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This talk explores the entangled narratives of racial politics and understandings of rescue in the multiconfessional, post-Ottoman town of Sarajevo. Drawing upon lived experiences and engagements of Bosnian Jews and Muslims during the 1930s and 1940s, the talk raises questions about how it was possible to have mass condemnations of the Holocaust and many private efforts to save Jews and Jewish culture in the same place, and sometimes by some of the same people, who would seek alliances with Nazi Germany and support the creation of the Bosnian Muslim Waffen SS unit. In suggesting some answers, Greble explores how local communities operated beyond the ideological frameworks and historical mythologies that are often used to describe their lives.
Emily Greble is Professor of History and East European Studies at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Sarajevo, 1941-1945: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Hitler’s Europe (Cornell, 2011) and Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe (Oxford, 2021).