Dr Tetyana Pavlush
Lecturer in German History
I specialise in 20th century European history with a primary focus on Germany and an expanding interest in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet studies. Before joining the History Department at Cardiff University in October 2019 as Lecturer in Modern German history, I taught Modern European history at the University of Stirling. I received my PhD in Modern European history at the Free University of Berlin in 2014.
My research deals with different aspects of collective memory, national identity and the politics of history in the German-German and broader European context. The Second World War in German and European memory, the history and memory of the Holocaust, Christian-Jewish encounters, and the role of history in the process of post-totalitarian transformation are among my research and teaching priorities.
My current research project addresses the transformation of public memory of the Holocaust in two European countries from different sides of the ‘Iron Curtain’ – Austria and Ukraine – before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
My book ‘Kirche nach Auschwitz’ (Churches after Auschwitz) was published in 2015. This is a comparative study on how the Holocaust and its legacy were addressed between 1945 and 1990 by Protestant churches in two German states: the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR.
Through my affiliation with the Berlin School for Comparative European History during my doctoral studies I developed an interest in the theory and praxis of historical comparison and other methodological approaches used in the context of comparative history, transfer studies and connected or shared history. Since then I am passionate in applying them in my research and in my teaching.
I studied history, worked in academia and in the political and civic education sector in the UK, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany. I am fluent in Ukrainian, English, German, Czech and Russian.
My teaching expertise covers a wide range of topics in the cultural, social and political history of 20th century Western, Central and Eastern Europe. This includes the history of the First and the Second World Wars, Fascism and Communism, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, social history of post-1945 Europe, and Cold War culture.
My research is based on new approaches in memory studies, Cold War history and media studies. It focuses on 20th century Europe and deals with different aspects of collective memory, national identity and the politics of the past in German and wider European contexts. I am particularly interested in the correlation between political and memory cultures. I primarily explore the link between the memory of the Holocaust and the Cold War on both sides of the ‘Iron curtain’.
My current project addresses the transformation of the public memory of the Holocaust in two European countries from different sides of the ‘Iron Curtain’ – Austria and Ukraine – before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. While the number of Jewish people killed during the Holocaust in the Soviet Ukraine is 15 times greater than in Austria, this tragedy remains on the periphery of Ukraine’s collective memory. The project seeks to explore the reasons for this discrepancy addressing primarily the role of the Cold War in shaping the Austrian and Ukrainian national memories. The central question is whether the Cold War was a general political, ideological and cultural context or a key determinant of underplaying the Holocaust after 1945. How did Cold War realities correlate with national victimisation and glorification narratives about the Second World War? What changes occurred in understanding and remembering the Holocaust after the fall of the Berlin Wall and to what extent do they relate to the end of the Cold War?
My book ‘Kirche nach Auschwitz’ (Church after Auschwitz) was published in 2015. In it I examine comparatively how the Holocaust and its legacy were addressed between 1945 and 1990 by Protestant church leaders, journalists, laypeople and theologians in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
I argue that churches’ dealing with Auschwitz was catalysed and driven by public controversies over the Nazi past, focusing primarily on the following events: the controversy about Rolf Hochhuth’s 1963 play ‘Der Stellvertreter’ (The Deputy), the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1979 national broadcast in the FRG of the U.S. television drama ‘The Holocaust’. I further explore to what extent churches’ responses to the Holocaust were determined by the competing interpretations of the Nazi past in two German states.