The Holocaust in the Soviet Union

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The Holocaust in the Soviet Union is the Nazi German persecution of Jews, Roma and homosexuals as part of the Holocaust in World War II. It may also refer to the Holocaust in the Baltic states, annexed by the Soviet Union before the start of Operation Barbarossa.

At the start of the conflict, there were estimated to be approximately five million Jews in the Soviet Union of whom four million lived in the regions occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941 and 1942. The majority of Soviet Jews murdered in the Holocaust were killed in the first nine months of the occupation during the so-called Holocaust by Bullets. Approximately 1.5 million Jews succeeded in fleeing eastwards into Soviet territory; it is thought that 1.152 million Soviet Jews had been murdered by December 1942.[1]


The Holocaust by Soviet Socialist Republic[edit]

Soviet policy and response[edit]

Approximately 300,000 to 500,000 Soviet Jews served in the Red Army during the conflict.[2] The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, established in 1941, was active in propagandising for the Soviet war effort but was treated with suspicion. The Soviet press, tightly censored, often deliberately obscured the particular anti-Jewish motivation of the Holocaust.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Overy 1998, p. 142.
  2. ^ Altshuler, Mordechai (2014). "Jewish Combatants in the Red Army Confront the Holocaust". In Murav, Harriet; Estraikh, Gennady (eds.). Soviet Jews in World War II. Boston: Academic Studies Press. p. 16. ISBN 9781618119261.
  3. ^ Berkhoff, Karel C. (2009). ""Total Annihilation of the Jewish Population": The Holocaust in the Soviet Media, 1941-45". Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. 10 (1): 61–105. doi:10.1353/kri.0.0080. S2CID 159464815.

Further reading[edit]

  • Overy, R. J. (1998). Russia's War. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 0-713-99223-9.
  • Berkhoff, Karel C. (2012). Motherland in Danger: Soviet Propaganda during World War II. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 134–66. ISBN 9780674064829.
  • Grossmann, Atina; Edele, Mark; Fitzpatrick, Sheila, eds. (2017). Shelter from the Holocaust: Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union. Detroit: Wayne State University. ISBN 9780814342688.
  • Redlich, Shimon (1995). War, Holocaust, and Stalinism: A Documented Study of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the USSR. Luxembourg: Harwood Academic. ISBN 9783718657391.
  • Weiss-Wendt, Anton (2021). Putin's Russia and the Falsification of History: Reasserting Control over the Past. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781350130555., ch. 6.
  • Gitelman, Zvi (1990). "History, Memory and Politics: The Holocaust in the Soviet Union". Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 5 (1): 23–37. doi:10.1093/hgs/5.1.23.
  • Klier, John (2004). "The Holocaust and the Soviet Union". The Historiography of the Holocaust. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 276–295. ISBN 978-0-230-52450-7.
  • Arad, Yitshak (2001). "Stalin and the Soviet Leadership: Responses to the Holocaust". In Roth, John K.; Maxwell, Elisabeth (eds.). Remembering for the Future: The Holocaust in an Age of Genocide. Vol. 1. Basingstoke: Palgrave. pp. 355–370. ISBN 9780333804865.