The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945

The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945

The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945

The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945

Excerpt

During the final years of the Soviet Union, new vistas were opened to scholars concerned with objective, scholarly documentation and analysis of the history of the destruction of Jews and Jewish communities during the Nazi occupation of 1941-45. Beginning with perestroika and glasnost, the gates of the Soviet archives, which had been closed to scholars of Holocaust studies for over half a century, were unlocked and then opened wide. The materials in these archives are destined to open a new chapter in the study of the destruction of Jews, not only in the Nazi-occupied territories of the Soviet Union, but in all of Nazi Europe. As it cleared the occupier from Eastern Europe and captured Berlin, Königsberg, and Vienna (the capitals of the Reich, East Prussia, and Austria), in addition to the territories of eastern Germany, the Soviet Army took over a large, if not the largest, portion of German records. Today, we have access to microfilms of selected documents from almost all the former Soviet central and local archives, including those of the Communist Party (now called the Center for the Preservation and Study of Documents of Contemporary History) and the Committee for State Security (KGB). Teams of researchers from Yad Vashem, the Hoover Institute for War, Peace, and Revolution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the U.S. National Archives, and other institutions in Great Britain, France, Germany, and Poland have filmed during the last two years tens of thousands of documents. The availability of sources from the former Soviet Union combined with the possibility of unrestricted travel to the collections has significantly expanded the field of Holocaust research.

In October 1991, the Eli and Diana Zborowski Chair in Interdisciplinary Holocaust Studies at Yeshiva University, sensitive to this changed atmosphere conducive to research, convened the first international gathering of scholars working in this field in the post-Soviet era to report on their . . .

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