Centre for the study of democracy logo

Jelena Subotic (Georgia State University) will be presenting a paper based on her book Yellow Star, Red Star.

Register on Eventbrite.

Yellow Star, Red Star asks why Holocaust memory continues to be so deeply troubled – ignored, appropriated, and obfuscated –throughout Eastern Europe, even though it was in those lands that most of the extermination campaign occurred.

As part of accession to the European Union, East European states were required to adopt, participate in, and contribute to the established Western narrative of the Holocaust. This requirement created anxiety and resentment in post-communist states: Holocaust memory replaced communist terror as the dominant narrative in Eastern Europe, focusing instead on predominantly Jewish suffering in World War II. Influencing the European Union's own memory politics and legislation in the process, post-communist states have attempted to reconcile these two memories by pursuing new strategies of Holocaust remembrance. The memory, symbols, and imagery of the Holocaust have been appropriated to represent crimes of communism.

Yellow Star, Red Star presents in-depth accounts of Holocaust remembrance practices in Serbia, Croatia, and Lithuania, and extends the discussion to other East European states. She concludes that Holocaust memory in Eastern Europe has never been about the Holocaust or about the desire to remember the past, whether during communism or in its aftermath. Rather, it has been about managing national identities in a precarious and uncertain world.

The talk will be based on Jelena’s book Yellow Star, Red Star which has won a number of awards: including Robert Jervis and Paul Schroeder Best Book Award (American Political Science Association), Best Book Award in European Politics and Society (European Politics and Society Section, American Political Science Association) and Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies.

The seminar will take place online. Register on Eventbrite.

The Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) is based in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster. The Centre undertakes research across a range of critical social and political challenges, promoting an interdisciplinary environment that embraces colleagues from politics, international relations, sociology and criminology.