Igor Pomerantsev

Author, poet, journalist, Prague

Visiting Fellow, Eurasia in Global Dialogue
(November 2020)


The City of Czernowitz as a Cultural and Linguistic Palimpsest

Czernowitz, where I was brought up and graduated from university, is known in the German-speaking world as the literary city of Paul Celan, Rosa Ausländer, Gregor von Rezzori, etc. But the place is, in fact, a cultural andlinguistic palimpsest. The least studied layer of the palimpsest is the Soviet period, which lasted about half a century. Soviet propaganda did a lot to eliminate its Austrian heritage. My task is to show how German, Jewish, Romanian, and Ukrainian cultural elements resisted the politics of eliminating memory in Soviet Czernowitz.