Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Omer Bartov

John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History


Born in Israel and educated at Tel Aviv University and St. Antony's College, Oxford, Omer Bartov's early research concerned the Nazi indoctrination of the Wehrmacht and the crimes it committed in World War II, analyzed in his books, The Eastern Front, 1941-1945, and Hitler's Army. He then turned to the links between total war and genocide, discussed in his books Murder in Our Midst, Mirrors of Destruction, and Germany's War and the Holocaust. Bartov's interest in representation also led to his study, The "Jew" in Cinema, which examines the recycling of antisemitic stereotypes in film. His last monograph, Erased, investigates interethnic relations in the borderlands of Eastern Europe. As a framework for this research, he led a multi-year collaborative project at the Watson Institute, culminating in the co-edited volume, Shatterzone of Empires. Bartov is currently completing a major monograph, The Voice of Your Brother's Blood: Buczacz, Biography of a Town.


I am currently completing a book titled The Voice of Your Brother's Blood: Buczacz, Biography of a Town. My goal is to trace the origins of local mass murder in the complexities of relations between different ethnic and religious groups over a long time span in the Eastern Galician town of Buczacz. I investigate the dynamic that creates, or prevents, the transformation of a community based on interaction and cooperation into a community of genocide. Composed of a mixed Jewish-Polish-Ukrainian population for centuries, Buczacz saw the eradication of its Jewish inhabitants by Nazi murder squads assisted by local collaborators in World War II, and the ethnic cleansing of its Polish population by Ukrainian nationalists. The main outlines of the Holocaust in East Galicia have recently been reconstructed. But we know very little about how genocide actually unfolded on the ground, and about the nature of the social fabric upon which these policies were enacted and to which it reacted. This can be better understood only by delving deeper into the past and providing the perspective of all groups involved in the event.

Israel-Palestine, Lands and Peoples: A New Initiative Led by Omer Bartov


“The Voice of Your Brother’s Blood: Reconstructing Genocide on the Local Level,” in Jewish Histories of the Holocaust: New Transnational Approaches, ed. Norman Goda (New York: Berghahn Books, 2014), 105-134.

“Genocide in a Multiethnic Town: Event, Origins, Aftermath,” in Totalitarian Dictatorship: New Histories, ed. Daniela Baratieri, Mark Edele and Giuseppe Finaldi (New York and London: Routledge, 2014), 212-231.

Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands, edited volume with Eric D. Weitz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013).

“Wartime Lies and Other Testimonies: Jewish--‐Christian Relationships in Buczacz, 1939-44,” East European Politics and Societies 25/3 (August 2011): 486-511.


Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007) The “Jew” in Cinema: From The Golem to Don’t Touch My Holocaust (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2005 


Fall 2015

HIST 1969A - Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples

News|Recent News

Review: "Anatomy of a Genocide," in its focus on one town, is a landmark of Holocaust literature (Omer Bartov featured)

February 16, 2018 The Providence Journal

"To the list of landmark genocide studies must now be added Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz, Brown University Prof. Omer Bartov’s masterfully researched and hauntingly rendered history of atrocities committed against — and by — the religiously and ethnically mixed former residents of a place that today is part of Ukraine."


When Mass Murder Is an Intimate Affair (Omer Bartov featured)

January 29, 2018 Smithsonian

Omer Bartov joins Smithsonian.com to discuss his new book "Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz." "The story of Buczacz is the story of genocide as it unfolded in one town, but also the larger story of how such mass atrocities can transpire in communities the world over."


All News


All Events