Reworking Trauma: Roma and Jewish History Research in the Baltic States and the USA

Reworking Trauma: Roma and Jewish History Research in the Baltic States and the USA

An international conference called “Reworking Trauma: Roma and Jewish History Research in the Baltic States and the USA” will be held at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library in Vilnius from 10:00 A.M. to around 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday, September 13. The goal of the conference is to take a closer look at the social, cultural and political mechanisms used by the Jewish and Roma communities to work through trauma experienced during the Holocaust and what significance these mechanisms hold now in the Baltic states and the United States. The national history narrative often lacks space for “small histories,” the memories and stories of marginalized and voiceless minority communities who suffered so gravely from the tragic events of the 20th century. The main goals are to educate the public on the history of the Roma and Jewish communities in our region, to support academic research in this field and to stimulate international academic cooperation in minority, memory and Holocaust studies.

Anthropologist and US Holocaust Museum researcher Krista Hegburg is one of the main speakers and honored guest. She will also speak at panel discussion at the Vilnius Museum at 6:30 P.M. on September 15.

Other speakers include Volha Bartash from Regensburg University, Dovilė Budrytė from Georgia Gwinnett College, Neringa Latvytė from the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum and Vilnius Univeristy, Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium principal and psychologist Ruth Reches, Agnieška Avin from Vyautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Anna Pilarczyk-Palaitis from Vytautas Magnus and Eva-Liisa Roht-Yilmaz from Tartu University.


10:00 A.M. Introduction by organizers and contributors

10:30 A.M. Keynote lecture by Krista Hegburg (USHMM): “Unknown Holocaust?: Trends in the Study of Roma and the Holocaust.”

11:30 A.M. Coffee break

11:45 A.M. First session: “Research on Roma Genocide in Lithuania and the Baltics”:

Volha Bartash: “Gender, Trauma and Memory: Romani Women in the Aftermath of the Genocide.”
Agnieška Avin and Anna Pilarczyk-Palaitis: “On the Way to Visibility: The Process of Creating a Cultural Memory of the Genocide of Lithuanian Roma,” and a presentation of the Lithuanian Roma Oral History Archive.
Eva-Liisa Roht-Yilmaz: “The Awareness (-raising) of the Roma Holocaust in Estonia.”

1:00 P.M. – Q&A session

1:30 P.M. – Lunch

2:30 P.M. Second session: “Trauma and Memory in Lithuania”:

Dovilė Budrytė: “Construction of Holocaust Memories in Lithuania: Mnemonic Conflicts and Mnemonic Cooperation.”
Neringa Latvytė: “Healing the Wounds of the Soul: Silent Memory of Jewish Women during and after the Holocaust.”
Ruth Reches: “Experiencing Holocaust Trauma Identities” in Lithuanian.

3:30 P.M. Q&A session

3:45 P.M. Roundtable discussion on memory politics and memory institutionalization. Participating: Krista Hegburg, Vida Montvydaitė (Department of Ethnic Minorities to the Lithuanian Government), Neringa Latvytė.

Facebook announcement here.