Dissertations- und Habilitationsprojekte


Marina Shcherbakova

Soviet Jewish museums within the framework of the national policies of the USSR

The brief flourishing of Soviet Jewish ethnography in the interwar period was facilitated by two concurrent phenomena: the implementation of Bolshevist nationality policies in the 1920’s – 1930’s and revolutionary-era debates about Jewish national identity and Jewish cultural heritage. The confluence of these two developments profoundly advanced the museological and scholarly study of Jewish art and objects of Jewish material culture in the first decades of Soviet power. This scholarship developed as a logical extension of earlier studies in the field of Jewish history and ethnography as they were re-interpreted in the 1920-s within the framework of Soviet ideology. However, it reached far beyond the romanticism of the ethnographic discourse in the Jewish nationalist polemics of the late Imperial period and received its fundamental significance as one of the cultural technologies of rule in the Soviet Union.

The active stage of Jewish museology from the mid-1920’s to the early 1930’s resulted in outstanding collections presented in the Jewish museums of Samarkand, Odessa and Tiflis. Soviet authorities, however, regarded the Jewish ethnographic project rather as an instrument of propaganda, the promotion of atheism and nationalization, and sociological information acquisition and control. Jewish museums and exhibits served as an important vehicle for promoting the ideas of the Soviet political and academic leadership, and this controversial cooperation between scholarship and ideology in the field of Judaica is the leading question of this dissertation. Of special interest are the strategies of establishing a new sense of national community and shaping the narrative of Soviet Jewish culture and collective history. Marina Shcherbakova will provide insights into the dynamics of the Soviet Jewish museology in its transnational dimensions -- in Usbekistan, Ukraine and Georgia – and will consider the role of Jewish ethnography within the broader Soviet anthropological discourse.

Emanuel Grec

The Perpetrators of the Odessa Massacre: War-Crimes Trials in Postwar Romania (1944-1948)

In his thesis, Emanuel Marius Grec examines the ways in which perpetrators and war criminals were portrayed in Romanian war crimes trials between 1944-1948. In particular, the work focuses on the clusters of defendants that were responsible for the Odessa Massacre of 1941. The research looks at how accusations against ordinary administrative staff differed from those against military personnel or from those against war criminals who were seen as fascist ideologues. The project seeks to understand the ways in which the prosecution sought to create new categories of defendants from a single event.

Unlike existing historiography, Emanuel tries to understand the phenomena of postwar justice using a bottom-up approach: how does specifically looking at the perpetrators of the Odessa Massacre change our understanding of the nature of the crimes of which the perpetrators were accused?

Paula Simon

Between Fascination and Disdain: Serbia's Roma within dominant discourse and society, 1918-1945

The research project „Between Fascination and Disdain. Serbia’s Roma within Dominant Discourse and Society 1918-1945”  examines the relationship between the minority of Serbian Roma and dominant Serbian society both in the interwar-period and in the period of National-Socialist occupation. The project aims to analyse how Serbian society as a multi-ethnic society had already developed ambivalent discourses and practices of co-existence, both of othering and of inclusion. To do so, the project examines processes of knowledge production on Roma within the fields of criminology, ethnology, anthropology, linguistics, and criminal biology as well as the dissemination of knowledge and discourses on Roma in newspapers and scholarly journals. The project aims to highlight similarities and peculiarities of the Serbian case against the backdrop of (Western) European discourses and practices, tracing the transfer of anti-gypsy stereotypes and knowledge to Yugoslav academic circles and dominant society.
To discuss the ambivalence, relationality and processuality of the relationship between Roma and Serbian dominant society, the project seeks to analyse how knowledge on Roma changed in reaction to processes of Romani emancipation, self-organisation and assimilation into Yugoslav/Serbian culture and identity in the inter-war period. It aims to shed light on questions of how dominant society dealt with the discrepancy between the images of the enemy produced and reproduced in (scientific) discourses and the reality they were confronted with in everyday encounters.
Finally, by including the period of National-socialist occupation and with it the persecution and genocide of Roma, the project aims at examining how the arrival of the German occupational apparatus carrying its own images of “Gypsies” as the enemy changed the constellation. The project seeks to examine how previous contexts of ambivalent co-existence effected local perceptions of Roma as well as the practices they informed and how they were altered in contact with the occupier's racialized images and or practices of discrimination and persecution.

