A Human Rights Practitioner’s Guide to De-Democratization in Europe – Annual Raţiu Lecture

RSVP HERE to reserve your seat

Wednesday, January 24 at 5pm ET, with a reception to follow

Erika Schlager advocated for human rights and democracy in a career that ranged from the 1981 imposition of martial law in Poland to the rise of a new kind of one-party state in Hungary today. Her presentation will discuss the nexus between democracy and human rights—connecting the legacies of Ion Raţiu and Romanian Romani civil rights activist Nicolae Gheorghe—and the importance of strengthening democracy in the United States in order to advance democracy around the globe. She will share what her work on prisoners of conscience, transitional justice, war crimes, and U.S. efforts to promote human rights as a component of U.S. foreign policy tells her about human rights and democracy challenges in Europe today. Introduction will be made by Dr. Diana Dumitru, Visiting Ion Raţiu Chair of Romanian Studies at CERES.

About the Speakers
For more than three decades, Erika Schlager served as Counsel for International Law for the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission), a Congressionally-created advisory agency mandated by law to monitor compliance with the Helsinki Final Act and other agreements of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe. She worked with the Helsinki Commission’s bipartisan, bicameral Congressional leadership and with the Department of State on human rights and democracy in the trans-Atlantic region. Her areas of focus included the situation of the Romani minority, Holocaust issues, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, legal standards for citizenship in newly independent states, and the status and treatment of detainees after 9/11.

Diana Dumitru is the Visiting Ion Raţiu Chair of Romanian Studies at Georgetown University. Her field of research includes the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, nationalism, and Jews under late Stalinism. Dr. Dumitru has held multiple fellowships that include a Woodrow Wilson Center’s Fellowship (USA), Gerda Henkel Stiftung Fellowship (Germany), Simone Wiesenthal Institute Visiting Researcher (Austria), and the Rosenzweig Family Fellowship for research at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USA). She has authored over forty academic articles and two books. Her second book, The State, Antisemitism and Collaboration in the Holocaust: The Borderlands of Romania and the Soviet Union, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. Together with Chad Bryant and Kateřina Čapková, she is currently working on a book titled “The Trial that Shook the World: The Slánský Process and the Dynamics of Czechoslovak Communism.” She is also writing a separate book focused on Jewish life in the Soviet Union after World War II. Dr. Dumitru is an editorial board member of the scholarly journals Holocaust and Genocide Studies, East European Jewish Affairs, and Journal of Genocide Research. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the EU-funded European Holocaust Research Infrastructure.

This event is co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES), the Ion Raţiu Chair of Romanian Studies and the Center for Jewish Civilization.