Bojan Aleksov

Senior Thyssen Fellow (supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation)
Period of Stay: 
January - June 2017
Slavonic and East European Studies / Jewish Studies
University College London, UK
Project Title: 
Jewish Refugees in the Balkans: Entangled Perspectives on Second World War and the Holocaust
Project Abstract: 

The aim of my project is to explore the manifold emanations of the subjectivity of the Holocaust survivors by drawing attention to the recollections of those who fled to the Balkans, where the experience of the occupation and the Holocaust was enmeshed with bloody civil war. An examination of Jewish survivors’ memories from the Balkans will not only illuminate their role as protagonists but provide a valuable new perspective on World War Two in a region whose troubled history is still contested. Chased from the old capitals of Vienna, Prague and Berlin, seen as the birthplaces of modern civilisation, Jewish refugee authors ended up in the backyards of Europe, searching for rescue in the Balkan Mountains, often deemed the last strongholds of barbarity. The personal predicament and involvement of Jewish refugees with the Balkans and Balkan people provides in their memoirs an entangled perspective on WW2 and the Holocaust, as they saw it shaped by the tragic conundrum of race, culture, gender, ideology and history.

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