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Alexandra Birch

Research Fellow (10/2023 – 08/2024)


GULAGSound: Music and Mizrahim in Tashkent


Alexandra BirchThe detention of artists and musicians was a central feature of the cultural devastation of Soviet terror. Contemporaneous with the Holocaust, Stalinisation, terror and the gulag system unleashed the targeted destruction of Jewish communities from Ukraine to Vladivostok. To expand the existing Holocaust historiography, this project examines two sonic spaces of internment: first, as part of a study of evacuees during World War II and their interactions with sound during transport; second, as part of a local study of Tashkent that looks at Jewish transit to Birobidzhan in the pre-war period and the interactions of evacuated Jews with Bukharian Jewish communities in Central Asia.


Alexandra Birch, internationally acclaimed violinist and historian. Studied music (PhD) at Arizona State University, performed in over twenty countries. Currently studying history (PhD) at UC Santa Barbara on the connection between music and mass crimes in the former USSR.


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May 2024
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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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