Focusing on ethnic Germans and Jews from Southern Ukraine, this project seeks a better understanding of ethnic, religious, and national coexistence, confluence, and conflict in the territories trapped in between Germany and Russia—the region Timothy Snyder dubbed “the Bloodlands”—over the course of decades. These groups lived alongside one another in the region for over a century prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917, and they enjoyed normalized, relatively amicable, or at the least indifferent relationships with one another. However, like so many of the populations in the Bloodlands, ethnic Germans and Jews were caught in the violent social, economic, and political upheavals of the twentieth century. The imperial jockeying of Russia and Germany tore them asunder and pushed them together in profound ways. This project pursues a better understanding of these encounters, posing the following questions: How did inconsistent, unpredictable, and constantly shifting state and occupation policies towards and treatment of both groups shape the ways in which they viewed and treated one another? What impact did the ethnic, social, and geographic displacement caused by multiple regime changes have on relationships between the two groups?
Amber Nickell is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department at Purdue University. A scholar of Central and Eastern Europe, she regularly engages topics of migration and diaspora, borderlands, human rights, genocide and ethnic cleansing, imperialism and colonialism, nationalism, memory, and inter-group relations. Her most recent project examines shifting relationships between ethnic Germans and Jews in Southern Ukraine, as they changed in response to ever-changing imperial contexts over the course of the first half of the twentieth century. Her research, teaching, and writing have received several awards, and she recently concluded an eleven-month Fulbright fellowship in Ukraine.
Co-sponsored by: European Union Center