Nanci Adler

Prof. dr.

  • Netherlands


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Personal profile


Nanci Adler graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University with a degree in German language and literature and Soviet Studies. She completed her Master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral work in Russian Studies at the Department of East European Studies of the University of Amsterdam.

Adler is Director of Research and Head of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies. She teaches in the M.A. History Program on Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam. 

She has been appointed Professor of Memory, History and Transitional Justice at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Humanities, effective 15 June. The chair was established in partnership with the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Adler is the author of, among others, Keeping Faith with the Party: Communist Believers Return from the Gulag (2012), The Gulag Survivor: Beyond the Soviet System (2002), and Victims of Soviet Terror: The Story of the Memorial Movement (1993), and numerous scholarly articles on the consequences of Stalinism.  She heads the NIOD Transitional Justice Research Program, “Understanding the Age of Transitional Justice: Narratives in Historical Perspective.”  Her current research focuses on transitional justice and the legacy of Communism.

Dissertation: The Great Return: The Gulag Survivor and the Soviet System (Amsterdam; 1999) 

Other professional activities:

  • Present: Member editorial board Memory and Narrative
  • Present: Member editorial board Gulag Studies
  • 2007-2011: Member of the Archive Commission of the Council for Culture (Raad voor Cultuur) of the Netherlands Ministry of Education
  • 2007-2009: Member board of the Uppsala Programme for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Uppsala University


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