Архив еврейской истории
The 11th volume of the Archive opens a thematic section devoted to the history of the "Western", Baltic and Polish Jews who "moved" to
the Soviet Union in 1939-1940. It includes the memoirs and letters of
the "chronicler" of the Latvian division, political worker Ruvin Amdur; the autobiography, letters and diaries of Boris Tanis, a young man
raised in Jewish traditions, but who sought to join
a new life; the "Palestinian protocols" of 1943, containing memories of Jewish children from Poland who escaped from the USSR together
with the army of General Vladislav Anders. The "Research" section includes a criminal history of Jewish life in the 1820s; the history of
the confused life of a former Zionist, cadet, anarchist, left SR
and, finally, the Bolshevik Grigory Besedovsky, who became one of the
first Soviet non-returnee diplomats; new results of the search for the missing archive of the Kiev Institute of Jewish
proletarian culture. The collection contains letters from anarchist Saul Yanovsky and prominent figure of the Poalei Zion party Mark Yarblum to Peter Kropotkin; letters From Semyon Dubnov to colleagues in the " Jewish
old times"; correspondence of the head of "agro-joint" Joseph Rosen
with the musician David Shor and his son – the historian of philosophy,
translator and art critic Evsey Shor. The collection
includes an index of the contents of the previous 10 volumes of the "Archive
Jewish history». The materials published in the book are extracted from the
archives of Riga, Moscow, Jerusalem, Kiev, as well as from personal archives.
The publication includes an autobiography, a diary and letters from a young man from a former Pale of Settlement. Boris Tanis was born in 1923 into a Jewish family in Western Ukraine. After the partition of Poland, he took Soviet citizenship and, as a soldier of the Red Army, went through World War II. Boris Tanis’ diary, written in the wake of his return home to the Rivne region in 1945–1946, reflects the thoughts and feelings of a Soviet soldier who lost his family during the Holocaust. Having enthusiastically adopted the ideals of the Soviet regime, after the end of the war Boris Tanis goes to Central Asia, where he manages to make a career as an official in the construction sector. Published ego-documents may be of interest to historians of the Second World War, researchers of Jewish and Soviet history, and specialists in the history of emotions. Documents are provided with an introduction and comments.
Analysis of materials published in the volume
In September 1939, masses of Jewish refugees poured into Soviet territory to escape Nazi anti-Semitism. However, the provision of such a numerous group of immigrants was problematic for the Soviet authorities. In the end, tens of thousands of the refugees were deported to the interior of the USSR in June 1940. However, with the outbreak of the Great Patriotic war, they were amnestied and allowed to enroll in the Polish armed forces, known as the Anders` army. Thus, about 6,000 amnestied Jewish refugees were enlisted into the army. After the evacuation of Anders` army from the Soviet Union, the collection of evidence on life experience in the USSR had began among the members of the Polish army. The “Palestinian protocols” is a separate group of such testimonies. This is the earliest available source on the history of Polish Jews in the USSR. The publication contains two testimonies from the “Palestinian protocols” collection.