Between 1930s and the late 1980s the Soviet Union created a large number of films about the Holocaust and Nazi anti-semitism. Mostly forgotten or banned, and unknown until recently, they attest to how a totalitarian regime chose to remember—or forget—the crimes and catastrophe of the extermination of the Jews.
Focusing on work by both celebrated and unknown Soviet directors and screenwriters, Olga Gershenson has written The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe, the first book about all Soviet narrative films dealing with the Holocaust from 1938 to 1991. By uncovering little known works, Gershenson makes a significant contribution to the international Holocaust filmography.
Olga Gershenson will discuss the films and show clips including Professor Mamlock, The Unvanquished and Eastern Corridor.
Can't make it to the event? Leave your questions for our guests below, and they might be used on stage during the Q&A. Keep an eye on 92Y On Demand after the event for any video clips we might share! You might see your question used on stage.
Olga Gershenson is Associate Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She got her BA in Russia, her MA in Israel and her PhD in the US. Her personal geography parallels her academic path tracking Russian-Jewish culture at home and abroad.
For years she followed Russian immigrant cultural production in Israel: she published Gesher: Russian Theater in Israel (2005) about a unique bilingual theater in Tel Aviv, and a series of articles about Russian-Israeli cinema.
Then she detoured into studying gender and power relations, and published a collection Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender (2009). Back on her Russian-Jewish track, she has recently published a book about the unknown, forgotten or banned Holocaust films in the Soviet Union, The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe (2013).
Olga Gershenson teaches courses on Jewish cultural studies, such as Cinema of the Holocaust or Israeli and Palestinian Popular Cultures. She has a lively lecture schedule at universities, film festivals and other cultural events. She enjoys traveling worldwide to do just that.
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