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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Yom HaShoah & Dr. Jonathan Brent on Stalin and the Birth of Contemporary Antisemitism

Event details
Calendar   Commemorations
Location Zoom
Date Wed, Apr 7, 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Duration   1h 30m

During the Holocaust, all of the age-old racial and cultural stereotypes of Jews, religious hatreds, anxieties about Jews as “the other,” traditional scapegoating of Jews in combination with the new charges of Jewish Bolshevism and a worldwide plot by Jews to rule the world—all this was brought to a boiling point throughout the world. In the years, just preceding and then following World War II, Josef Stalin introduced a new element into this continuum of antisemitism – the element of antisemitism’s political utility, free of racial or cultural stereotypes, free of scapegoating, free of reliance on myths such as the blood libel or The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This new element is particularly pernicious in the modern world—in the Middle East, Europe, and in America as well.

In this talk, Jonathan Brent will explore this new element—the Stalinist element—how it developed, its basis in Stalinist thinking, and will touch on its “utility” today.

Dr. Jonathan Brent
Jonathan Brent is a historian, publisher, translator, writer and teacher. Brent was Editorial Director of Yale University Press (1991-2009) where he established the Annals of Communism series. He spent nearly 20 years working in and with the post-Soviet archive in Moscow to publish the truth about Stalin’s regime. His books include Stalin’s Last Crime (2003); and Inside the Stalin Archives (2008).

In 2009, Brent became Executive Director and CEO of The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research where he initiated The YIVO Vilna Collection Project in 2014. In 2019 Jonathan Brent received the Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania presented by H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania.

Brent lectures and publishes widely on Jewish, Soviet and East European history and is the Alger Hiss Visiting Professor at Bard College.

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