Anti-Jewish violence in Central and Eastern Europe, 1944–46

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The anti-Jewish violence in Central and Eastern Europe following the retreat of Nazi German occupational forces and the victorious arrival of the Soviet Red Army – during the latter stages of World War II – was linked in part to postwar anarchy and economic chaos exacerbated by the Stalinist policies imposed across the territories of expanded Soviet republics and new satellite countries. The anti-semitic attacks have become frequent in Soviet towns ravaged by war; at the marketplaces, in depleted stores, in schools, and even at state enterprises.[1] Protest letters were sent to Moscow from numerous Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian towns by the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee involved in documenting the Holocaust.[1]


The Soviet authorities failed to address the years of Hitler's anti-Jewish propaganda, wrote Colonel David Dragunsky; anti-Semitic elements from among the former Nazi collaborators in the Soviet Union were often put in charge of state enterprises.[1] Solomon Mikhailovich Mikhoels, Chairman of JAFC murdered in Minsk in January 1948 wrote that Jewish homes were not being returned. In Berdichev, Mogilev-Podolsk Balta, Zhmerinka, Vinnitsa, Khmelnik, Old Rafalovka and many other towns, Jews were forced to remain in the areas of former Nazi ghettos for their own safety.[1] The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAFC) was targeted by Soviet authorities directly in the so-called rootless cosmopolitan campaign of the second half of the 1940s and in the Night of the Murdered Poets.[2][3]

The JAFC Presidium met in late August, 1944, with a commander of a Jewish partisan unit from Belorussia. Answering a question concerning attitudes of the non-Jewish population towards Jews in Minsk, he stated: "... the attitude wasn't good. There have been numerous anti-semitic incidents ... a battle for apartments has started ... there are difficulties concerning employment.[1]

Several months after the Mikhoels assassination, other Jewish figures were arrested. His death signalled the beginning of the country-wide repressions of the Jews accused of espionage and economic crimes. A campaign against Zionism was launched in the fall of 1948. By the end of the decade Jews disappeared from the upper echelons of the party in the republics.[4] This was followed by the Jewish doctor-killers case of 1952–53 accompanied by publications of anti-Semitic texts in the media,[5] and hundreds of torture interrogations.[6] Most communities in the Soviet Union never acknowledged the involvement of the local auxiliary police in the Holocaust.[7][8][9] The vast majority of the 300,000 Schutzmannschaft members in the German-occupied territories of the USSR,[10][11] quietly returned to their former lives, including members of the Byelorussian Home Defence participating in the pacification actions in which some 30,000 Jews were murdered,[12] and members of Ukrainische Hilfspolizei battalions responsible for the extermination of 150,000 Jews in the area of Volhynia alone.[13] Khrushchev proclaimed that the Jews were not welcome in the Ukraine.[14]

Satellite countries[edit]

Upon the Soviet takeover of Poland "only a fraction of [the Jewish] deaths could be attributed to anti-semitism" wrote Jan T. Gross.[15] Most have been caused by the raging anti-communist insurrection against the new pro-Soviet government.[16] The anti-Jewish violence in Poland, 1944–46 took the lives of at least 327 Jews.[17]

Hundreds of returning Jews were killed in Romania.[18][19] Anti-Jewish manifestations, sometimes based on blood libel accusations, took place in Hungary in a dozen of places,[20][21][22] for example, in Kunmadaras (two or four dead victims) and Miskolc.

In Slovakia in Topoľčany 48 Jews were seriously injured in September 1945. A number of Jews was murdered in Kolbasov in December. Reportedly 13 anti-Jewish incidents called partisan pogroms took place 1–5 August 1946, the biggest one in Žilina, where 15 people were wounded.[23] Anti-Semitic manifestations took place in Bratislava in August 1946 and in August 1948 including anti-Jewish riots in several other locations.[24][25]

In Kiev, Ukraine on September 4–7, 1945,[26] around one hundred Jews were beaten, of whom thirty-six were hospitalized and five died of wounds.[27] In Rubtsovsk, Russia a number of anti-Semitic incidents took place in 1945.[28]


