VHH Research Seminar – Session 3: Soviet Footage on Nazi Crimes and Its Textual Documentation: Identification and Research Issues

Presentation by Valérie Pozner and Irina Tcherneva

In the third session of CERCEC's H2020 "Visual History of the Holocaust" Research Seminar, Valérie Pozner (CNRS-THALIM) and Irina Tcherneva (CNRS-Eur'ORBEM) speak about Soviet film footage documenting Nazi crimes.

The film footage of Nazi crimes that was created by Soviet cameramen is currently preserved at various archives in post-Soviet countries. Until recently, this uniquely rich corpus had only been studied to a small extent. Pozner and Tcherneva’s presentation aims at exploring the way in which these documents emanate from multiple operations of sorting and reshaping the footage, even when at first glance the films appear to be well identified and inventoried. The various conceptions of visual documents by Soviet professionals and institutions come into play. Pozner and Tcherneva will trace the path of the footage from creation to archiving and identify the institutional decisions and administrative practices that shaped what is presented today as a primary document. The analysis of accompanying textual documents not only shatters the illusion of the footage’s immediacy, but also uncovers the professional practices of the Soviet film industry during the war.

H2020 “Visual History of the Holocaust”. Research Seminar 2021–2022:

As part of the Horizon 2020 project “Visual History of the Holocaust”, this seminar focuses on film documents created by Soviet filmmakers during the liberation of Nazi-occupied territories. The history of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, the literature on mass violence, and the history of still and moving images serve to contextualize this little-known corpus of Soviet film images documenting Nazi crimes. Participants are invited to examine the period from 1941 to 1947, and thus to consider the different phases in which the identity of the victims was explicitly discussed or ignored. The seminar aims to engage in a dialog about the visual traces of Nazi atrocities in Central and Eastern Europe and the USSR. The Research Seminar 2021–2022 is hosted by CERCEC and coordinated by Sarah Gruszka, Valérie Pozner, and Irina Tcherneva.


For participation please register by sending an email (Subject: VHH Research Seminar Registration) to Irina Tcherneva (irina.tcherneva@palimpsestes.net).

Upcoming Sessions:

Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 16:00–18:00 CET
Nadège Ragaru (CNRS/CERI): “Un-Seen: The Manyfold Lives of a 1943 Deportation Film Footage across the East-West Divide”

Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 18:00–20:00 CET
Stuart Liebman (Queens College & CUNY Graduate Center): “Soviet Atrocity Images on American Movie Screens, 1942–1947: What, When, Where and By Whom?”

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VHH Research Seminar – Session 3: Soviet Footage on Nazi Crimes and Its Textual Documentation: Identification and Research Issues

Tuesday, 06.04.2021, 16:00

Valérie Pozner and Irina Tcherneva: Presentation in CERCEC's H2020 "Visual History of the Holocaust" Research Seminar.

This event poster shows an original caption sheet and a preservation sheet documenting Soviet film footage of Nazi crimes.
Research Seminar
Tuesday, 06.04.2021, 16:00
Tuesday, 06.04.2021, 18:00
(GMT+02:00) Vienna (Summertime)