Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - History of Eastern Europe

Dr. Irina Makhalova

Dr. Irina Makhalova
research assistant

Humboldt-Universität → Präsidium → Philosophische Fakultät → Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften → Geschichte Osteuropas
Visiting address
Friedrichstraße 191-193 , Room 5046
Phone number
(030) 2093 70590
Mailing address
Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin



2016-2020 – National Research University Higher School of Economics, History Department, Ph.D. (Russian History) (topic of the Ph.D. dissertation: “Collaboration in Crimea during the Nazi occupation (1941-1944)”) (the defense of the dissertation took place on December 11, 2020);

2014-2016 – Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, MA “Moderne Europäische Geschichte”, Berlin, Germany (topic of the MA dissertation: “Collaboration of the Crimean Tatars in Crimea during World War II”);

2010-2014 – National Research University Higher School of Economics, History Department, Undergraduate-2014, Moscow, Russia.


Work experience


January, 2021 – August, 2021: Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow);

September, 2021 – April, 2023: Senior Lecturer at the School of History, Faculty of Humanities (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow); 

April, 2014 – December, 2020: Research Assistant at the International Centre for the History of Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences. 


Research Project: Pursuing Justice after World War II: Soviet Retribution Policy in 1940-1960s

Already during World War II, the process of hunting the Nazi perpetrators and their accomplices had started everywhere in Europe continuing during the Cold War. In the Soviet Union, the trials were firstly carried out during the war and continued until the collapse of the Soviet system. The research aims to analyze the Soviet closed postwar trials of collaborators who were involved in the crimes against the Jewish population during the Nazi occupation. Starting with the first phase of trials (1941-early 1950s), my research encompasses the period of rapid and intensive amnesty (1953-1955) when many Soviet citizens, including those judged for collaboration, were subjected for release. Another part of the project is devoted to the so-called “second wave” of collaborators trials which started in the late 1950s and continued until the late 1960s. My research focuses on Ukraine, Lithuania and Crimea as territories with multinational population where, after World War II, the Soviet state intended, on the one hand, to fight strong nationalistic sentiments revealed during the war. On the other hand, it pursued justice by investigating Nazi crimes. The changes in practices of judging collaborators illustrate profound transformation of the Soviet system and the attitude of the government toward both the notion “collaboration” and the crimes against the Jewish population.


Publication list


Refereed Journal Articles:

  1. Irina Makhalova and Irina Rebrova, “(Post)War Trials of Nazi Perpetrators and their Auxiliaries in the Soviet Union: History and Ongoing Debates” // East European Holocaust Studies (forthcoming in 2024).
  2. Irina Makhalova and Daniil Skorinkin, “Between Prosecution and Glorification: Reconstructing the Biographies of Soviet Collaborators through Databases Cross-check” // The Journal of Slavic Military Studies (forthcoming in 2024).
  3. Irina Makhalova, “Between Prejudges and Justice: Closed Trials of Female Collaborators in Crimea (1944-1953)” (originally in Russian: Между предубеждениями и правосудием: закрытые процессы над женщинами-коллаборантками в Крыму (1944-1953) // Cahiers du Monde Russe 62, no. 4 (2021): 603-628.
  4. Irina Makhalova, “Collaboration in the Occupied Soviet Territories: Historiography of Recent Years” (originally in Russian: Коллаборационизм на оккупированных советских территориях: историография последних лет) // Rossijskaia istoria, no. 3 (2019): 141-149.
  5. Irina Makhalova, “Heroes or Perpetrators? How Soviet Collaborators received Red Army Medals” // The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 32, no. 2 (2019): 280-288.
  6. Seth Bernstein and Irina Makhalova, “Aggregate Treason: A Quantitative Analysis of Collaborator Trials in Soviet Ukraine and Crimea”// The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 46, no. 1 (2019): 30-54.
  7. Irina Makhalova, “History of Napoleonic Wars in Propaganda of Belligerent Powers during World War II” (originally in Russian: История наполеоновских войн в пропаганде воюющих держав в период Второй мировой войны) // Novaia i novejshaia istoria, no. 5 (2017): 215-225.

Book Chapters:

  1. Irina Makhalova, “Die Beteiligung von Kollaborateuren an der Gewalt gegen die Zivilbevölkerung auf der Krim unter der nationalsozialistischen Besatzung (1941-1944)“ // Die Gewalt gegen die Zivilbevölkerung an der Ostfront während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Hrsg. Tanja Penter (forthcoming in 2024/2025).
  2. Irina Makhalova, Rote Armee, in: Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur, Band 5 (Akademieprojekt im Simon-Dubnow-Institut), Verlag J. B. Metzler: Stuttgart/Weimar 2015. P. 258-262.

Book Reviews:

  1. Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft: Franz X. Keilhofer, „Ich habe niemals ein Verbrechen begangen“: Die Karriere des NSDAP-Kreisleiters Josef Glück – angeklagt wegen Massenmordes in der Ukraine. Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 2023. (forthcoming in 2024).
  2. Canadian-American Slavic Studies: Nicole Eaton, German Blood, Soviet Soil. How Nazi Königsberg Became Soviet Kaliningrad. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2023. (forthcoming in 2024).
  3. Rossijskaia istoria: Kiril Feferman, The Holocaust in the Crimea and the North Caucasus (2017, no. 5: 192-198).

