The Fate of the Romani Minorities in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during World War II: Genocide and its Resonance Today

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: IRES Library, Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor
  • Organiser: Hugo Valentin Centre, Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) and Uppsala Forum
  • Contact person: Hanna Abakunova
  • Seminarium

The third part of a seminar series in Romani studies arranged by the Hugo Valentin Centre, IRES and Uppsala Forum.

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The Nazi-inspired genocide of the Romani minorities of German-occupied Europe during World War II had both broadly common features, but also numerous local variations. This talk will focus on the case of the Baltic states – Estonian, Latvia, and Lithuania – to illustrate how the outcomes could vary across a relatively small geographical area, even from district to district within the same country. It will also raise important issues of the levels of local complicity in the genocide and the leeway for local actors to either intensify or hinder the mass murder of their Romani compatriots. This question of the agency of local perpetrators in particular has implications for how the genocide is (not) commemorated in Baltic societies today.

Dr. Matthew Kott is an historian and a collaborating researcher for this seminar series (IRES, Uppsala University). He holds a DPhil in Modern History from the University of Oxford. From 2009 to 2011, he was coordinator for Romani Studies at the Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University. Since 2011, he is a researcher and teacher at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University. Dr. Kott specialises on the history of the Baltic Sea region, particularly Latvia in the 20th century. His research and teaching interests include the history of fascism and other forms of political extremism and persecution and extermination of Roma with a comparative and regional focus on the Baltic States. Other countries of key research interest include Norway, Sweden, and Belarus. Dr. Kott is currently the editor of Journal of Baltic Studies, and a recognised expert for the Latvian Council of Science (Latvijas Zinātnes padome). He is also a member of the research team for the project “The archaeology of independence: Towards a new conceptual perspective on national resistance in Latvia” (VPP-LETONIKA-2021/2-0003), based at the University of Latvia.