Events Calendar

Paul Mercandetti: RCHA Seminar

Tuesday, February 21, 2023, 11:00am - 01:00pm

Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis
2022-2023 Seminar Series:
“Repairing The Past”
Co-directors, Jochen Hellbeck (History) and Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan (History)

February 21, 2023

Paul Mercandetti

Commemorating the Fiery Villages: The Khatyn Memorial Complex

Tuesday, February 21, 2023: 11 am--1:00 pm (hybrid)


In Belarus, the “Fiery Villages” refer to the hundreds of settlements in the country that were destroyed, complete with their inhabitants, as part of “punitive” expeditions carried out by German troops against Soviet partisans. This paper explores a Soviet-era monumental commemorative project honoring the “Fiery Villages” to problematize historical narratives that show the Soviet era as dominated by an all-embracing triumphalist ‘war cult’ which solely focused on narratives of ‘heroic victory’ over the Nazi invaders. The paper show that during the Soviet period it was possible to portray narratives focusing on personal wartime experiences of suffering and that such narratives, albeit within limits, enjoyed official sanction and support. 

Please email Jochen Hellbeck at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request the paper.