a1 Ion Creangă State University of Moldova, Email: email@example.com
a2 University of Maryland, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The authors draw on a natural experiment to demonstrate that states can reconstruct conflictual interethnic relationships into cooperative relationships in relatively short periods of time. The article examines differences in how the gentile population in each of two neighboring territories in Romania treated its Jewish population during the Holocaust. These territories had been part of tsarist Russia and subject to state-sponsored anti-Semitism until 1917. During the interwar period one territory became part of Romania, which continued anti-Semitic policies, and the other became part of the Soviet Union, which pursued an inclusive nationality policy, fighting against inherited anti-Semitism and working to integrate its Jews. Both territories were then reunited under Romanian administration during World War II, when Romania began to destroy its Jewish population. The authors demonstrate that, despite a uniform Romanian state presence during the Holocaust that encouraged gentiles to victimize Jews, the civilian population in the area that had been part of the Soviet Union was less likely to harm and more likely to aid Jews as compared with the region that had been part of Romania. Their evidence suggests that the state construction of interethnic relationships can become internalized by civilians and outlive the life of the state itself.
(Online publication February 10 2011)
Diana Dumitru is an associate professor of history at Ion Creangă State University of Moldova. She is the author of Great Britain and the Union of the Romanian Principalities (2010), and she is currently finishing a book on the relationship between Jews and gentiles during the Holocaust in Romania. Her articles have been published in various journals.
Carter Johnson received his Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2010. His has published articles on institutional solutions to ethnic conflict, and he is currently writing a book on partition as a solution to ethnic civil war.
* This article was made possible by grants from the Centre for Advanced Holocaust Studies from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; the Baron Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim Chair for the Study of Racism, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust, founded by the von Oppenheim Family of Cologne; and the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem. Support was also provided by Gerda Henkel Stiftung's Special Programme to Support the Next Generation of Historians in Russia, the Ukraine, Moldova, and Belorussia. We are grateful to those whose advice contributed to the improvement of this article, including Alan Zuckerman, Jeffrey Kopstein, Gary LaFree, participants of the cidcm Workshop on Peace and Conflict, and the anonymous referees.