The Death Camp Eldorado: Political and Economic Effects of Mass Violence

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Authors Volha Charnysh, Evgeny Finkel
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Transfer and redistribution of wealth accompany most violent conflicts throughout the world, yet the local-level political and economic effects of this phenomenon remain unexplored. We address this omission by examining the long-term impact on the surrounding communities of the Nazi death camp Treblinka in Poland, where nearly a million Jews were murdered. The assets of murdered Jews sometimes ended up in the hands of the local population. We are able to identify the enduring impact of these property transfers on local economic and political outcomes because the exact location of Treblinka was exogenous to the characteristics of surrounding communities. We find that communities located closer to the camp experienced a real estate boom but do not exhibit higher levels of economic and social development. These communities also showed higher support for an anti-Semitic party, the League of Polish Families. Our findings speak to an important but overlooked challenge to post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R

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