Timur Mitrofanov

Peasant legal culture and volost’ courts of the Russian Empire: the Case of the Kazan province (1861 – 1917)

The research project is focused on the legal history of the peasants' rural communes in post-reform Imperial Russia. In particular, I study volost' courts ("волостные суды" in Russian, the closest translation is "township courts") intended especially for the peasantry after the abolition of the serfdom in 1861. Insofar as the greatest part of the rural population was illiterate and did not understand legislation, litigants had to apply local customary law for settling disputes. However, applying local customs raised a few legal issues. For instance, the rural composition of the Kazan province contained a few different groups: Russians, Tatars, Mari, and Chuvash. All of these groups possessed their own customs and traditions. The province was thus a unique region of the Empire and exemplified characteristic features of the complicated social and confessional structure of the Empire. In this connection, the main aim of the research is to reveal and explore legal culture and volost' justice in the Kazan province's countryside. The second half of the 19 century was an initial period of nation-state building in Russian. Rapid transformations and modernization raised a problem of "inclusion" of the peasantry into social, economic, and legal relationships in late imperial Russia. From this perspective, in the broader context, I explore how local processes in the Kazan Province's countryside interacted with the imperial ones. I expect to provide full-scale research based on interdisciplinary approaches, a wide range of archival and ethnographic sources.

Matthias Puchta

Wehrmacht und sowjetische Kriegsgefangene in Russland 1941-1944.

Elena Beletckaia  

The notion of home in the Holocaust discourse;  post-war migration in/to Eastern Europe, Israel, and the United States.

Natalia Ivashkevich

Die intertextuellen Verbindungen der Werke von Scholem Alejchem und A.P. Čechov

Nils Herzog

Russisches Engagement im tadschikischen Bürgerkrieg

Wolfgang Schneider

From Gray Zones to Red Courts – Soviet Collaboration Trials of Jewish Council Members and Ghetto Policemen from Transnistria

Abgeschlossen im Oktober 2022

Jasmin Söhner

Politisierung und Praxis der deutsch-sowjetischen Justizkooperation im Kalten Krieg

Abgeschlossen im Januar 2023

Laura Sembritzki

Atommüllkatastrophen und Strahlenschutz. Nukleares Wissen und Technopolitik in der Region Čeljabinsk, 1949-1991

Abgeschlossen im Februar 2019


Dr. Yulia von Saal

Kriegskindheiten im besetzten Belarus (1941-1944): Erfahrungen, Folgen, Erinnerungen

Das Habilitationsprojekt von Yuliya von Saal erforscht akteursbezogen sowjetische Kriegskindheiten zur Zeit der deutschen Besatzung während des Zweiten Weltkriegs (1941–1944) auf dem Gebiet des heutigen Belarus. Primär geht es darum, die Politik und die Praxis des NS-Regimes gegenüber der minderjährigen Zivilbevölkerung während der Besatzung herauszuarbeiten und diese im Verhältnis zu den subjektiven Erfahrungen von Kindern zu analysieren. Ein zentrales Anliegen der Studie besteht darin, Kinder nicht als passive Objekte deutscher bzw. sowjetischer Politik, sondern als handelnde Subjekte unter den jeweils unterschiedlichen politischen Bedingungen und Anforderungen zu verorten und ihre spezifischen Erfahrungen im Krieg zu untersuchen. Die Verwundbarkeit eines Kindes, so die Erkenntnis, muss nicht zwangsläufig mit seiner passiven Opferrolle einhergehen. Kinder werden daher als soziale Akteure mit eigenen Fähigkeiten, Ressourcen und Bewältigungspotenzialen verstanden, die an ihrer Entwicklung, an ihrer „Kindheit“ und an der Herstellung der generationalen Ordnung mitwirken.

Das Projekt verfolgt außerdem das Ziel, die Kriegskindheiten über das Kriegsende hinaus mitsamt deren Folgen zu historisieren. Entstehen soll eine Erfahrungsgeschichte sowjetischer Kriegskindheiten, die nicht nur einen weiteren wichtigen Beitrag zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus und des Holocaust im besetzten Osteuropa leistet, sondern darüber hinaus Erkenntnisse über bisher kaum wahrgenommene Verbrechensorte (etwa Kinderheime oder kinderspezifische Lager) befördert und neue Einblicke in den Alltag einer äußerst heterogenen Besatzungsgesellschaft freigibt.

Dr. Timo Hagen
Gemeinschaftsbauten als "gemeinsames Bauerbe". Siebenbürgisch-sächsische Schul-, Pfarr- und Gemeindehäuser um 1900 und nach der Auswanderung

Abgeschlossen 2017

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Letzte Änderung: 15.06.2023
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