Jewish Youngsters in Underground Organisations During the Holocaust in Romania podium
17 NOVEMBER 2022

Jewish Youngsters in Underground Organisations During the Holocaust in Romania

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The Romanian Cultural Institute in Vienna in partnership with VWI ‒ The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies presents on the 17th of November, from 7 p.m., the lecture "Personal relations about resistance. Young Jews in clandestine organizations during the Holocaust in Romania" held by Anca Filipovici at the headquarters of RKI Wien

Anca Filipovici explores in her presentation the history of the Holocaust in Romania from the perspective of the Jewish youth as an agency of resistance. Filipovici directs her attention at underground Jewish youth organisations and other political movements, active during WWII. Special focus will be placed on those young Romanian Jews outside the ghettos; on those who considered the possibility of a new life in Romania or those who prepared to emigrate to Eretz Israel. Many Jewish youngsters who defied the anti-Jewish policies of the Romanian authorities joined the underground youth movements and organisations (e.g. the Zionist Hashomer Hatzair, Hanoar Hatzioni, Bnei Akiva etc., but also the Union of the Communist Youth). Based on archival files and testimonies, the project intends to create a typology of these forms of association. It investigates the mobilising factors and analyses the relation between youngsters and political engagement. It raises the question of the nature of ethnic and religious identity when this identity transforms the individual into a victim. Furthermore, the different types of solidarities (ethnic/class) built in times of oppression will be discussed.

Commented by Julie Dawson.

Anca Filipovici is a researcher at the Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities (Cluj-Napoca, Romania). She holds a PhD in history (2013) from the Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj. She published on ethnicity, youth, the history of Jews in Romania, education and anti-Semitism in secondary and higher education. She was a fellow of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure at the Institute of Contemporary History (Munich, 2018) and fellow of New Europe College (Bucharest, 2018/2019), with research projects dealing with paramilitary youth organisations and the social control of the adolescents in 20th century Romania.

Julie Dawson, PhD candidate at the University of Vienna, examines post-war Jewish life in Romania through the lens of diaries of a Transnistrian survivor. 2020-2021 Fortunoff Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute; 2022-2023 doctoral grantee with the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah. Her research interests include Jewish Bukovina, communist Romania, and women’s history. She has published articles in European Holocaust St. Vol. 3: Places, Spaces and Voids in the Holocaust and Quest. Issues in Contemp. Jewish History, among others.