Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Diana Dumitru

Fellow Diana Dumitru

October 2017 - July 2018

Diana Dumitru is an Associate Professor of History and the head of the Doctoral School of History at Ion Creangă State University of Moldova. In 2016 she served as Gerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dumitru was awarded prestigious fellowships, including Fulbright Visiting Scholarship for research at Georgetown University, Gerda Henkel Stiftung fellowship, the International Institute for Holocaust Research Postdoctoral Fellowship for Study at Yad Vashem, and the Rosenzweig Family Fellowship for research at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has authored over thirty articles and two books. Her World Politics article, co-authored with Carter Johnson, received the 2012 Mary Parker Follett Award for the best article or chapter published in the field of politics and history, awarded by the American Political Science Association.

Research project at the Kolleg

This project aims to elucidate the challenges confronted by members of the Soviet Jewish community that returned to their homes after the Holocaust. It also proposes to analyze the complexity of dilemmas confronted by European states and the representatives of Jewish and non-Jewish population groups, in their attempts to comprehend the knowledge of the earlier committed crimes, while the population simultaneously attempted to start their lives anew after a calamity of historical proportions. This research taps into broader questions related to post-conflict environments: the mechanisms of remodeling inter-group relations within populations that have experienced severe crises, and the potential changes that occurred within these groups as a result of the awareness that one part of the community had been complicit in genocide of the other. This project seek to bring together areas of scholarship frequently separated from each other, and to offer insights reaching far beyond the geographical borders of the studied territory. Thus, it moves forward in several different fields: Holocaust studies, comparative historical sociology, and the political science of ethnic conflict, substate conflict, and social violence. It proposes to tackle the issue of postwar justice, property restitution, establishment of state authority on a contested territory, and to examine the transformation of a victimized group's identity under the circumstances of the new social landscape and political agenda.

Main areas of research

  • Holocaust in Eastern Europe
  • Antisemitism in the Soviet Union
  • Ethnic relations/nationalism
  • Politics of history

Positions and memberships

Advisory Board: European Holocaust Studies, the yearbook of the Centre for Holocaust Studies, Institute for Contemporary History, Munich, 2017-present. European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI), 2015-2019. International Tracing Service (ITS), Bad Arolsen, Germany, 2015-2016.

Founder and Editor: Plural: History, Society, Culture, Journal of the History and Geography Department, Ion Creangă State University.

MemberAssociation for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Society for Romanian Studies National Association of Young Historians of Moldova.


Diana Dumitru, The State, Anti-Semitism, and the Collaboration in the Holocaust: The Soviet- Romanian Borderland (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Diana Dumitru, Marea Britanie şi Unirea Principatelor Române (1856-1859) [Great Britain and the Union of Romanian Principalities] (Chişinău: Pontos, 2010).

Edited volumes

Diana Dumitru, Igor Cașu, Andrei Cușco, Petru Negură Al doilea război mondial: memorie și istorie în estul și vestul Europei, eds. [WWII: Memory and History in Eastern and Western Europe] (Chișinău: Cartier, 2013).

Diana Dumitru, Petru Negură, eds. "Moldova: A Borderland's Fluid History," Euxeinos: Governance and Culture in the Black See Region, 15/16, 2014.


Diana Dumitru, "Returning Home after the Holocaust: Jewish-Gentile Encounters in the Soviet Borderland," in The Holocaust and European Societies: Social Processes and Social Dynamics, eds. Frank Bajohr, Andrea Low (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 307-320.

Diana Dumitru, "An Analysis of Soviet Postwar Investigation and Trial Documents and Their Relevance for Holocaust Studies," The Holocaust in the East: Local Perpetrators and Soviet Responses, eds. Michael David-Fox, Peter Holquist, and Alexander Martin (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), 142-157.

Diana Dumitru, "Caught Between History and Politics: The Experience of a Moldovan Historian Studying the Holocaust," The Convolutions of Historical Politics, eds. Alexei Miller, Maria Lipman (Budapest-New York: Central European University Press, 2012), 239-252.

Diana Dumitru, "Attitudes towards Jews in Odessa: From Soviet Rule through Romanian Occupation, 1921-1944," Cahiers du monde russe 52, no. 1 (2011): 133-162.

Diana Dumitru and Carter Johnson, "Constructing Interethnic Conflict and Cooperation: Why Some People Harmed and Others Helped Jews during the Romanian Holocaust," World Politics 63, no. 1 (January 2011): 1-42.

Diana Dumitru, "The Attitude of the Non-Jewish Population of Bessarabia and Transnistria towards the Jews during the Holocaust: A Survivors' Perspective," Yad Vashem Studies 37, part 1, (Spring 2009): 53-83.

Diana Dumitru, "The Use and Abuse of the Holocaust: Historiography and Politics in Moldova," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 22, no. 1, (Spring 2008): 49-73.


review of Eric C. Steinhart, The Holocaust and the Germanization of Ukraine (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), in Sehepunkte, vol. 16, no. 1, 2016:

review of Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe. The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 1996), in Analele Asociaţiei Naţionale a tinerilor istorici din Moldova 8, 2008: 276-277.

review of Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), in East European Jewish Affairs 36, no 2, 2006: 238-241.

review of Jan Gross, Neighbors: the Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001), in Analele Asociaţiei Naţionale a tinerilor istorici din Moldova 6, 2005: 353-354.