For more than four hundred years, the Eastern European border town of Buczacz—today part of Ukraine—was home to a highly diverse citizenry. It was here that Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews all lived side by side in relative harmony. Then came World War II, and three years later the entire Jewish population had been murdered by German and Ukrainian police, while Ukrainian nationalists eradicated Polish residents. In truth, though, this genocide didn’t happen so quickly.
In Anatomy of a Genocide (Simon & Schuster, 2018) Omer Bartov explains that ethnic cleansing doesn’t occur as is so often portrayed in popular history. It begins in seeming peace, slowly and often unnoticed, the culmination of pent-up slights and grudges and indignities. The perpetrators aren’t just sociopathic soldiers. They are neighbors and friends and family.
Panel will include:
Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University. He is the author of Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz, along with several other well-respected scholarly works on the Holocaust and genocide, including Hitler’s Army, Germany’s War and the Holocaust: Disputed Histories and Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine.
Alison Frank Johnson is Professor of History and of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.
Jan T. Gross is a professor of history emeritus at Princeton. He is the author of Neighbors, Fear, and Revolution from Abroad, among other books.
Larry Wolff is the Julius Silver Professor of History at New York University, director of the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, and executive director of the NYU Remarque Institute. His books include Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (1994), The Idea of Galicia: History and Fantasy in Habsburg Political Culture (2010), and most recently The Singing Turk: Ottoman Power and Operatic Emotions on the European Stage from the Siege of Vienna to the Age of Napoleon (Stanford 2016).