Tales from the Borderlands: Writing First-Person History
Taube Center for Jewish Studies
In his talk, Omer Bartov will present his recent book, Tales from the Borderlands: Making and Unmaking the Galician Past, a first-person history of Europe's eastern borderlands as seen through the eyes of the diverse communities that inhabited these regions for several centuries and were then murdered or forcibly removed in World War II. Bartov will also link this historical account to his new novel, The Butterfly and the Axe, which seeks to fill in the gap in the historical record of his own family's murder in Galicia.
Omer Bartov is Samuel Pisar Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Brown University and the author of nine books. His early research concerned the Nazi indoctrination of the Wehrmacht and the crimes it committed in World War II, analyzed in his books, The Eastern Front, 1941-1945, and Hitler's Army. He then turned to the links between total war and genocide, discussed in his books Murder in Our Midst, Mirrors of Destruction, and Germany's War and the Holocaust. Bartov's interest in representation also led to his study, The "Jew" in Cinema, which examines the recycling of antisemitic stereotypes in film. His more recent work has focused on interethnic relations in the borderlands of Eastern Europe. Recent publications include Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine (2007), Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz (2018), winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and Tales from the Borderlands: Making and Unmaking the Galician Past (2022). His many edited volumes include Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands (2013), Voices on War and Genocide: Three Accounts of the World Wars in a Galician Town (2020), and Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples (2021). Bartov’s novel, The Butterfly and the Axe, will be published in January 2023.