The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz
(Simon and Schuster, 2018)
ARCHIVES Danyliw Seminar 2018
Brown U (US)
Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University. He has published several well-respected scholarly works on the Holocaust and genocide, and has written for The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and The New York Times Book Review.
Informed by the author’s experience scouring archives, amassing thousands of documents, and hearing hundreds of testimonies, Anatomy of a Genocide explains that ethnic cleansing doesn’t occur with the quick ascent of a vitriolic political leader and the unleashing of military might. Rather, it begins slowly and often unnoticed, the culmination of pent-up slights and grudges and indignities carried out at the hands of normal people. These effects are evident in towns like Buczacz, Ukraine where during World War II Jews and Poles in the once diverse citizenry were targeted and eliminated. Anatomy of a Genocide profoundly changes our understanding of the social dynamics of mass killing and the nature of the Holocaust as a whole. This book isn’t just an attempt to understand what happened in the past; it’s a warning of how it could happen again, in our own towns and cities—much more easily than we might think.