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Virtual PhD and a Cup of Tea: A ‘New Europe’ without Jews. Antisemitism and Fascism in Latvia 1932-1945
January 18, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Part of The Wiener Holocaust Library’s PhD and a Cup of Tea doctoral seminar series. This event is virtual, but it is possible that a limited number of in-person seats will become available closer to the event.
The Republic of Latvia was inaugurated in 1918 as a liberal democracy, granting general suffrage and equal rights to all citizens, and cultural autonomy to minorities. Despite these achievements, anti-democratic and racist movements emerged in the 1920s and 1930s. In this talk, Paula Oppermann will trace the origins of fascism in Latvia and investigate which role antisemitism played in this context. She will reveal expressions of anti-Jewish activities and discuss how the fascist organisations in Latvia fostered the fragmentation of civil society in the interwar period. Understanding of the nature of their antisemitism enables us to analyse the behaviour of the Latvian fascists during the Second World War when their reaction to the German occupation ranged from acts that can be termed collaboration to those that resemble resistance.
About the speaker:
Paula Oppermann is a PhD candidate in Central and East European Studies at the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on the Latvian Fascist Pērkonkrusts (Thunder Cross) Organisation, how it developed its ultra-nationalist, antisemitic ideology in the 1930s, and how this influenced its members’ actions during the Second World War. Paula previously studied History and Baltic Languages at the University of Greifswald and completed an MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Uppsala University. Her research interests are the Holocaust and its commemoration in Latvia, and she has published articles on the history of the Rumbula and Salaspils Memorials. She has worked as a research assistant at Berlin’s Topography of Terror Documentation Centre curating a special exhibition entitled Mass Shootings. The Holocaust Between the Baltic and the Black Sea 1941–1944, and as a sub-editor for the online project Pogrom: November 1938. Testimonies from Kristallnacht, developed by The Wiener Holocaust Library, London.
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