Bozhena Kozakevych: The Holocaust in Berdychiv and its Remembrance

The topic “The Holocaust in Berdychiv and its Remembrance” is part of my dissertation project “Berdychiv between 1917 and 1952. Metamorphosis in a multi-ethnic city”. Berdychiv, located in Central Ukraine, is an important city for Jewish, Polish and Ukrainian history. The German occupation between 1941 and 1944 drastically changed the socio-cultural structure of Berdychiv, as it did to many other cities in Eastern Europe. The mass murder of at least 18,000 Jews from Berdychiv and the surrounding area as well as its remembrance are this project’s object of study. It will also deal with the inner-ethnic relations in the city before, during, and after the German occupation. Of special interest is the question of how a society deals with collective trauma under social circumstances that prevent those who experienced it from talking about what happened, as was the case in Soviet society.

Bozhena Kozakevych received her MA in German language and literature from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, 2012. The topic of her master thesis was “Linguistic means of representation of totalitarianism in the work of Herta Müller”. After graduation, Bozhena Kozakevych worked as Scientific Assistant of the Chair for German Philology at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. In 2013 she received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service for the master program “Culture and History of Middle and Eastern Europe” at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). In 2017 she graduated from Viadrina University in finishing her master thesis on the topic “Lemberg 1939–1953. Sovietization of a multi-ethnic city”. Since 2017 Bozhena Kozakevych has been working for the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Berlin) in the project “Protecting Memory”. The project’s purpose is to transform the neglected and forgotten mass graves of Jews and Roma in Ukraine into dignified places of remembrance and information. Since October 2018 Bozhena Kozakevych is working as Academic Assistant at the Chair of Entangled History of Ukraine, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). The working title of her PhD project is “History of Memory and Forgetting. Berdychiv 1918-2018” (Geschichte der Erinnerung und des Vergessens). Her scientific interest is devoted to the following topics: the process of Sovietization in Ukraine and Central Asia; religion and the Soviet state; culture of remembrance in Eastern Europe; Jewish history of Russia, Poland and Ukraine.


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