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VWI invites/goes to...
Anastasia Felcher: Debates on the Holocaust in Jewish Samizdat. Political Agenda, Self-Identification and Memory Work

Donnerstag, 27. April 2023, 19:00 - 21:00

Vienna Wiesenthal Institute, Research Lounge, 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor


VWI invites the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

pixabay typewriterThe lecture is an attempt to understand the interplay between uncensored media, Jewish nationalism and Holocaust remembrance under the restrictive conditions of Soviet state policy, memory politics and the cult of victory during World War II. It aims to explore the cultural afterlife of the Holocaust in the post-1945 Soviet Union as it appeared on the pages of Soviet Jewish Samizdat periodicals. These versatile clandestine periodicals unsystematically “published” non-conformist political and cultural-literary works in the Soviet Union, from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. Distributed through unofficial channels and read in secrecy, the samizdat periodicals supported the Jewish struggle to emigrate from the Soviet Union. Moreover, these texts stimulated interest in Jewish heritage and revival among Jewish readerships. By closely reading more than a hundred issues of the uncensored periodicals, this lecture intends to reveal political and memorial functions of bringing traumatic pasts to pages of clandestine texts on the Jewish subjects. By doing so, the lecture targets a better understanding of various alternative channels through which Soviet Jews had a chance to discuss the Holocaust as an integral part of their identity and their collective Jewish experience behind the Iron Curtain.

Commented by Irina Sherbakova

Anastasia Felcher is a historian and an archivist. She holds a PhD in Cultural Heritage Studies from the Scuola IMT Alti Studi Lucca (2016). She has received fellowships at several research institutions in Europe and the US. As a practitioner, she worked as a country expert for EHRI (2018-19). Since 2020, she is employed as the Slavic Archivist at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at CEU in Budapest. Anastasia has published on the heritage of minorities in pluralistic societies, Jewish heritage in the post-Holocaust age, and literature and politics in Eastern Europe.

Irina Sherbakova is a historian as well as a journalist and translator. In the late 1970s, she began compiling taped interviews of victims of Stalinism and since 1991 has been researching the archives of the KGB. Irina Sherbakova was a founding member of Memorial in 1988, the first independent, civil society organisation in the Soviet Union. Memorial is committed to shedding light on Soviet repression and the protection of human rights in Russia today. In October 2016, Memorial was placed on the list of “foreign agents” by the Russian Ministry of Justice. Irina Sherbakova has been the director of youth and education programmes, coordinated oral history projects as well as the yearly, nationwide student competition “People in History: Twentieth Century Russia.” As an author and editor, Irina Sherbakova has published numerous books on Stalinism and remembrance culture, many of which have been published in German.

Photo credit: ‘vintage typewriter, Russian alphabet’ @ Pixabay

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Das Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien (VWI) wird gefördert von:


bmbwf 179


wienkultur 179


  BKA 179