Smolensk under Nazi and Soviet Rule


ACLS Fellowship Program


Foreign Service and History


Examining the exercise of power in Smolensk province under Stalinism and Nazi occupation during WWII, this project cross-fertilizes three dynamic areas of the study of the war: Stalinism, the German occupation on the Eastern Front, and the Holocaust. It aims to connect regional history to the grand narrative by linking four levels of analysis: biographies and lived experience; the use and limits of political power in a succession of sudden regime changes; the role and nature of ideology—the Sphinx’s Riddle of Soviet studies; and political violence in this twentieth-century world of extremes, from collectivization to the Holocaust. By interpreting new archival troves of autobiographical documents in terms of regimes of power, the project provides a model for fusing local depth with synthetic, comparative sweep.