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University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts
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About the University of Massachusetts Medical School The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing no
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Olga Gershenson, a Russian-born and Israeli-raised academic who now teaches a course on Russian-Israeli film at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, commented, " The conference was quite politicized compared to most research conferences, but that is because there is so much at stake here and the issues hit very close to home."
Gray Areas: Olga Gershenson ...
Gray Areas: Olga Gershenson has unearthed a number of Soviet films that dealt with the fate of Jews during WWII. Among them was the film Professor Mamlock.
Courtesy of Olga Gershenson
Gray Areas: Olga Gershenson
has unearthed a number of Soviet films that dealt with the fate of Jews during WWII.
By Olga Gershenson
Rutgers University Press, 290 pages, $32.50
film, however, ought not to have been the film that introduced Russian audiences to the subject of the Holocaust, as Olga Gershenson's
pioneering book on the history of Holocaust representation in Soviet cinema suggests.
Gershenson, who is an associate professor of Judaic and Near Eastern studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, notes that Spielberg's film is indicative of larger ways in which the Holocaust is treated in Western cinema.
Namely, this film - like many other Holocaust films - emphasizes the experience of those who suffered and died in Auschwitz or in other concentration and death camps and consequently ignores the deaths of nearly half of all victims of the Holocaust who were rounded up and gunned down on Soviet territory before death camps, all of them located outside the borders of the USSR, were even operational.
Our visual vocabulary of the Holocaust - "emaciated bodies, striped uniforms, barbed wire, crematorium ovens, and mounds of personal effects," as Gershenson
summarizes it - is largely informed by the history of Western representation of the catastrophe.
Olga Gershenson, ...
Olga Gershenson, University of Massachusetts
Olga Gershenson, Associate ...
Olga Gershenson, Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst gave a presentation about films that had been banned or had disappeared during the Holocaust.
Clips of the films Professor Mamlock and The Unvanquished were presented to the audience.
She explained how the film Professor Mamlock succeeded in educating Soviet Jews about Hitler before the German army invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.
"The films saved Jewish lives," she said.
Jewish Russian Telegraph:
JRT: A newly-released book by UMass Professor Olga Gershenson, "The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe," provides a fascinating look at a genre that few today realize ever even existed.
This past April, a newly subtitled print of Professor Mamlock was screened at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, followed by a Q&A session with Olga Gershenson, a professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the preeminent name in Soviet Holocaust film history.
Wherever a Soviet Holocaust movie is screened, Gershenson
is there, leading the discussion and translating the Soviet messaging for contemporary audiences.
third book, The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe, which will be released next week, traces the story of a shadow Soviet film industry that only rarely managed to represent the tragedy that filmmakers, directors, and screenwriters sought to warn against or memorialize.