Mapping the Archipelago of Lost Towns:
Post-Holocaust Urban Lacunae in the Polish-Belarusian-Ukrainian Borderlands.

While urban centers across East-Central Europe suffered unprecedented damage and population losses during WWII, with some of them entirely wiped out and many others depopulated, it was the archipelago of smaller towns often with a substantial Jewish majority—the shtelts—that faced a complete demise. This project, focused on the epicenter of the so-called “Holocaust by bullets,” looks at the long-term consequences of systematic population exchange in the “lost towns” of the Polish-Belarusian-Ukrainian borderlands. It examines both the strategies of obliterating or adopting (and adapting) “disinherited heritage” after 1945, applying both historical and anthropological methods. In focus are three interrelated phenomena of: overwriting, “displaced memories,” and the revival of Jewish heritage after 1989/1991. By mapping the fate of “lost towns” across state borders, the project offers a contribution to our understanding of not only the economic, social and cultural ramifications of the process of appropriation and repopulation of vacated spaces, but also of long-term effects of genocide on “communities of implication” and their space-related practices of remembering and forgetting.

Principal Investigators
Waligorska-Huhle, Magdalena Dr. (Details) (Social Anthropology)

Duration of Project
Start date: 04/2020
End date: 03/2022

Last updated on 2021-04-01 at 17:53