Wolfgang Schneider


Historisches Seminar - Osteuropäische Geschichte
Zentrum für Europäische Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Historisches Seminar, Raum 303
D-69117 Heidelberg
Postfach 105760, D-69047 Heidelberg

Tel.: +49 6221 54-2475

Email: wolfgang.schneider@zegk.uni-heidelberg.de



Wolfgang Edit



Akademischer Mitarbeiter

Koordinator des Forschungsprojekts "Violence Against Civilian Victims on the Eastern Front of World War II"
(gefördert von der Volkswagenstiftung (Laufzeit: 2016-2023))


Dissertationsprojekt (abgeschlossen Oktober 2022):

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

The research project “From Gray Zones to Red Courts” examines Soviet trials of Jewish Council members of Transnistrian ghettos charged with collaboration. Analyzing sociopolitical implications of these trials, the project primarily draws on recently declassified Soviet secret services’ investigation and trial documents as well as memoirs and oral history interviews. Taking on a perspective “from above” as well as one “from below”, the judicial proceedings are conceptualized as a “locus for interaction” between Soviet state and Holocaust survivors, who constituted the majority of witnesses. For survivors, the trials offered an opportunity to voice demands for justice and retribution and to try to come to terms with the recent past. Here, the project also asks about the influence of social conflicts in the ghetto upon witnesses’ perceptions of defendants. The Jewish Councils in Transnistria were mainly recruited from among the deportees from Romania, while the local Ukrainian Jews were excluded from such positions. This lead to a partial “nationalization” of the structural opposition between Jewish Councils and ghetto inhabitants, which is echoed in witness’ testimonies. The investigation and trial records thus offer unique insights into survivors’ perceptions of the role of Jewish Councils and their experiences during the Holocaust from the immediate post-liberation period.
The Soviet judiciary met survivors’ demands and perceptions “from below” with its own agenda. The trials allowed the Soviet authorities to prosecute political enemies, such as some rather “bourgeois” defendants, who had been educated Jewish community leaders in Romania. Furthermore, the trials enabled the judiciary to present Soviet rule as legitimate legal rule by adhering to a “demonstrative lawfulness”. Both approaches aimed at facilitating the re-Sovietization of reconquered territories. Branding defendants’ behavior as “treason to the Soviet Motherland”, authorities also established an official version of what had happened in the ghetto, which constituted a judicial form of “politics of history”. The trials examined in the project were held primarily in the Ukrainian and Moldovan Soviet Republics between 1944 and 1951, a transitional period between liberation and the “black years” of late-Stalinist anti-Semitic campaigns. The project thus focusses on an unstudied aspect of Soviet-Jewish relations during this period.



Zur Person:

seit 04/2023 Akademischer Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl

10/2022 Abschluss der Promotion

12/2017-07/2018 Edith Milman Fellow am United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

06/2016 - 01/2023 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im Drittmittelprojekt „Violence Against Civilian Victims on the Eastern Front of World War II“, Doktorand bei Prof. Dr. Tanja Penter

2016 Abschluss 1. Staatsexamen für das gymnasiale Lehramt

Studium der Geschichte und der Slavistik in Heidelberg und Sankt Petersburg

2007 Abitur am Eleonoren-Gymnasium Worms

Geboren 1987 in Worms



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Letzte Änderung: 12.09.2023
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