Eastern European Holocaust Studies. Interdisciplinary Journal of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center 1 (2023), 2

Titel der Ausgabe 
Eastern European Holocaust Studies. Interdisciplinary Journal of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center 1 (2023), 2
Weiterer Titel 
Revisiting Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar Half a Century Later

Berlin/Boston 2024: De Gruyter Oldenbourg
Open Access


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Florian Hoppe, Geisteswissenschaften, De Gruyter Oldenbourg

Das neue Heft der Eastern European Holocaust Studies ist im Open Access erschienen, wir wünschen anregende Lektüre!

Special Issue: Revisiting Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar Half a Century Later; Guest Editor: Leona Toker



Andrea Petö
Editorial Introduction 301

James Waller
Comments on the Awarding of the 10th Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights 303

Victor Pinchuk
Acceptance Speech of the Thomas J. Dodd Prize 307

Yaryna Martyniuk and Borbála Klacsmann
Holocaust Education in Times of Russia’s War on Ukraine 313

Andrea Petö
“Good People Sometimes Don’t Know How to Stand Together.” Interview with Father Patrick Desbois, Founder of Yahad-In Unum and Head of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center’s Academic Council 333

Open Forum, edited by Mykola Makhortykh

Mykola Makhortykh
Open Forum: Possibilities and Risks of Artificial Intelligence for Holocaust Memory 347

Mykola Makhortykh, Victoria Vziatysheva and Maryna Sydorova
Generative AI and Contestation and Instrumentalization of Memory About the Holocaust in Ukraine 349

Eve M. Zucker, Mykola Makhortykh, Roberto Ulloa, Daniel Bultmann and David J. Simon
AI and Archives: How can Technology Help Preserve Holocaust Heritage Under the Risk of Disappearance? 357

Aleksandra Urman, Mykola Makhortykh, Roberto Ulloa, Maryna Sydorova and Juhi Kulshrestha
Constants and Variables: How Does the Visual Representation of the Holocaust by AI Change Over Time 365

Dossier: Revisiting Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar Half a Century Later, edited by Leona Toker

Leona Toker
Anatoly Kuznetsov, Author of Babi Yar: The History of the Book and the Fate of the Author 373

This Introduction to the special issue devoted to Anatoly Kuznetsov, author of Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel, dwells on the different aspects of the book’s importance, surveys the life of the author as intertwined with the history of this book, suggests a way of reading his other work in the light of Babi Yar, and notes the contributions of the articles collected in this issue.

Marina Balina
An Autobiography of Childhood: Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar as Bildungsroman 387

This article represents an attempt to read Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel in its complete and uncensored version (published 1970) as a novel of education. Critical interpretation of this text has been dominated by the story of the mass shootings of the Jewish population witnessed by the adolescent Tolya, with the youngster’s own story often relegated to the background. But the analytic framework of the Bildungsroman makes it possible to see how, in addition to serving as a testimonial of the “Holocaust by Bullets,” the book demonstrates the full extent of the deformation of a child under conditions of war and occupation. The theoretical apparatus of the analysis is largely based on research in narratological theory (Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan). Discussion of the structural features of an autobiography of childhood also draws on Kate Douglas’s studies on autobiography, trauma, and memory. As a process of socialization, Bildung in Babi Yar turns into an anti-Bildung of adolescence: Kuznetsov’s novel shows how the experience of war deforms the personality on a variety of perceptual levels—optical, olfactory, haptic, and sonic.

Asia Kovrigina
Babi Yar from Outside the USSR 403

This paper analyses the reception of Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel outside the USSR (England, United States, France). Actually, the censored version of the novel was more critically acclaimed than its full version published after Kuznetsov’s defection to the West. The poor reception may be partly due to the fact that Babi Yar did not match the canon of Holocaust literature.

