Since 2016, Paul Shapiro has served as the first Director of the new Office of International Affairs of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., with the goal of enhancing the Museum’s international presence and impact. From 1997 to 2016 he occupied a position of the Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and led the Museum’s effort to provide focused leadership to the field of Holocaust Studies in the US and abroad. Before joining the Museum’s staff, Mr. Shapiro was involved for over a decade on a volunteer basis in the development of the Museum’s international archival collections, which remains an important activity of the Mandel Center.
Prior to 1997, Mr. Shapiro served in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the United States Information Agency and Department of State, where he was responsible for the Fulbright Fellowship Program and other major international exchange programs. Earlier, he was an editor of the journal Problems of Communism (Washington) and Editor in Chief of the Journal of International Affairs (New York). Mr. Shapiro served as a consultant to the Board for International Broadcasting, Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty, and the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI). He performed the historical research that led to the denaturalization and deportation of the Romanian Archbishop of the United States, a former fascist leader in Romania, which was the first case brought to a successful conclusion by the OSI.
Mr. Shapiro was a member of the Congressionally-mandated Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records and served on the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Jewish History in New York. In 2003-4 he wrote major sections of the final report of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania, chaired by Elie Wiesel. He led the Museum’s effort to open the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS)—the largest and last major inaccessible collection of Holocaust-related records anywhere—and continues to represent the United States on the 11-country International Commission which governs the ITS. He has worked closely with French priest Father Patrick Desbois to explore in depth the long-neglected history of the Holocaust in the USSR. Most recently, he completed a monograph entitled The Kishinev Ghetto 1941-1942: A Documentary History of the Holocaust in Romania’s Contested Borderlands (University of Alabama Press, 2015).
Mr. Shapiro has a BA degree in Government from Harvard University; a Master of International Affairs degree and a Master of Philosophy degree in History from Columbia University. He has been a Fulbright scholar, an IREX scholar, and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University. He is the recipient of the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2010), the B’nai Brith Humanitarian Award for Preservation of the Legacy of the Holocaust (2010), and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Romania (2009).
Selective list of publications:
- “The Flight and Evacuation of Civilian Populations in the USSR: New Sources, New Publications, New Questions,” in Henri Lustiger-Thaler and Habbo Knoch, Eds., Witnessing Unbound: Holocaust Representation and the Origins of Memory (Detroit, MI, Wayne State University Press, 2017).
- Ghetoul din Chisinau, 1941-1942: O istorie documentata a Holocaustului in interiorul frontierelor contestate ale Romaniei (Bucharest, Curtea Veche and Institutul National pentru Studierea Holocaustului din Romania “Elie Wiesel,” 2016).
- The Kishinev Ghetto, 1941-1942: A Documentary History of the Holocasust in Romania’s Contested Borderlands (Tuscaloosa, AL, University of Alabama Press, 2015).
- “Facing the Facts of the Holocaust: The Challenges and the Cost of Failure,” in Andrea Peto and Helga Thorson, Eds., The Future of Holocaust Memorialization: Confronting Racism, Antisemitism, and Homophobia Through Memory Work (Budapest, Central European University Press and Tom Lantos Institute, 2015).
- “Vapniarka: The International Tracing Service and the Holocaust in the East” (revised), in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Oxford University Press), Vol. 27, Nr. 1 (Spring 2013).
- “The Holocaust in Romania: Speech to the Romanian Parliament,” in Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania, Holocaust 1940-1945: Suffering, Compassion, Solidarity (Bucharest, Scrib Publishing House, 2009).
- “The Battle for Memory: History Held Hostage—Opening the Archive of the International Tracing Service,” in Reform Judaism (New York, Union for Reform Judaism, 2009).
- “What is in the Air—Antisemitism in Contemporary Europe,” in National Institute for Study of the Holocaust in Romania, Holocaust: Studii şi Cercetări (Bucharest, 2009). (This study appeared also on the websites of the International Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research and the European Forum on Antisemitism.)
- “Faith, Murder, Resurrection: The Iron Guard and the Romanian Orthodox Church,” in Kevin Spicer, Ed., Antisemitism, Christian Ambivalence, and the Holocaust (Bloomington, IN, Indiana University Press, 2007).