Upcoming Events

Presenting the Second Annual Walter Ziffer & Gail Rosenthal Lecture

Putin’s Imaginary Nazis:
The Weaponization of Historical Memory in Russia’s War Against Ukraine

A Talk by Izabella Tabarovsky


Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 12 pm

Karpen Hall 038

One of the most notable features of Putin’s war against Ukraine has been his efforts to justify the invasion through distorted historical narratives. While much of the world understands the war as an unprovoked attack on a democratic nation’s sovereignty by a despotic leader, Putin has successfully convinced much of the Russian populace that the invasion of Russia’s southwestern neighbor is a noble bid to “denazify” Ukraine and to free its people from fascism. The misrepresentation of history that underpins Putin’s propaganda has surprised many in the West, but the Russian president’s obsession with the history of World War II and the Holocaust has long been a feature of his regime. In this talk, Izabella Tabarovsky will discuss how Putin’s weaponization of historical memory of the Holocaust has played into Putin’s approach to Ukraine, Israel, and the global Jewish community—and what lessons we must draw from this.

Izabella Tabarovsky is a Senior Program Associate at the Kennan Institute (Wilson Center), and a contributing writer at Tablet Magazine. She is a 2022 research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism & Policy (ISGAP). Her research and writing focus on Soviet antizionism and contemporary left antisemitism, Soviet Jewry, Holocaust in the USSR, Stalin’s repressions, and politics of historical memory. In addition to Tablet, her writings have appeared in SapirNewsweek, The National Interest, the Forward, Wilson Quarterly, Times of Israel, Fathom, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and others

For more information, contact CJS director Doria Killian at dkillian@unca.edu or (828) 333-7126.