Irina Rebrova is originally from the South of Russia and is studying at the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism, Technical University Berlin. In her Ph.D. project, she studies early evidence of the Holocaust and the memory politics about it in the North Caucasus, South Russia. This region is not typically part of Holocaust history, but it was very important as a region of mass concentration of Jews in 1942, including key famous people, very few of whom would survive the war.
Information about mass extermination of the Jewish population first appeared in the Soviet Press during the war and the first public trial against collaborators occurred in Krasnodar in 1943. Most of the witness testimonies during the trial were taken from materials of the Extraordinary State Commission that aimed to fix the atrocities of Nazi regime at occupied zones of the USSR. The field materials were full of descriptions of mass extermination of Jews in 1942, right after the occupation of the cities and villages in the South of Russia. The ethnicity of the main victims of the Nazi regime was later substituted by the most powerful in the Soviet times category of “soviet peaceful citizens” in the final report of the Commission. Ms. Rebrova uses discourse analysis of the wartime sources as one of the methods in her research to trace the changing of the state policy towards the tragedy of the soviet Jews during the Second World War.
Irina Rebrova has received funding and support from the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism, TU-Berlin. She was also the first HBI-BGI Scholar-in-Residence at Brandeis University in 2013-2014. Her supervisors are Professor Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum and Professor Dr. Dieter Pohl.