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 his talk, Omer Bartov will explain how ethnic cleansing doesn’t occur as is so often portrayed in popular history, with the quick ascent of a vitriolic political leader and the unleashing of military might. 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.
Prof. Dr. Omer Bartov
is John P. Birkel and Distinguished Professor of European History at the Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the author of Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz.
Fritz Bauer Institut
An-Institut der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
60323 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49 (0)69 798 322-40