Americans often call the Second World War “The Good War.” But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.

The West Virginia University Department of History, in conjunction with the Slavic and East European Studies program, presents the 2012 Callahan Lecture, “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.” This year’s lecture features guest speaker Timothy D. Snyder, Housum Professor of History at Yale University. The event will take place Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 at 7 p.m. in G9 Woodburn Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Snyder, in addition to his most recently acclaimed book, “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin,” has authored four other works. “Bloodlands” is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power.

The recipient of the George Lewis Beer Award of the American Historical Association and the Halecki Prize in Polish and East Central European History, Snyder is a frequent contributor to the “New York Review of Books.” He also helped the late Tony Judt compose his last work, “Thinking the Twentieth Century.”

The Callahan Lecture series was established in 1964 in honor of the eminent historian James Morton Callahan, who served as Department Chair from 1902 to 1929, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1916 to 1929 and University Research Professor from 1929 to 1956. A student of Herbert Baxter Adams, Callahan received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and is considered one of the founders of modern diplomatic history.

For more information, contact Robert Blobaum, professor of history, at (304) 293–2421 ext. 5241 or



CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Director of Marketing and Communications
304-293-7405 ext. 5251,

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.