hero image
Seth Bernstein - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Seth Bernstein

Associate Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Historian Seth Bernstein researches and writes about the USSR, politics and society under Stalin, historical memory and digital humanities.


Seth Bernstein is a historian who researches the Soviet Union and post-Soviet states. Prior to his work at UF, Bernstein completed his Ph.D. in history at the University of Toronto and worked as an Assistant Professor of History at Higher School of Economics Moscow.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Digital Humanities


Soviet Union


Media Appearances (1)

University of Florida experts weigh in on the war in Ukraine

UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  online


As the campus community watches and reacts to unfolding scenes of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a panel of UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences professors came together to try to make sense of it all, sharing their diverse expertise to provide clarity on the conflict.

view more

Articles (3)

Return to the motherland: Soviet displaced persons in World War II and the Cold War.

Cornell University Press

Seth Bernstein


Return to the Motherland follows those who were displaced to the Third Reich back to the Soviet Union after the victory over Germany. At the end of World War II, millions of people from Soviet lands were living as refugees outside the borders of the USSR. Most had been forced laborers and prisoners of war, deported to the Third Reich to work as racial inferiors in a crushing environment.

view more

Ambiguous homecoming: Retribution, exploitation and social tensions during repatriation to the USSR, 1944–1946

Past & Present

Seth Bernstein


In 1944–46, five million Soviet citizens returned from displacement to the USSR. They had been forced laborers, refugees from conflict and prisoners of war in occupied Europe. As they returned, all faced official scrutiny and some were arrested, but the majority of Soviet repatriates went home and not to the Gulag. Repatriation was not an episode of mass repression perpetrated by an all-powerful state.

view more

Aggregate treason: A quantitative analysis of collaborator trials in Soviet Ukraine and Crimea

The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

Seth Bernstein & Irina Makhalova


This article is an analysis of metadata from 955 closed trials of Soviet people accused of being collaborators during World War ii. The trials reveal Soviet officials’ understandings of who was capable of collaboration and what kinds of acts were collaboration. At the same time, the aggregate data from trials demonstrates that the accusations were grounded in the realities of the war and were not falsifications like the investigations of the Great Terror in the 1930s.

view more





Headshot loading image