Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research

The Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research is proud to host a conference on The Political Police and the Soviet System: Insights from Newly Opened KGB Archives in the Former Soviet States on April 3-4, 2020 at Georgetown University.

Those interested in submitting papers for the upcoming conference should review the Call for Papers document. The deadline to submit June 15, 2019.


The Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research is named in honor of Jacques Rossi, a Polish-French writer who was arrested in the USSR in 1937 and later wrote about his experiences in the Gulag. Georgetown University provided refuge and hospitality to Jacques Rossi between 1979 and 1985, thus allowing him to complete the testimony of his years of incarceration in his Gulag Handbook: An Encyclopedia Dictionary of Soviet Penitentiary Institutions and Terms Related to the Forced Labor Camps, published first in English and Russian and, later, in French. An acclaimed biography of Jacques Rossi was published in 2002 by Georgetown Professor Emerita of French, Michèle Sarde, based on a lengthy series of the author’s personal interviews with the Gulag survivor. Sarde’s volume was entitled Jacques, le Français [Jack the Frenchman], his moniker in the camps.

The Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research was launched in spring 2013 with a major international conference at Georgetown, “The Soviet Gulag: New Research and New Interpretations,” co-sponsored by the Georgetown-based journal, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. Starting in 2013, up to $20,000 per academic year will be available to fund student research on any topic relating to the history of the Gulag.

For a podcast of an international Book Launch Symposium at Georgetown’s  Mortara Center held 13 October 2017 with many of the authors of The Soviet Gulag: Evidence, Interpretation, and Comparison (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, Russian and East European Studies and Kritika Historical Studies, 2016), see https://youtu.be/uRj4Mh0pVIs.

The Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research is made possible by a generous gift from Elisabeth Salina Amorini, who met Michèle Sarde after reading her biography of Rossi. Ms. Salina Amorini received her law degree from the Geneva University in 1976. From 1987 until 1998 she was Chairman of SGS Société Générale de Surveillance S.A., a public company founded by her Russian-born grandfather, Jacques Salmanowitz. Since its inception the firm has held extensive business interests in Eastern Europe. During World War II, Jacques Salmanowitz was actively involved in helping victims of Nazi persecution.

Director: Michael David-Fox
Assistant Director: Mikhail Nemtsev
Faculty Advisor: Deborah Lesko Baker

For more information, contact Prof. Michael David-Fox.