The article examines the fate of Polish Jews who found themselves under the Soviet rule after the USSR incorporated Eastern Poland in 1939. The articles investigates, on the one hand, Soviet policies towards new citizens, methods of their Sovietizations, and, on the other hand, the fight against "foreign elements," including deportations. The starting point for the analysis are interviews with three Polish Jews published in this issue of Ab Imperio, situated in the historical context and juxtaposed against witness reports of other Polish Jews who went through the Holocaust and WWII. The fate of Polish Jews who returned to Poland after the end of the WWII is also analyzed.
The chapter presents the biography of bulgarian-born German-language writer and essayist of Jewish origin Elias Canetti. His life and work are explored in the context of the 20th-century Jewish and European intellectual history.
In this article, based on an analysis of a wide range of Soviet governmental accounts, as well as personal ones, the author try to analyze the position of Judaism in Western Belorussia in 1939-1941. No sooner had the Soviet rule been established in the annexed region than the reforms have been started. That reforms were aimed at unifying the new Soviet regions with the old ones (in this case, Western Belorussia with BSSR). In general, the process of Sovietization of former Polish citizens was fast and rigid. The Soviet religious policy in 1939-1941 has more smoother character: there was a tactics of a hidden, but gradual ban. To be more specific: religion was allowed, but at the same time there was a massive anti-religious propaganda. Nevertheless, by June 1941, this policy did not lead to the complete extinction of religiosity among the local population, although it accelerated the process of secularization of the Western Belorussian society. And the Jewish ethnic identity, which for many centuries has been associated closely with the religious way of life, has become more secular.