Historically speaking, Jewish studies on Southeast Europe go much further back than the Holocaust. When speaking about the twentieth-century cultural developments of Southeast European countries, which importantly co-determined attitudes towards local Jewish populations, they have to be put in the context of two empires, the Habsburg and the Ottoman, before the constitution of national states. The dissolution of the Ottoman and the Habsburg Empires in addition to the emergence of national states and their gradual homogenization also changed the situation of Jews and their collective identity as a religious and ethnic group. In Southeast European countries under communist rule, postwar commemoration and the relative benevolence of leading elites at the end of the 1940s and the beginning of the 1950s surely coincided with attempts to define themselves against previous regimes. Southeast European countries began to come to terms with the traumatic past of the Holocaust at the de facto state level after the end of the cold war.