Giuseppe Motta

  • Posted on: 13 September 2015
  • By: marijke
About the participant: 

Giuseppe Motta works as Assistant professor at Sapienza University of Rome where he teaches Eastern European History and Modern History. He is a member of the Institute for Italo-Romanian Studies of Cluj (Romania) and of the scientific committee of the PhD courses in European History at Sapienza University of Rome. He has been the editor in chief of the Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies and has worked at the universities Babes-Bolyai of Cluj (Romania), Viterbo, Bergamo and S.Pio V of Rome (Italy). His researches are focused on the Romanian history, on the Nations-States and the conditions of national minorities in Eastern Europe. His publications include: The Legacy of the First World War. The Minority Issue in Transylvania, Petru Maior Publishing House, Targu Mures, 2014; Robie. La schiavitù dei rom in Valacchia e Moldavia, Aracne, Roma 2013; Less than Nations. Central-Eastern European Minorities after WWI, 2 vols., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, 2013; The Italian Military Governorship in South Tyrol and the Rise of Fascism, NuovaCultura, Roma, 2012; The Transylvanian Dispute after the First World War, Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrucken 2012; Ardeal. Le origini della Transilvania romena, Nuova Cultura, Roma 2011; Vincitori e Vinti. L'Europa centro-orientale nel primo dopoguerra (a cura di), Nuova Cultura, Roma 2011; Le minoranze nel XX secolo. Dallo Stato nazionale all'integrazione europea (FrancoAngeli 2006); Un rapporto difficile. Romania e Stati uniti nel periodo interbellico (FrancoAngeli 2006); Viaggiando nelle terre romene.Italiani ed europei nei principati (Settecittà 2004); Nationalisms. Identities. European Enlargement (ed. by, with A.Carteny), Accent, Cluj, 2004.


Title of lecture: 
Destruction and Relief. The Great War and the Russian Jews in the Documents of the Joint Distribution Committee

The Jews in the Russian Pale of Settlement resented the consequences of the Great War for many different reasons: the battles and the repeated occupations of German and Russian armies; the Russian military measures which produced a great flow of refugees; the continuation of the typical collective violence that produced the pogroms... All these factors impoverished Jewish communities, who had to rely on the help of many organizations to be able to face this series of terrible events. In the United States, for example, the Joint Distribution Committee, which was initially created for the relief of the Jews in Palestine, decided to expand its activity and to also include the aid and relief of Eastern European Jewish groups. The help first came through the American embassy in Holland and through local Jewish committees in Russia and only later emissaries of the Joint Distribution Committee started to visit the regions of Eastern Europe directly as they became more directly interested in this activity. The documents of the Joint Distribution Committee, therefore, could be very helpful in having a first-hand description of many Eastern European cities and of the reality in which many Jewish communities were living at the time. Many reports testify to the intense work of the organization for this relief work and describe the needs and the misery of Jews in many villages and cities, during and after the war.