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Title: Representations of the Holocaust in Soviet cinema
Author: Timoshkina, Alisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 9909
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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The aim of my doctoral project is to study how the Holocaust has been represented in Soviet cinema from the 1930s to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The USSR was one of the central participants in WWII and lost over a million of its Jewish population in the Holocaust. While the suffering of the Soviet nation was vividly depicted in arts and history texts, forming a significant part of popular culture, the violence against Jews often appeared to be a (deliberately) forgotten chapter. In the multi-ethnic and multi-national state – whose pre-Revolutionary anti-Semitic history produced the very concept of pogrom – official Soviet ideology, propagating a sense of unity, emphasised the Soviet identity of the victims and refused to differentiate between the dead. Moreover, the devastating statistics of all the casualties of the Soviet-German war (1941-1945) occupied a central place in popular memory, overpowering the proportionally smaller number of Holocaust victims. Throughout the period studied in this thesis, history and memory of the Holocaust underwent a series of repressions and re-evaluations, constantly shifting between the margins and the forefront, between official and unofficial knowledge. This thesis is a chronological study of the role played by Soviet cinema in relation to the shifting discourses of memory, knowledge and history of the Holocaust. Comprised of four chapters, my work traces the trajectory of cinematic portrayals through four main historical periods, under the respective leaderships of Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev. Accounting for the interrelation between Soviet ideology, censorship, the Soviet film industry, cinematic genres and individual film texts, I tease out the complexity and versatility of Soviet cinema’s relationship with the subject of the Holocaust.
Supervisor: Vincendeau, Ginette Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available