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Jewish Warfare and the Participation of Jews in Combat In the Soviet Union as Reflected in Soviet and Western Historiography

Mordechai Altschuler

  1. Eynikayt, May 1, 1946. I. Davidovitsh, “Baym Keyver fun undzer Folks-Held” (“At the Grave of our National Hero”), Folk-Shtime, December 13, 1959. M. Bruzh, “25 Yor nokh der Bafrayung fun Vaysrusland” (“Twenty-Five Years After the Liberation of Belorussia”), Ibid., September 13, 1969.
  2. Sovetskaia Istoricheskaia Entsikplopediia (Soviet Encyclopedia of History”), vol. 6, Moscow, 1965, p. 476.
  3. Sovetskii Tyl v Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voine (“The Soviet Rear in the Great Patriotic War”), vol. 1, Moscow, 1974, p. 190.
  4. See, for example, Kommunisticheskaia Partiia v Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voine (“The Communist Party in the Great Patriotic War”), Moscow, 1970.
  5. Vsenarodnoe Partizanskoie Dvizhene v Belorussii v Gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voiny (“The Popular Partisan Movement in Belorussia During the Great Patriotic War”), Minsk, 1967-1982.
  6. Ibid., vol. 2, book one, p. 456.
  7. Ukrainska Rsr u Velikii Vitchiznianii Viini Radians’kogo Soiuzu 1941-1945RR (“The Ukraine in the Great Patriotic War”), vol. 1, Kiev, 1967, p. 64.
  8. We are able to apprehend the personal influence of the writer on the degree to which Jews are mentioned in memoirs from a comparison of I. Satsunkevich’s book with V. Agadzhanian’s book. The former concentrates on the area of Minsk; the latter on the vicinity of Mogilev. While Satsunkevich’s book almost totally ignores the role played by the Jews. Agadzhanian’s work does make reference to it: I. Satsunkevich, Surovaia Byl’ (“A difficult Story”), Minsk, 1969; V. Agazhanian, Dorogi Partizanski (“The Ways of the Partisans”), Minsk, 1979. Worthy of note is A. Okorokov’s memor, in which he pays affectionate tribute to many Jewish fighters: A. Okorokov, Slovo Vedushchee v Boi (“A Word that Leads to Battle”), Moscow, 1980.
  9. Evreiski Samizdat (“The Jewish Samizdat”), vol. 15, Jerusalem, 1978, p. 36.
  10. See note 7 above, pp. 95-105.
  11. See, for example, Ia. Pavlav, “Pomoshch Belorusskogo Naroda Frontu, Letom, 1941” (“The Support Given by the Belorussian Nation to the Front, Summer 1941”), Vestnik An BSSR, No. 5, 1970, pp. 114-123.
  12. A. Kazanskii, Kirgizskii Narod v Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voine Sovetskogo Soiuza, 1941- 1945 (“The Khirgizian People in the Great Patriotic War”), Frunze, 1954.
  13. I. Kravchenko, A. Zaleeskii, Belorusskii Nerod v Gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voiny (`The Belorussian People during the Great Patriotic War`), Minsk, 1959.
  14. A. Mnatskanian, Armianskii Narod v Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voine 1941-1945 (“The Armenian People during the Great Patriotic War”), Erevan, 1954.
  15. I. Babalishvili, Voiny-Gruziny v Boiakh za Ukrainu v Gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voiny (“Georgian Fighters in the Battles for the Ukraine During the Great Patriotic War”), Tbilisi, 1969.
  16. “Tsveyter Plenum fun Yiddishn Antifashistishn Komitet in FSSR” (“The Second Plenum of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee of the USSR”), Eynikayt, March 15, 1943.
  17. The Soviet Information Office, established at the start of the war, handled the distribution of official information on the war activities and the organization of all propaganda within and beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. The office was evidently disbanded in 1948.
  18. I, Ehrenburg, “Liudy, Gody, Zhizn” (“People, Years, Life”), Sobranie Sochinenii, vol. 9, Moscow, pp. 376-377.
  19. S. Gudzenko, Held fund Sovetnfarband – Leyzer Papernik (“Leyzer Papernik, Hero of the Soviet Union”), Moscow, 1943.
  20. M. Khashtshevatski, Khaim Diskin – Der held fun Sovetnfarband (“Khaim Diskin, Hero of the Soviet Union”), Moscow, 1941.
  21. R. Kovnator, Der Held fun Sovetnfarband – Yosef Makovski (“Yosef Makovski, Hero of the Soviet Union”), Moscow, 1943.
  22. V. Kaverin, Der Held fun Sovetnfarband – Israel Fisanovitsh (“Israel Fisanovitsh, Hero of the Soviet Union”), Moscow, 1944.
  23. Sh. Persov, Moshe Khakhlov – Der Held fun Sovetnfarband (“Moshe Khakhlov, Hero of the Soviet Union”), Moscow, 1946. A Bazimenski, David Drangunsky, Moscow, 1947.
