The Holocaust and the Soviet Union

  • John Klier


The USSR was second only to Poland as the country where the Holocaust found its greatest number of victims. This tally is still higher if the territories acquired by Soviet aggression before June 1941 — Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Moldova — are included. On the other hand, it was largely due to the exertions of the Soviet Red Army that significant numbers of European Jews were spared German mass murder. The Red Army also had the largest number of Jewish combatants in the Second World War and, consequently, the largest number of Jewish combat losses. During the war the Soviet government was the most active of all the Allied states in publicizing the Holocaust to the wider world. As a final irony, after the war internal politics led the Soviet leadership to erase the Holocaust from historical memory.


Jewish Community Jewish Population Jewish Identity Mass Murder Black Book 
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  1. 1.
    These figures, and other demographic information, are drawn from M. Altshuler, Soviet Jewry on the Eve of the Holocaust: A Social and Demographic Profile (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1998).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

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  • John Klier

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