Anne-Lise Bobeldijk MA
Area(s) of interest: European History, Memory Studies, Transnational History, War & Conflict
Cohort/Start PhD: 2017-2018
Competing narratives of victimhood in the age of transitional justice: The history and memory of the terrorscape Maly Trostenets
University of Amsterdam / NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Promotor(es): Prof. dr. Nanci Adler, Prof. dr. Rob van der Laarse
Aanstelling: vanaf september 2017
This research project focuses on the history and memory of the terrorscape Maly Trostenets in Belarus and a number of Western European countries. Maly Trostenets was a small village approximately ten kilometres outside of Minsk, where a Nazi concentration camp was created. The former kolkhoz and camp Maly Trostenets and two extermination sites, the Blagovshina and Shaskova forests, were used by the Soviets (1937-1941) to eliminate ‘enemies of the Soviet Union’, and by the Nazis (1942-1944) to murder partisans, POWs, Belarusian and Western-European Jews. Estimates of the number of victims of just the Nazis range between 60,000 and 205,000.
Despite the large number of victims, only in the last decade this killing site has become increasingly present in research. The history of Maly Trostenets has in these years been analysed from multiple angles, but there is still no study available which focuses on the history and memory of Maly Trostenets addressing both the aspect of the NKVD crimes and the crimes committed by the Nazis.
My PhD project will provide an important opportunity to advance the understanding of the entanglement of the memory of the Stalinist repressions and communism and the Nazi terror and the Holocaust, and beyond, as it looks into the influence of both of these memories on each other. In this project I will analyse both the history and memory of the Stalinist – and Nazi past of Maly Trostenets and Minsk, explore how the different narratives around these events have evolved and how these have competed, conflicted or supressed each other.