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Anatomy of a Genocide: A Local History of the Holocaust

Omer Bartov

For more than four hundred years, the Eastern European border town of Buczacz—today part of Ukraine—was home to diverse ethnic groups. 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:

  • Anatomy of A Genocide book coverOmer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University. He is the author of, among others, 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, and author of Oil Empire: Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia (2005).
  • 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. He is the author of, among others, 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).
  • Alon Confino is Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Professor of History and Jewish Studies, and Director, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.