  24. R. Kovnator, Held fun Sovetnfarband – Paulina Gelman (“Paulina Gelman, Hero of the Soviet Union”), Moscow, 1948.
  25. See Persov, op. cit., pp. 21-23 and cf. S. Persov, Ocherki o Geroiakh (“Vignettes of Heroes”), Moscow, 1959.
  26. A. Sutzkever, Fun Vilner Geto (“From the Vilna Ghetto”), Moscow, 1946. M. Ielin, D. Gelpern, Partizaner fun Kaunaser Geto (“A Partisan from the Kovno Ghetto”), Moscow, 1948. H. Smoliar, Fun Minsker Geto (“From the Minsk Ghetto”), Moscow, 1946.
  27. H. Smolar, Mstiteli Getto (“Avengers of the Ghetto”), Moscow, 1947.
  28. Cf. p. 73 of the Yiddish version, p. 56 of the Russian translation.
  29. Yiddish original, p. 73.
  30. Ibid., p. 119.
  31. Patizanskaia Druzhba; Bospominaniia o Boievykh Delakh Partizan Evreev Uchastnikov Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voiny (“The Partisan Brotherhood: Reminiscences of the Combat Activities of the Jewish Partisans of the Great Patriotic War”), Moscow, 1948. A Hebrew translation with slight cuts is found in B. West, ed., They Were Many, Tel Aviv, 1968.
  32. Y. Kantor, “Yidn oyf dem Grestn un Vikhtikstn Frant: (“Jews in the Greatest and Most Important Battle”), Folks-Shtime, April 18, 1963; see also idem., “Zay Zaynen der Shtoltz fun Undzer Folk” (“They are the Pride of Our People”), ibid., May 5-6, 1965; “Undzer Haymland Hot Zay Grkroynt mit Rum” (“Our Fatherland Crowned Them With Glory”), Sovetish Heymland, Vol. 5, 1970, pp. 43-47. See also ibid., vol. 8, p. 40.
  33. The publications of the Jewish samizdat in the Soviet Union were copied and published in Israel and included the following items: “Evrei v Voine Protiv Hitlerovskoi Germanii” (“Jews in the War Against Hitler’s Germany”), Evreiskii Samizdat, vol. 9, Jerusalem, 1975; G. Shapiro, “Ocherki o Evreiakh-Geroiakh Sovetskogo Soiuza” (“Vignettes of Jewish Heroes of the Soviet Union”), ibid., vol. 14, 1978; V. Vagner, “Evrei v Voine, 1941-1945 GG” (“Jews in the War, 1941-1945”), ibid., vol. 18; “Evrei na Maloi Zemle”, ibid., vol. 19, 1979.
  34. M. Kaganovich, Der Yidisher Antayl in der Patizaner Bevegung fun Sovet-Rusland (“The Participation of Jews in the Partisan Movement in the Soviet Union”), 1948, p. 188.
  35. Solomon Schwartz called the existence of such an order into question as far back as 1951 (Solomon M. Schwartz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, 1951, p. 221). In an expanded edition of his book, published in Tel Aviv in 1954, Kaganovich writes: “According to the testimony of Jews who were in Russia at the outbreak of the war, toward the end of 1941 the presidency of the Supreme Soviet issued an order regarding the preferential evacuation of the Jewish population from areas where it was endangered by the German invasion. According to these witnesses, the local authorities were ordered to provide special means of transport toward this end. However, no document had ever been found corroborating this evidence”. (Moshe Kaganovich, The War of the Jewish Partisans in Eastern Europe, Tel Aviv, 1954, p. 202). The author repeats this exact wording in his Yiddish book, published in Buenos Aires in 1956 (vol. 1, p. 370).
  36. Zvi A. Baron and Dov Levin, The History of an Underground: The Fighting Organization of the Jews of Kovno in the Second World War, Jerusalem, 1962; Dov Levin, Fighting and Defending Themselves! The War of Lithuanian Jewry Against the Nazis, 1941-1945, Jerusalem, 1975; idem., With Their Backs to the Wall: The Fight of the Jews of Latvia Against the Nazis, 1941-1945, Jerusalem, 1978.
  37. Yitzhak Arad, Ghetto in Flames, The Struggle and Destruction of the Jews of Vilna in the Holocaust, Jerusalem, 1980.
  38. Shalom Cholawski, On the Neman and Dnieper Rivers: The Jews of Western Belorussia in the Second World War, Jerusalem, 1982.
  39. Shmuel Spector, The Holocaust of the Jews of Volhynia, 1941-1944, Jerusalem, 1982 (doctoral dissertation), pp. 229-317.
  40. Y. Guri, “The Jews in the Red Army in the Second World War”; Y. Slutzki and M. Kaplan, eds., Jewish Soldiers in the Armies of Europe, Tel Aviv, 1967, pp. 135-148; Guri, “The Jews of the Soviet Union in the War Against Nazi Germany” in M. Mushkat, ed., Jewish Fighters in the War Against the Nazis, Tel Aviv, 1971, pp. 20-75; Dov Levin, “Facts and Evaluations About the Jews in the Red Army During the Second World War”, Masuah, vol. 10, 1982, pp. 79-105.
  41. G. Shapiro, Under Fire: Stories of Jewish Heroes of the Soviet Union, Jerusalem, 1988.
  42. A. Abramovich, V Reshayushchey Voyne, Tel Aviv, 1982.