Soviet Jews in World War II: Fighting, Witnessing, Remembering

Soviet Jews in World War II: Fighting, Witnessing, Remembering

69.00

Edited by Gennady Estraikh & Harriet Murav

Series: Borderlines: Russian and East-European Jewish Studies
ISBN: 9781618113139 (hardcover)
Pages: 270 pp.
Publication Date: April 2014

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This volume discusses the participation of Jews as soldiers, journalists, and propagandists in combating the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War, as the period between June 22, 1941, and May 9, 1945 was known in the Soviet Union. The essays included here examine both newly-discovered and previously-neglected oral testimony, poetry, cinema, diaries, memoirs, newspapers, and archives. This is one of the first books to combine the study of Russian and Yiddish materials, reflecting the nature of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, which, for the first time during the Soviet period, included both Yiddish-language and Russian-language writers. This volume will be of use to scholars, teachers, students, and researchers working in Russian and Jewish history.


Gennady Estraikh is associate professor of Yiddish studies, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. He is the author of Yiddish in the Cold War (2008), In Harness: Yiddish Writer's Romance with Communism (2004), Soviet Yiddish: Language Planning and Linguistic Development (1999) and the co-editor of Translating Sholem Aleichem: History, Politics, and Art (2012) and 1929: Mapping the Jewish World (2013).

Harriet Murav is professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Hey studies of Dostoyevsky, Russian law and literature, and twentieth century Russian and Yiddish literature are complemented by her most recent monograph, Music from a Speeding Train: Jewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia (2011). She is the co-editor of Jews in the East European Borderlands: Essays in Honor of John Klier (2012).


One of this volume’s most significant achievements is that it contains material that will help educators teach about the Soviet Jewish experience as part of undergraduate courses on the Holocaust. Beautiful translations of Erenburg letters, Selvinskii’s and Slutskii’s poems, and Mikhail Romm’s accounts . . . are among the most valuable key texts, which will change the way the Holocaust is taught in North America. The combination of thorough analysis of new sources with the publication of primary materials make this volume a must-have for anyone interested in Soviet Jewish history and the Holocaust.
— Anna Shternshis (University of Toronto), Slavic Review
This collection tells stories of Jews in World War II which are practically unknown in the West. These stories are not about the Warsaw Ghetto or Auschwitz, but about Soviet Jewish soldiers, partisans, intellectuals and artists, men and women who fought in the bloodiest battles that the world has known. Drawing on a wide variety of little-known sources, such as private letters, archival documents, memoirs, newspaper reports, novels, poems, photographs and film, this book paints a vivid and dramatic picture of human suffering and heroism.
— Mikhail Krutikov, University of Michigan
An impressive introduction to new sources and groundbreaking methods in the study of Soviet-Jewish experience during the Second World War. The studies combine an impressive range of critical and historical approaches with solid learning.
— Olga Litvak, Clark University
The essays range far and wide.
— Sheldon Kirshner, for sheldonkirshner.com and The Times of Israel