Institute, Hungary), Iryna Radchenko (‘Tkuma’ Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies, Dnipro, Ukraine), Iemima Daniela Ploscariu (Dublin City University, Ireland), Daniela Ozacky-Stern (University of Haifa/Moreshet Archive, Israel), Petre Matei

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The authors of "Holocaust in Eastern Europe: Historiography, Archives Resources and Remembrance," Adina Babeş and Ana Bărbulescu, are two outstanding young researchers who work for the "Elie Wiesel" National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. It is important to emphasize that the Holocaust in Romania is divided into two parts: the Holocaust perpetrated by Romanian authorities within Romania's present-day borders (minus Northern Transylvania), Bukovina, Bessarabia, and Transnistria and the Holocaust perpetrated by Hungarian and German authorities in Northern Transylvania.

Their book has three parts:

- Part I deals Romanian post-communist archival resources and gives a good, solid description of archival sources relating to the Holocaust as well as emphasizes the total lack of access to Holocaust-related archives during the communist period. The chapter on Holocaust-related archival sources in EHRI is, however, less convincing and perhaps too sketchy.

- Part II focuses on recording discrimination, destruction, and rescue efforts. It is interesting and sheds new light on the persecution of neo-Protestant churches during the Antonescu regime as well as the participation of international charitable organizations in the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust.

- Part III address the aftermath of the Holocaust, providing fascinating chapters about the remembrance of the destruction of Roma during World War II and the post-communist politics of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which basically kept their Holocaust-related records completely sealed.

In conclusion, the volume "Holocaust in Eastern Europe: Historiography, Archives Resources and Remembrance" is an interesting and solid collection of articles, most of which shed new light on the history and historiography of the Holocaust in Europe.

Radu Ioanid,
Historian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The studies and documents available in this field are of great interest to archivists, researchers, historians, and also to a wider audience. For many decades, the Holocaust in Eastern Europe lacked the required introspection, research and study, and most importantly the access to archives and documentation. Only in recent years and with the significant help of an emerging generation of local scholars, the Holocaust from this region became the focus of many studies.
In 2018, under EHRI umbrella, the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania organized a workshop dedicated to Holocaust research, education and remembrance in Eastern Europe. The present manuscript proposal is a natural continuation of the above-mentioned workshop with the aim of introducing to different categories of scholars in the field of Holocaust studies, to students and why not to the general public, the current state of Holocaust research in the region. Our scope, not an exhaustive one, is to present a historical contextualization using archival resources, to display the variety of recordings of discrimination, destruction and rescue efforts, and to introduce the remembrance initiatives and processes developed in the region in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

List of abreviations

Introductory remarks

Part I. Archival resources in different historical contexts
1. The Holocaust under Romanian authority. Archival resources and historiography

2. Archival sources on the Northern Transylvanian Holocaust

3. Archival curation of Holocaust sources and Holocaust research. Findings of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure

Part II. Recording discrimination, destruction, and rescue efforts
1. Surviving and commemorating: original Jewish documents preserved in Moreshet Archives

2. Neo-Protestants and the Holocaust: reconstructing the history of interethnic religious communities targeted by Antonescu

3. International charities’ aid and rescue operations in Transnistria during the Holocaust

4. “Zionist rescue was definitely an inter-organizational project”. New aspects of the Kasztner-train

Part III. Holocaust aftermath: remembrance initiatives
1. Politics and Holocaust remembrance: the pursuit of Ukrainian national identity

2. Perceptions on the Roma Holocaust in postcommunist Romania: patterns of memory and identity

3. Taking the archives out of Holocaust research: the case of the Orthodox perpetrators in contemporary Romania


Adina Babeş is a senior researcher at the ‘Elie Wiesel’ National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania, and she holds a Ph.D. in Political Sciences from National School of Political Studies and Public Administration of Bucharest. She is presently working on European Holocaust Research Infrastructure with Horizon 2020– EU funds. Adina Babeş has authored several articles and research studies published in volumes and academic journals and presented scientific papers at conferences, seminars, and roundtables. Previously, she held the position of associated lecturer at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration of Bucharest.

Ana Bărbulescu, Ph.D. in sociology, researcher at the INSHR-EW, associate professor at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Department of Jewish Studies. She has published numerous studies in the field of antisemitism, nationalism, xenophobia, negationism. She is the author of Evreul înainte şi după Cristos (Curtea Vechea, 2016) and co-editor, together with Alexandru Florian, of Munca forţată a evreilor din România (Polirom, 2013).

Holocaust, Modern history, Eastern Europe, Romania, Bukovina, Bessarabia, Transnistria, Hungary, Northern Transylvania, Israel, Jews, Roma, Neo-protestants, Archives, Oral history, Memory, Commemorating, Remembrance, Orthodox Church, Charitable organizations, Jewish Question, Zionism

Vernon Series in World History
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