Yuliya Ilchuk
The Recontextualization of History in Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar: A Novel-Document (1966) and Sergei Loznitsa’s Film Babi Yar: Context (2021) 431

In several presentations of his latest documentary “Babi Yar. Context” (2021), the Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa has emphasized that reading Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar (1966) in his Soviet youth had a tremendous effect on his understanding of the Soviet oblivion regarding the Holocaust in Kyiv. In my paper, I examine the uses and misuses of history in Loznitsa’s documentary film on the tragedy of Babyn Yar. The “context” — archival documentary footage of the preceding explosions of the administrative quarter in Ukraine’s capital organized by the NKVD in September of 1941 and of the welcoming reception by Western Ukrainians of the German army’s occupation of Lviv during the summer of 1941 — provide an important yet inconvenient historical framework for understanding the collective responsibility in mass execution of Kyivan Jews. However, when viewed within Loznitsa’s cinematographic aesthetics, it becomes clear that Kuznetsov’s literary representation of the unspeakable brutality of the Babyn Yar massacre served as a model for the director’s film. Both — Kuznetsov in the 1960s and Loznitsa in the 2020s — used a wide array of artistic tools to communicate the long-lasting effect of the silenced tragedy on the human soul.

Victoria Khiterer
In the Shadow of Babyn Yar: Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Eyewitness Account of the Betrayal and Rescue of Jews during the Holocaust in Kyiv 449

The article explores the motivation for betrayal and rescue of Jews during the Nazi occupation of Kyiv. Unfortunately, significantly more gentiles betrayed Jews during the occupation of the city than rescued them. The motivations for betrayal varied: traditional anti-Semitism reinforced by Nazi propaganda, some gentiles desired to enrich themselves on the account of Jewish property, to occupy Jewish apartments and to demonstrate their loyalty to the Nazis. Betrayal of Jews was encouraged and rewarded by the Nazis, while rescue of Jews put under mortal risk the gentiles who helped them. Only a few hundred Jews survived in Kyiv during the occupation. Some of them lived under bogus identities, which listed their nationality as Russians or Ukrainians. Others were hidden by their friends, neighbors and gentile spouses. In several cases Jewish children were adopted by gentile families. The article is based on scholarly and memoir literature, and archival materials. Anatoly Kuznetsov provided the most complete eyewitness account of the Nazi occupation of Kyiv and the Babyn Yar massacre in his book Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel, which is one of the main sources for the article.

Arleen Ionescu
Layers of Memory in Kuznetsov’s and Trubakov’s Babi Yar Narratives 473

This article examines two memoirs of authors who indirectly witnessed the horrendous crimes committed by Nazi Einsatzgruppen squads in Babi Yar where more than 33,000 of the Jewish inhabitants of Kiev were brutally murdered on 29–30 September 1941: Anatoli Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel and Ziama Trubakov’s The Riddle of Babi Yar: The True Story Told by a Survivor of the Mass Murders in Kiev, 1941–1943. Starting from Kuznetsov’s final remarks on the power of memory that will never fade even if only few witnesses or survivors remained to tell the story, I will show what types of witnessing occur in both memoirs: the two narrators use both “ear-witnessing” (Susan Vice’s term), eye-witnessing, and “flesh-witnessing” (Yuval Noah Harari’s term) in the structure of their books and, following Amos Goldberg’s model for first-person Holocaust memoirs and diaries, I will show how these three types of witnessing unfold the story of Babi Yar.

Research Articles
András Szécsényi
Hungarian Guards of a Concentration Camp: Interactions and Atrocities in Bergen-Belsen 493

Bergen-Belsen is one of the biggest and most significant concentration camps in the history of the Holocaust. In this paper I reconstruct. 1. The Hungarian Camp between December 1944 and April 1945. 2. The evacuation and settlement of Hungarian military troops to the Bergen military training camp. (Truppenübungsplatz Bergen). This camp is also called as Bergen-Hohne Military Training Area. 3. The interactions between the Hungarian Jewish prisoners and the members of the Hungarian units between the two camps. 4. The controversial paths and memories of the atrocities against the Jews committed by Hungarian soldiers. The main focus of my study is a comparative analysis on the similarities and differences among the actors’ fragmented contemporary and postwar narratives: the perpetrators, the liberators and the victims on the activities of and killings by the Hungarian soldiers. I analyze ego-documents (interviews, testimonies and other correspondences) of the survivors and perpetrators of digital collections and primarily from the Archives of Gedensktätte Bergen-Belsen and from the Military Archives (Budapest). I also explore the most significant military files as well based on the Archives of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial.

