The Process of Research

I am about to embark on my first real research expedition/adventure as an actual historian. I am tired of reading about things from secondary sources in libraries. Really, is research in a library with books real research?

I mean its great to hear about what other historians think about history. Yet, what I want is raw primary sources, lists, diaries, old newspapers, reports. I am tired of looking for scanned sources, I need to read them myself.

Yet, I really do not know where to start.

My topic is so specialized and my sources to broad. It seems irrelevant to talk about it, when action is what is required. Well I might as well tell you about my area of research. My plan is to study Jewish history of Romania and Bulgaria, and try to understand how the Holocaust played out specifically, in Romania. The reason ultimately is because unlike the rest of the Holocaust, Jews in Romania were murdered by the Romanian Fascist Government with mere Nazi backing, not by direct Nazi orders.

Thus, in essence, it was an extension of the terrible events in other Eastern and Central European countries, and not immediately a part of it. It is very weird to describe it. It was both a part of it, but at the same time it wasn’t really. Moreover, historians and historiography has neglected the specialized and intense study of Jews in Romania and specifically the Holocaust in Romania. Sadly, most of the work that has been done in this field is either mostly Romanian and Israeli. Yet, no one has translated these pieces.

Whatever the case, I have a lot of research ahead of me, and a lot of it will not be pleasant.


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