Video Chronicle

Occupation Inside?
19 July 2016


During July 12 - August,5 2016, events as a part of the lectures and discussion program "Jewish Days at the City Hall: Communities, Milieus and States in the 20th Century Contested Cities" were ongoing. On July 19, 2016 Jan Tomasz Gross gave a lecture on "Revolution Outside, Occupation Inside? Testimonies, Archives and Discussions on Sovietization in 1939 - 1941". Location: Ratusha Restaurant (1, Rynok sq.).

In the lecture, Professor Jan T. Gross presented some aspects of the Sovietization of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. He focused upon what Sovietization could show for a broader understanding of the Soviet system as well as for the experiences of dramatic social transformations in general and their consequences. Special attention was on Soviet policy for national minorities and the different forms of repression for local communities. The lecture was followed by a conversation with Professor Gross about the ways new research and archive documents complement or change what had been written on the basis of testimonies from thousands of people. What are the challenges of processing and analyzing testimonies of people who found themselves in a new political system and had become its direct victims? How does the new information influence and shape understanding of the individual experience of Sovietization and the Stalinist period, and Soviet society, state, and authority in general? The talk engaged Dr. Sofia Dyak (Center for Urban History) and Dr. Mayhill Fowler (Stetson University, USA).

The lecture and the talk were held in English with simultaneous translation.

Jan Tomasz Gross is a historian, sociologist, Professor of History at Princeton University and author of numerous works about the experiences of war, occupation and the aftermath in East and Central Europe. His publications include, among others, Polish Society under German Occupation – General Gouvernement, 1939-1944; Revolution From Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia;Neighbors: The Destruction of a Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland; Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz; Golden Harvest: Events at the Periphery of the Holocaust.

Jewish Days is a public program for general audiences. It is related to two other projects of the Center for Urban History - Summer School in Jewish History and Multicultural Past, held annually since 2010, and the initiative Space of Synagogues: Jewish History, Common Heritage and Responsibility (in partnership with the Lviv City Council and the German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ).