Dr. Michael Gesin is Assistant Professor of World and Jewish History at Worcester State College. He earned his Ph.D. in Jewish History and Holocaust from Brandeis University. Dr. Gesin has published several papers on the Ukrainian Holocaust in journals such as Russian Professional Historian Journal Report Series and Studies in the History of Europe and Eastern Europe, and has also presented scholarly papers at various conferences including AHA, NEHA and AJA.2006 0-7734-5907-3
This book concentrates on the Holocaust in Southern and Southeastern Ukraine, as carried out by Nazi Germany and Antonescu’s Romania with the help of the local Ukrainians and ethnic German colonists. Topics such as the Jewish participation in resistance and opposition, collaboration among local inhabitants, and the interrelations of Jewish and non-Jewish population during the Holocaust will be emphasized.
The topic of the Jewish partisan activities comes under careful scrutiny. The difference will be drawn between the actual and alleged Jewish participation in the Soviet partisan movement, since under the pretext of anti-partisan counterattack, Wehrmacht, SS units and Einsatzgruppen were deployed in Ukraine to perform killing sprees on the Jews. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered in the Ukraine under the cover of anti-partisan activities.
Two topics of particular concentration are the Crimean and Transnistrian Holocaust, both of which are unresearched subjects. The situation there was different from the other cities and towns in the Ukraine and thus requires further investigation and research. In Crimea, the Tatar anti-Semitism as well as the existence of two or more different Jewish separate groups, Karaites, Krimchaks and Rabbinical Jews, created a unique environment, which is analyzed in detailed discussion.
The Holocaust in Odessa, on the other hand, was carried out by the Romanians and not by Germans. The Romanian example is the only example of its kind in World War II. Romania was the only independent country directly involved in genocidal killing operations. The examination of the issues surrounding the willingness of Romanians to initiate and execute the killings is included. While the policies of the Romanian state were inspired by the widespread anti-Semitism, the petty bureaucrats were guided by greed and opportunity. The result of the latter led to the sufferings of many, but also opened a door of salvation for many others.