Vi, Nr. 1(7)/2014 table of contents holocaust Studies

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Holocaust. Studii şi cercetări

Vol. VI, Nr. 1(7)/2014

Holocaust Studies
• Ana Bărbulescu, “The Târgu-Jiu Camp: Between History and Memory”

• Adina Babeş, Alexandru Florian, “The Beginning of War in the East and Hastening the Approaches Against the Jewish Population”

• Lya Benjamin “ ‘Problema evreiască’ în relaţiile româno-maghiare, 1940-1944”

Antisemitism Studies
• Yehoshafat Pop, “A Journey into the Intellectual World of the Romanian Jew Mihail Sebastian and His Testimony during the Fascist Years”

• George Voicu, “The Ideal of Emancipation of the Romanian Jews: From the Proclamation of Islaz to the 1866 Constitution”

History and memory
• Michael Shafir, “The “Second Nürnberg”: Legend vs. Myth in Postcommunism (I)”

• Alexandru Climescu, “Post-transitional Injustice. The Acquittal of Holocaust Perpetrators

in Post-Communist Romania”

• Ann M. Hansen, “The Lessons of Sighet”

Contemporary ideological perspectives
• Randolph L. Braham, “Ungaria: Agresiunea împotriva recunoaşterii istorice a Holocaustului”

Book review
• Timothy Snyder, Tărâmul morţii. Europa între Hitler şi Stalin (Mihaela Suciu - Cimpoieru)

• Anna Frank, Jurnalul Annei Frank (Radu Ciolacu)

• Rochelle G. Saidel, The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp (Valentin Stoian)

• Rózsa Ágnes, Jurnal de lagăr de la Nürnberg 1944-1945 (Eugenia Mihalcea)


• Raportul de activitate al INSHR – EW pe anul 2013 / 235

• Index de autori / 247

• Errata / 249




Y.H. Yerushalmi draws attention on the selectiveness that characterizes any mnemonic narrative, emphasizing the fact that certain memories live on, while “the rest are winnowed out, repressed, or simply discarded by a process of natural selection which the historian uninvited disturbs and reverse”1. Although I am not a historian, I turn toward the Târgu-Jiu camp from the perspective of these inconsistencies that seem to exist between history and memory, between the way things happened and the way they are remembered.

Keywords: history, memory, lieu de mémoire, lieu d’oubli, Târgu-Jiu camp


This paper examines the anti-Semitic actions decided or applied by the Romanian public authorities immediately after the Barbarossa operation. For our analysis, we have chosen the three-month period from the summer of 1941, June, August, and September, before the massive deportation of Jews to Transnistria. That time can be characterized as tragic in the evolution of the Jews in Romania and its administered territories. During that period, the life of the Jews from the Old Kingdom was neither easy, nor immune to death, when compared to the situation of the Jews in Bessarabia and Bukovina.
Keywords: Anti-Semitic legislation, evacuation, deportation


Deși atât România, cât şi Ungaria, în contextul celui de-al Doilea Război Mondial, au luptat alături de Germania nazistă, totuși relațiile dintre cele două țări nu erau deloc amicale. După Primul Război Mondial, Ungaria contestă dreptul României asupra Transilvaniei, drept recunoscut prin Tratatul de Pace de la Trianon; în timpul celui de-al Doilea Război Mondial, după Arbitrajul de la Viena, când Germania nazistă şi Italia fascistă au impus României să cedeze Transilvania de nord-vest Ungariei hortiste, România şi-a pierdut un drept istoric câștigat prin vărsare de sânge în timpul Primului Război Mondial. În acest context, atât România, cât şi Ungaria au sperat că, la încheierea celui de-al Doilea Război Mondial, Conferința de Pace va rezolva acest litigiu: Ungaria spera că în favoarea ei, iar România spera că își va recâștiga drepturile pierdute. Deși ambele țări luptau alături de Germania nazistă, totuși nu pierdeau din vedere posibilitatea victoriei Aliaților. Astfel, pentru regimurile antisemite din România şi din Ungaria, nu era indifferent modul în care era percepută politica lor antisemită de cercurile occidentale ostile antisemitismului; ce rol va putea avea poziția în „problema evreiască“ a unei țări sau alteia în deciziile viitoarei Conferințe de Pace.