  1. ^ a b c d e Shimon Redlich, Kirill Mikhaĭlovich Anderson, I. Alʹtman (1995). War, Holocaust and Stalinism: A Documented Study of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the USSR. Psychology Press. pp. 38–44, 97, 229, 459.
  2. ^ Medvedev, Zhores (2003). Сталин и еврейская проблема: новый анализ [Stalin and the Jewish Question: New Analysis]. Moscow: Prava Cheloveka. p. 148. ISBN 5-7712-0251-7.
  3. ^ Pinkus, Benjamin (1984). The Soviet Government and the Jews 1948-1967: A Documented Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 183–184. ISBN 0-521-24713-6.
  4. ^ Zvi Y. Gitelman (2001). The Black Years and the Gray, 1948-1967. A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present. Indiana University Press. pp. 144–154.
  5. ^ Brent, Jonathan; Vladimir P. Naumov (2003). Stalin's Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953. New York: HarperCollins. p. 4. ISBN 0-06-019524-X.
  6. ^ Sebag-Montefiore, Simon (2005). Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Vintage Books. p. 636. ISBN 1-4000-7678-1.
  7. ^ Meredith M. Meehan (2010). "Auxiliary Police Units in the Occupied Soviet Union, 1941-43: A Case Study of the Holocaust in Gomel, Belarus" (PDF). United States Naval Academy: 44 – via PDF file, direct download 2.13 MB.
  8. ^ Alexandra Goujon (28 August 2008). "Memorial Narratives of WWII Partisans and Genocide in Belarus". France: University of Bourgogne: 4. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016 – via DOC file, direct download.
  9. ^ John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata Michlic. "Bringing the Dark Past to Light. The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe" (PDF). University of Nebraska Press: 16. ISBN 0803246471. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-22.
  10. ^ Dean, Martin (2003). Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-44. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 60. ISBN 9781403963710.
  11. ^ Andrea Simon (2002). Bashert: A Granddaughter's Holocaust Quest. Atonement. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 225. ISBN 1578064813.
  12. ^ Eugeniusz Mironowicz (2014). "Okupacja niemiecka na Białorusi" [German occupation of Belarus]. Historia Białorusi od połowy XVIII do XX w. [History of Belarus, mid 18th century until the 20th century] (in Polish and Belarusian). Związek Białoruski w RP, Katedra Kultury Białoruskiej Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  13. ^ Alexander Statiev (2010). The Soviet Counterinsurgency in the Western Borderlands. Cambridge University Press. p. 69.
  14. ^ Benjamin Pinkus. The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Anti-Semitism. p. 219. ISBN 0521389267.
  15. ^ Gross, Jan T. (2005). "After Auschwitz: The Reality and Meaning of Postwar Antisemitism in Poland". In Jonathan Frankel. Studies in Contemporary Jewry. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-518224-3.
  16. ^ August Grabski. "Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL); page 11, note 7 of current document" (PDF). Book review of Stefan Grajek, "Po wojnie i co dalej? Żydzi w Polsce, w latach 1945−1949", translated from Hebrew by Aleksander Klugman, Żydowski Instytut Historyczny, Warsaw 2003 (p. 95) (in Polish). Kwartalnik Historii Żydów, Recenzje (Jewish History Quarterly; Reviews). p. 240 – via direct download, 1.03 MB.
  17. ^ Engel, David (1998). "Patterns Of Anti-Jewish Violence In Poland, 1944-1946" (PDF). Yad Vashem Studies Vol. XXVI. Yad Vashem. p. 32.
  18. ^ Minicy Catom Software Engineering Ltd. (1946-07-04). "Institute for Global Jewish Affairs – Global Antisemitism, Anti-Israelism, Jewish Studies". Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  19. ^ Jean Ancel, "The Return of the Survivors from Transnistria," in David Bankier, ed., The Jews Are Coming Back (Yad Vashem, 2005), 241.
  20. ^ Antisemitism: a historical ... - Google Książki. 1939-01-30. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  21. ^ Petö Andrea. "Népbiróság és vérvád az 1945 utáni Budapesten" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  22. ^ Kenez, Peter (2001). "Antisemitism in Post World War II Hungary - violence, riots; Communist Party policy | Judaism | Find Articles at BNET". Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  23. ^ "CS Magazin". CS Magazin. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  24. ^ Mgr. Ivica Bumova, PhD. "Protizidovske vytrznosti v Bratislave v historicksom kontexte" (PDF). Studie Pamat Naroda. 28 (27 / 100) in PDF. The Jewish demands to return lost property caused and open resistance of a certain part of Slovak community. The frustration was transformed into anti-Jewish riots that took place in Bratislava and several other cities and villages...
  25. ^ Protizidovske nepokoje v Bratislave - August 1946 - August 1948. Archived 2013-06-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ "State-sponsored Anti-Semitism in Postwar USSR. Studies and Research Perspectives; Antonella Salomoni". Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History / Questioni di storia ebraica contemporanea. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  27. ^ Amir Weiner. Making Sense of War: The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution. Princeton University Press. 2008. p. 192.
  28. ^ War, Holocaust and Stalinism: a ... - Google Książki. Retrieved 2010-04-08.

Further reading[edit]