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Annual Ion Raţiu Lecture: Two Worlds Apart: The State, Antisemitism, and th...
Wed, December 9, 2015, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
In this talk, Dr. Diana Dumitru will explore differences between how civilians treated the Jewish populations of Romania and the occupied Soviet Union during the Holocaust. Contrary to most accounts that treat gentile behavior as almost uniformly negative in their interaction with Jewish neighbors, Dr. Dumitru demonstrates that the role of governments in leading up to the Holocaust mattered a great deal, with more inclusive nationality policies resulting in significantly better outcomes, even in territories with a long history of antisemitism, and exclusive nationality policies resulting in significantly worse outcomes.
The talk will discuss Soviet and Romanian nationality policies between World Wars I and II, as well as uncover the deadly impact this had during the Holocaust. Based on original archival research and hundreds of interviews with gentiles and Jews, the results suggest that relations between ethnic groups are not fixed and destined to repeat themselves, instead fluid and susceptible to change over time.
Diana Dumitru is an Associate Professor of History at Ion Creangă State University of Moldova. Her fields of expertise include the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, Soviet history, ethnic relations, nationalism, and the politics of history. Dr. Dumitru has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants, including a Visiting Scholarship for Research at the University of Toronto’s Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (2010), a Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professional Development Award for Study and Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2009), a Gerda Henkel Stiftung Next Generations of Historians fellowship (2007-2008), an International Institute for Holocaust Research Postdoctoral Fellowship for Study and Research at Yad Vashem (2007), and the Rosenzweig Family Fellowship for research at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum from Washington D.C. (2005-2006), U.S. State Department’s JFDP Scholarship at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2003-2004).
Dr. Dumitru’s articles have been published in World Politics, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Yad Vashem Studies and Cahiers du monde russe. Her World Politics article, "Constructing Interethnic Conflict and Cooperation: Why Some People Harmed Jews and Others Helped Them during the Holocaust in Romania" received the 2012 Mary Parker Follett Award for the best article or chapter published in the field of politics and history.
About Ion Raţiu:
Ion Augustin Nicolae Raţiu was born in Transylvania in 1917 and was the son of Augustin Raţiu, a successful lawyer who became leader of the Romanian National Party. In 1940, Ion Raţiu joined Romania's Foreign Service and went to London as a chancellor at the Romanian Legation. Later that year, Romania's decision to align with the Axis powers appalled Raţiu, who resigned his post and obtained political asylum in Britain.
In exile in London after the Communist takeover of Romania in 1946, Raţiu threw himself into the struggle against communism, becoming a regular contributor to the Romanian Service of the BBC, Radio Free Europe, and Voice of America. In 1957, his book Policy for the West radically challenged contemporary western views of the nature of communism. He went into shipping and later into real estate, and continued publishing. He returned to Romania in 1990 where he had a failed bid for the presidency. He did become a member of the Romanian Parliament and served as both deputy speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and as Romania's roving ambassador to NATO. Ion Raţiu died in January 2000. His funeral, in his home town of Turda, was attended by more than 10,000 people
Date and Time
McGhee Library, Bunn Intercultural Center - Room 301
3700 O Street NW
Washington, DC 20057