Keywords: Romania, Hungary, Second World War, Peace Conference


Both historiography, and history of the Romanian Shoah are a matter which could be tackled without obstruction only after the fall of Communism (from the last decade of the past century on) with the accretion of documentary collection and the opening of archives that began in the 1990s. Then and then only, maybe finally and certainly more comprehensively, documents from Romania offered opportunities for studying a wartime regime that was second only to Germany in the killing of the Jews. The intention of this article is to create a very specific picture within the historiography of Romania’s fascism as well as its Holocaust, through the lenses of a historical figure who turned out to be one of the main catalysts for awareness of the Shoah in post-communist Romanian culture and society, namely that of Mihail Sebastian (born Iosef Hechter) and three sources written by him: the first being his novel De două mii de ani (For Two Thousand Years — 1934), the second a follow-up journalistic essay to his novel, entitled Cum am devenit huligan (How I Became a Hooligan — 1935), and the third, his posthumously released Journal, 1935-1944, originally unintended for publishing. This study will deal with events and phenomena leading up to the Romanian Holocaust. The occupation with these various forms of literary testimony will investigate the contribution of Sebastian to understanding the political, but especially intellectual picture of the 1930s in Romania, up until the end of World War II. Equally, my hope is that the research will address questions referring to the protagonist’s personal journey, his identity, and position as a Jew and an intellectual in the midst of an increasingly anti-Semitic and fascist Bucharest intelligentsia.
Keywords: Mihail Sebastian, Holocaust, fascist years, Romanian fascism, intellectual Romanian history

The present study deals with the issue of emancipation of the Romanian Jews in the years 1848-1866. It analyzes the historical documents which marked this period (the programs of the 48-er movement, the decrees of the provisional government, the 1864 Civil Code, the 1866 Constitution) and the attitudes of the political-literary personalities regarding the “Jewish question”, which was (already) on the agenda at that time. Thus, the study attempts to uncover the factors which eventually led to the failure of the emancipation promised by the Proclamation of Islaz.
Keywords: emancipation of Jews, political freedoms, civil rights, naturalization


In the first part, this article shows that “denazification” is a legend transformed into a myth (in the Sorelian sense of this term) and reflects a clash of memories rather than a dispute among historians. The “myth as legend” undergoes a transmogrification into “myth-asaction” and is employed for the purpose of justifying calls for a “symmetric” treatment of the Gulag based on the precedent of the Holocaust, in order to bring to justice those perceived as culpable of the crimes of the former regime, as well as for lustration. The second part shows that the clash is also part and parcel of the postcommunist search for a “usable past”, entailing a pronounced subjective dimension; it also insists on the “social frameworks” of memory (Halbwachs) and on the role of “myth-providers”. The extent and, above all, the limits of denazification in postwar Germany are analyzed in the third part, while the fourth does the same for the Austrian case. The fifth part refers to the extent and the limits of the French and Italian postwar retribution of former officials of the Vichy and Mussolini regimes, the punishment of collaborators and the “mis-memory” of their actions. In a counterfactual section, the sixth part again refers to subjectivity, presenting an imaginary postwar trial of Benito Mussolini. The concluding remarks attempt to bring some novel analytical angles based on some sociologists’ treatment of collective memory and its subjectivity.
Key words: history, memory, denazification, Nürnberg


This article examines the trials of two Romanian officers who were convicted for war crimes during the communist regime and, eventually, acquitted by the Supreme Court of Romania during the post-communist period. Our aim is to highlight the factors that made the acquittal decisions possible and evaluate their impact on the Holocaust public memory.
Keywords: Holocaust, trial, war crimes, memory, post-communism


Three museums in the Romanian city of Sighet (the Maramureş Village Museum, the Elie Wiesel Memorial House, and the Museum of Arrested Thought / Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance) illustrate the history of northern Transylvania, but also reflect the process by which a community allows its minority elements to be victimized. The author discusses the historical periods and events which are the focus of each museum, then draws conclusions as to the current international relevance of these events. The article is illustrated with photos taken by the author during a visit to Sighet in September 2010.
Key words: Sighet, Holocaust, museum, political apathy


As in many other countries in Nazi-dominated Europe, in Hungary, the assault on the historical integrity of the Holocaust began before the war had come to an end. While many thousands of Hungarian Jews still were lingering in concentration camps, those Jews liberated by the Red Army, including those of Budapest, soon were warned not to seek any advantages as a consequence of their suffering. This time the campaign was launched from the left. The Communists and their allies, who also had been persecuted by the Nazis, were engaged in a political struggle for the acquisition of state power.
Key words: Nazi Europe, Hungary, Jews, Red army

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