DURHAM, N.H – One of the world’s leading authorities on genocide will deliver the Hans Heilbronner Lecture at the University of New Hampshire Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011.
Presented by the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of History, the lecture “Genocide in a Multiethnic Town: Event, Origins, Aftermath” begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Murkland Hall Auditorium (Murkland 115). The lecture and following roundtable discussion are free and open to the public and sponsored by the Endowed Fund for Holocaust Education.
The lecture will be delivered by Omer Bartov, the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and professor of history and German studies at Brown University. Considered one of the world's leading authorities on the subject of genocide, Bartov is the author of seven books and the editor of three volumes. His most recent book, “Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine” (Princeton, 2007), examines the politics of memory in Western Ukraine and erasure of both the memory and the few material remains of Jewish culture there.
Bartov’s lecture will focus on his latest research project, which traces the origins of local mass murder in the complexities of relations between different ethnic and religious groups over a long time span in the Eastern Galician town of Buczacz.
“Composed of a mixed Jewish-Polish-Ukrainian population for centuries, Buczacz saw the eradication of its Jewish inhabitants by Nazi murder squads assisted by local collaborators in World War II, and the ethnic cleansing of its Polish population by Ukrainian nationalists. The main outlines of the Holocaust in East Galicia have recently been reconstructed. But we know very little about how genocide actually unfolded on the ground, and about the nature of the social fabric upon which these policies were enacted and to which it reacted. This can be better understood only by delving deeper into the past and providing the perspective of all groups involved in the event,” he says.
Born in Israel and educated at Tel Aviv University and St. Antony's College, Oxford, Bartov began his scholarly work with research on the Nazi indoctrination of the German Wehrmacht under the Third Reich and the crimes it committed during the war in the Soviet Union. This was the main concern of his first two books, “The Eastern Front, 1941-1945,” and “Hitler's Army.” He then went on study the links between World War I and the genocidal policies of World War II, as well as the complex relationship between violence, representation, and identity in the 20th century.
His books “Murder in Our Midst,” “Mirrors of Destruction,” and “Germany's War and the Holocaust,” have all been preoccupied with various aspects of these questions. Bartov's interest in representation also culminated in his monograph, “The ‘Jew’ in Cinema,” which examines the recycling of antisemitic stereotypes in European, American, and Israeli films.
The Hans Heilbronner Lecture is named in honor of professor emeritus Hans Heilbronner, who taught Russian history at UNH and who served the university with distinction from 1954 until 1991. He was one of the first Jewish faculty members at the university, and his family escaped Nazi Germany after his veteran father was released from a concentration camp. He passed away in June 2011.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
Omer Bartov, the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and professor of history and German studies at Brown University.