Documents Publication:

  1. The Harvard Project: Declassified Evidence about the Great Patriotic War (originally in Russian: Гарвардский проект: рассекреченные свидетельства о Великой Отечественной войне). Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2019.
  2. Vladimir Gelfand, Diary. 1941-1946 (originally in Russian: В. Гельфанд «Дневник. 1941-1946»). Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2015.


David-Fox M. Reflections on Stalinism, War, and Violence (translation from English into Russian), in: World War II, Nazi Crimes, and the Holocaust in the Soviet Union (originally: СССР во Второй мировой войне. Оккупация, Холокост, Сталинизм). Ed. by Oleg Budnitskii and Liudmila Novikova. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2014. P. 176-196.


Teaching experience


Courses taught at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Faculty of Humanities) since 2019/2020 academic year:

  • Historical Vocabulary in English (BA, 2nd year);
  • Stalinism and National Socialism: History, Culture, and Memory (BA, 2nd year);
  • World War II on the Soviet Territories: Occupation and the Holocaust (BA, 4th year);
  • History of 20th Century (BA, 3rd year);
  • Urban Modernization in the Soviet Union (BA, 2nd year);
  • Soviet Cultural Politics and Cultural Revolutions (BA, 2nd year);
  • History of the Holocaust (MA, 1st year).


Conferences, workshops, presentations (since 2017)


2023, April 1 – participant of the annual Southern Conference on Slavic Studies with the paper on the topic “Inside the Interrogation Room: Complaints of Soviet Citizens Judged for War Crimes” (Gainesville, USA); 

2022, December 18-20 – participant of the 54th annual AJS (Association for Jewish Studies) conference with the paper on the topic “Does Nationality Matter? Judging for the Crimes against Jews in Crimea” (Boston, USA);

2021, December 2-3 – participant of the 53rd annual ASEEES convention with the paper on the topic “Writing about the Party Members Who Stayed in the Occupied Soviet Territories: Analysis of Narratives” (online);

2021, July 9 – participant of the colloquium “German Invasion in the Soviet Union in 1941: New Documents, Perspectives, and Research Approaches” organized by the commission of the historians from Russia and Germany (German Historical Institute in Moscow);

2020, November 15 – participant of the 52nd annual ASEEES convention with the paper on the topic “Trials against Collaborators in Crimea during and after World War II” (online);

2019, December 9 – lecture at the Russian Centre for science and culture on the topic “Soviet Collaborators during and after World War II” (Ljubljana, Slovakia);

2019, November 23-26 – participant of the 51st annual ASEEES convention with the paper on the topic “Phenomenon of Collaboration in Crimea on Materials of the Minz’s Collection” (San Francisco, USA);

2019, November 4-7 – participant of the conference “Lessons and Legacies” with the paper on the topic “The Perception of the Holocaust in Soviet Postwar Trials against Collaborators” (Munich, Germany);

2019, September 4-5 – participant of the conference “Both Sides of the Eastern Front: new sources, new approaches” with the paper on the topic “Investigation of Crimes against the Jewish Population in Crimea after World War II” (Vilnius, Lithuania);

2019, March 16-22 – participant of the 23rd Workshop on the History and Memory of National Socialist Camps and Extermination Sites “Between Absence and Affirmation” (Thessaloniki, Greece); 

2019, January 21-23 – participant of the conference “If This is a Woman” with the paper on the topic “Participation of Soviet Women in Persecution of the Jewish Population in Crimea during the Nazi Occupation” (Comenius University, Bratislava);

2018, November 15 – presentation at the Université de Franche-Comté with the paper on the topic “Between Resistance and Collaboration: Soviet Citizens under the German Occupation in Crimea (1941-1944)” (Besancon, France);

2018, April 16-17 – participant of the conference “Civilian Victims at the Eastern Front of WWII and Soviet Home Front” with the paper on the topic “Local Collaborators and Violence against Civilian Population under the Nazi Occupation in Crimea, 1941-1944” (German Historical Institute, Paris);

2018, April 2 – participant of the conference “Resistance and Collaboration in Occupied Europe” with the paper on the topic “Female Collaboration in Crimea during the Nazi Occupation (1941-1944)” (Yale University, USA);

2017, July 3 – presentation at the headquarters of UNESCO with the paper on the topic “Participation of Collaborators in Extermination of Jews in Crimea during the Nazi Occupation” (Paris, France).


Further information

September, 2022-April, 2023 – Fulbright Fellow at the University of Florida (Gainesville, USA);

2022 – award “Best Teacher - 2022” (National Research University Higher School of Economics);

2021 – award of the German Historical Institute in Moscow for the best Ph.D. dissertation;

2021 – Ab Imperio award for the best chapter of the Ph.D. dissertation;

2020 – award “Best Teacher - 2020” (National Research University Higher School of Economics);

2016-2019 – scholar of the “Full-Time Advanced Doctoral Program” (National Research University Higher School of Economics);

2017, November – scholar of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (for conducting research at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, Germany);

2017, January-March – scholar of the German Historical Institute (Moscow);

2016, September – scholar of the DAAD (for participation in the Summer Institute, Budapest);

2014-2016 – scholar of the Erasmus Mundus (for MA at the Humboldt University);

2013-2014 – scholar of the Oxford Russian Fund.