Respectfully Disagreeing with Professor Timothy Snyder



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Jump to Reviews of Bloodlands


This journal holds leading historian Professor Timothy Snyder (Yale University) in the highest esteem, and trusts that this select list of reviews taking issue with aspects of Bloodlands of direct concern to DefendingHistory.com will not be taken amiss. It does not include reviews which have engaged in personal attack or pursued grudges, or which focus on other issues.

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PREPUBLICATION DISCUSSION  IN THE GUARDIAN (SEPT-OCT 2010):  Timothy Snyder replied to Efraim Zuroff and Dovid Katz replying to him

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POSTPUBLICATION ROUNDTABLE AT MONASH UNIVERSITY, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (5 JUNE 2011): Patrick Desbois, Jan Gross, Dovid Katz, Timothy Snyder

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JULY 2011: AFTER THE PRE- AND POST- PUBLICATION DEBATES ON HIS BOOK, PROFESSOR SNYDER CONTRIBUTES A FORCEFUL REACTION TO LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT SILENCE ON THE DEFACING OF THE PONAR MEMORIAL SITE NEAR VILNIUS IN A WIDELY PRAISED NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS PIECE

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AN OPEN LETTER TO PROFESSOR TIMOTHY SNYDER FOLLOWING HIS PARTICIPATION IN A HOLOCAUST SYMPOSIUM IN VILNIUS (MAY 2012) IN THE WEEK WHEN THE 1941 NAZI PUPPET PM WAS REBURIED WITH FULL HONORS AND GLORIFIED.

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Summer 2012: TABLET ARTICLE BY DAVID MIKICS; TIMOTHY SNYDER REPLIES; MIKICS REPLIESCOMMENT BY EFRAIM ZUROFF; 2nd; BY MILAN CHERSONSKI.

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INSTRUMENTALIZATION

May 2012: Honors from the Lithuanian Foreign Minister during the week the Lithuanian government reburied the glorified the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister who personally signed papers condemning the Jews of his city (Kaunas) to torture, ghettoization and death

In May 2012, the foreign minister of Lithuania (left) honored Prof. Snyder in the week during which his government was reburying with full honors the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister.  The foreign minister is known for his antisemitic outbursts, his Hitler-Stalin “moustache comparison” and his defense of the Nazi’s reburial on the floor the nation’s parliament. The event has been seen as part of a wider pattern of high officials honoring western dignitaries who seem to be supporting — or can be presented as favoring — one or more components of Baltic revisionist history.

July 2012: Silence (acquiescence?) at the Foreign Minister’s announcement of the intended use of Professor Snyder’s book for continued European Parliament “Double Genocide” Holocaust revisionism

In  July 2012, the Lithuanian foreign minister explained how Professor Snyder’s Bloodlands will be utilized during Lithuania’s (rotating) EU presidency in 2013, as part of a wider “Double Genocide offensive” in the EU. The use of Bloodlands for the nationalist narrative had earlier been proposed or explained by professors Saulius Sužiedėlis and Egidijus Aleksandravičius.  Earlier (ab)use of ‘Bloodlands’ included a September 2011 book event held at the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry where passages were misquoted to defame Jewish partisan veterans.

August 2013: Triumphant announcement by the state’s “Red-Brown Commission” of Professor Snyder’s joining the Commission

On 29 August 2012, BNS (Baltic News Service) reported that Professor Snyder was one of the new recruits for the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, known for short as the “Red-Brown Commission.” The prestigious appointment was heralded a day earlier by a statement mentioning only the Yale affiliationReport on the commission’s renewal. Background on the commission, and on the history of opposition. Scholars who have resigned on principle from the commission and associated panel of experts include Dr. Yitzhak Arad (Tel Aviv), Sir Martin Gilbert (London), Prof. Gershon Greenberg (Washington, DC), Prof. Konrad Kwiet (Sydney) and Prof. Dov Levin (Jerusalem). In September 2012, the last active association of Holocaust survivors from Lithuania protested the commission’s renewal. Updates on the commission’s renewal. Clemens Heni’s essay on the 2013 awarding of the Hannah Arendt prize.

October 2013: Professor Snyder one of the minority of members of the state Commission who would not sign the letter of regret sent to Dr. Yitzhak Arad

In October 2013, Professor Snyder was the foreign star at the relaunch of the “Red-Brown Commission” in Vilnius, but he did not issue any public comment on the outstanding Commission policies that cause Holocaust survivors and their families pain. The disappointment only grew when it emerged that he was one of a minority of members who would not even sign the rather limited attempt at reconciliation with Dr. Yitzhak Arad, nor issue any statement on where he himself stands on the attempted criminalization of survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance and are heroes of the free world. This could be remedied by an adequate statement by himself on his Commission’s failure to address the criminalization of Holocaust survivors including one of the Commission’s own founding members.

February 2014: Professor Snyder regards fears of pro-fascist, far right or antisemitic politics among Ukrainian nationalists as purely features of Russian propaganda. 

See relevant portions of his major articles in the New York Times and the New York Review of Books.

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Select reviews of Bloodlands, and related articles, focusing on issues central to DefendingHistory.com

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list. For general purpose reviews and information on book awards, readers are referred to the book’s website: www.bloodlandsbook.com.

Omer Bartov in Slavic Review.

Gal Beckerman, ‘Exploring the Bloodlands”. A Controversial New History Traces the Rise of a Horrible Idea: The Mass Killing of Civilians’ in the Boston Globe.

Rachel Croucher, ‘On Snyder’s Conceptualization of the Final Solution in the Bloodlands”’  in DefendingHistory.com.

Dan Diner, ‘Topography of Interpretation: Reviewing Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands’ in Contemporary European History.

Richard J. Evans, ‘Who remembers the Poles?’ in the London Review of Books.

Alexander J. Groth in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs.

Clemens Heni, “Ernst Nolte’s grandson” in DefendingHistory.com [condensed/adapted extract; see now pp. 313-350 in C. Heni’s Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon, Berlin 2013].

Maria Rosaria Iovinella, ‘Revisiniosmo: Economia dello sterminio. Lo storico Snyder riscrive l’Olocausto’ in Lettera 43.

Dovid Katz, ‘Detonation of the Holocaust in 1941: A Tale of Two Books’ in East European Jewish Affairs.

Thomas Kühne, ‘Great Men and Large Numbers: Undertheorising a History of Mass Killing’ in Contemporary European History.

Daniel Lazare, ‘Timothy Snyder’s Lies’ in JacobinMag.com.

Roberto Muehlenkamp, ‘A Critique of Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands’ in Holocaust Controversies.

Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe in H-Soz-u-Kult (online version here; PDF here); authorized English version in DefendingHistory.com.

Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe, ‘Debating, obfuscating and disciplining the Holocaust: post-Soviet historical discourses on the OUN-UPA and other nationalist movements’ in East European Jewish Affairs.

Robert Rozett, ‘Diminishing the Holocaust: Scholarly Fodder for a Discourse of Distortion’ in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs.

Per Rudling, ‘Can Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands be Appropriated by East European Nationalists?’ in DefendingHistory.com.

Stefan Troebst, review of Bloodlands in H-Soz-u-Kult.

Kenneth Waltzer, review of Bloodlands in Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History.

Michael Wildt, review of Bloodlands in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History.

Jürgen Zarusky, ‘Timothy Snyders “Bloodlands”.  Kritische Anmerkungen zur Konstruktion einer Geschichtslandschaft’ in Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte.

Efraim Zuroff, ‘The Equivalency Canard’ in Haaretz / Books.

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