Forced Displacements
  • Interview with Catherine Gousseff — Directrice de recherche — CNRS (CERCEC)
In 2013, as Catherine Gousseff was about to publish a book on polish-ukrainian populations exchange after World War II, civil war broke out in Ukraine, leaving thousands of men and women hitting the roads and awakening recollections of tragic mass human movements. Using declassified data sources after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the historian focuses on forced displacement of populations (exiles, banishments, deportations) within the Soviet territory, revealing a large-scale phenomenon unequalled during the twentieth century. While administrative archives produced by the Soviet State enable a statistical approach of the phenomenon, the lack of testimonies and Egodocuments renders the historian’s work laborious, and still prevents the historian from shedding light on the sensitive and personal experience of the displacement.
Catherine Gousseff's researches echo Marc Bloch's watchword: studying history makes the present more understandable. Here, she connects today's european migrant crisis with the forced population displacement in post-World war II Poland and Ukraine.
Interview published on 01-04-2018
Last modified on 10-25-2022
Original language: English Lire la version French
  • Biography
  • Bibliography of Catherine Gousseff



Échanger les peuples, le déplacement des minorités aux confins polono-soviétiques (1944-1947), Paris, Fayard, 2015.

“L'URSS et la Russie contemporaine face à l'humanitaire” (with Amandine Regamey), Connexe, n° 1, 2015.

(with Katja Hrobat, Gustovo Corni), At Home but Foreigners. Population transfers in 20th Century Istria, Koper, Univerzitetna zalozba Annales, 2015.

“Rapatriation versus Evacuation: the Polish-ukrainian Exchange of Population, 1944-1946”, in J. Reinisch, E. White (ed.), The Disentanglement of populations: Migration, Expulsion and Displacement in Post-War Europe, 1944-1949, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, p. 91-111.

L’Exil russe (1920-1939). La fabrique du réfugié apatride, Paris, CNRS-Éditions, 2008.

(with Olga Pichon-Bobrinskoy), L’Invention d’une politique humanitaire: le Zemgor et les réfugiés russes (1921-1930), Cahiers du monde russe, vol. 46, n° 4, 2005.

(with Sabine Dullin), “Les pratiques administratives en URSS”, Cahiers du Monde Russe, vol. 44, n° 2-3, 2003.