Daina S. Eglitis
Women’s Experiences of Life Force Atrocities in the Baltic Ghettos, 1941–1944 521

This article focuses on Jewish women in the Nazi ghettos of German-occupied Latvia and Lithuania. It uses testimonies and memoirs of survivors to develop a narrative about life force atrocities at these sites, highlighting ways in which being a Jewish woman shaped the experience of the ghettos, where gendered risks were ubiquitous. Being a woman in the ghettos meant being both exploited and undervalued as a source of physical labor, targeted as a potential or actual bearer of children, and violated as an object of racist and sexist ideology and rage. Life force atrocities have physical and symbolic dimensions, targeting bodies, bonds, and norms of the community. This work considers what women’s accounts tell us about the presence – or ubiquity – of life force atrocities in the Baltic ghettos. It draws on the concepts of the universe of obligation and social death to highlight key roots and consequences of these atrocities for women. In testimonies and memoirs, we encounter themes of pregnancy, forced abortion, the wrenching loss of loved ones, sexual violence, and decisions made in the desperate hope of saving oneself or another. Survivor accounts are key to revealing life force atrocities as defining features of the Nazi ghettos, and the gendered risks faced by women prisoners in Nazi-occupied Riga, Daugavpils, and Kaunas.

Aiko Hillen
“Taken to German Villages and Liquidated.” The “Selbstschutz” Organization and the Bogdanovka Massacre in 1941 551

The killing of up to 40,000–50,000 Jews in Bogdanovka in the winter of 1941–1942 represented one of the largest murder operations carried out during the Holocaust outside of Auschwitz, Sobibor and Treblinka extermination camps. The massacre was the result of a cooperation between the German "Sonderkommando Russland" with the support of the "volksdeutscher Selbstschutz" as well as the Romanian gendarmes and their Ukrainian auxiliary forces. This article examines this massacre in three different aspects. The first part reconstructs how Transnistria was administered on a bilateral level between Nazi Germany and fascist Romania, and became a place of mass extermination. The second part of the article deals with the reconstruction of the massacre in a micro-historical perspective by using chiefly eyewitness interviews of local residents. The last part of this work, which is based on an organizational sociological approach, examines the mobilization and willingness to kill of those ethnic Germans who were recruited by the Sonderkommando Russland.

Alexandra M. Szabo
The Discovery of an Unknown Holocaust Testimony: The DEGOB Protocol of a Spouse 589

This is the source publication of a yet undiscovered DEGOB protocol from 1945 taken by survivor and interviewer Erna Galosi, recording her husband Elemer Galosi’s testimony after returning from Bergen-Belsen to Budapest. The protocol was found in its original form by their great-granddaughter at home after decades of unvoicing the struggles and tragedy the family had survived. This testimony is first published here by Alexandra M. Szabo.

Vitaliy Skalsky
Volodymyr Muzychenko, Volodymyr ievreiskyi. Istoriia i trahediia ievreiskoii hromady Volodymyra-Volyns’koho [Jewish Ludmir. The History and Tragedy of the Jewish Community of Volodymyr-Volynsky] 607

Daniela Ozacky Stern
Denisa Nešťáková, Katja Grosse-Sommer, Borbála Klacsmann, and Jakub Drábik (eds.), If this is a Woman: Studies on Women and Gender in the Holocaust 611

Katarzyna Taczyńska
The 80th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: An Attempt at a Summary 617

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