Jews evacuated into the Soviet Union

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 18 Dec 2005 17:14

The Soviet authorities considered it their duty to evacuate the Jews from a dangerous situation since they were the people from which Marx had originated, and furthermore the genius of Lenin was commonly attributed to his Jewish blood.
This assertion by Michael Mills is extremely comical, and indicates utter ignorance of Soviet realities.

Anyway, here's what Ilja Altman has to say on the topic:
During the war and immediately after its end there were suppostions that the Soviet government took special steps for Jewish evacuation, but no documents confirming this version have been found. Problems of evacuation were dealt with by the Council for evacuation, created on June 24, which already on June 27 selected the groups of the civilians which were to undergo immediate evacuation (members of the families of qualified workers, Soviet, Party and military workers, NKVD members and their children). The realization of these measures in practice was only partial.

Only on September 26 in the Council for evacuation under SNK USSR was created the Department for evacuation of the population. Not a single of its orders concerned the evacuation of Jewish population. Researchers fairly note that the basis of this was not antisemitism, but preference for material goods which played a role in defence to human lives. This thesis fully corresponded to the views of Stalin and his immediate circle, which led to the fact that the civilian population on the occupied territory was practically abandoned to the whims of fate.

Nevertheless, until the end of 1941 more than 10,000,000 persons were evacuated, of them

from Moldavia - 250,000,
from Estonia - more than 50,000,
from Lithuania - 42,500.

Among the 2,500,000 evacuated whose nationality could have been established until the beginning of December 1941, Jews made up 669,229 persons (26,86%).

They took the second place after Russians among the evacuees. Although most of them were from Moscow and Leningrad, from where the evacuation proceeded better than anywhere else.

One cannot fail to notice the greater percent of the evacuated Jews than their percentage in the population. Since the special measures have not been taken, the explanation lies in potential victims' being in the know about the threat. This is in no way justifies the inaction (and sometimes obstacles) of the local officials (including the Jews) just before the occupation during the evacuation of the peaceful population because of "patriotic" or other reasons.

http://www.school.spb.ort.ru/library/to ... nd_124.htm

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 20 Dec 2005 00:09

Our thanks to Seregey Romanov for posting some figures of the numbers evacuated.

Let us now proceed to analyse them.

It is stated that until the end of 1941 more than 10 million persons had been evacuated.

Of that 10 million, the number evacuated until the beginning of December 1941 whose nationality could be established was 2.5 million. Of that number, 26.86 percent was of Jewish nationality.

Assuming that the 2.5 million whose nationality could be established was a representative sample of the total 10 million evacuated, then the total number of Jews evacuated would have been 2.686 million (= 26.86 percent of 10 million), ie the great majority of the Jewish population of the area eventually falling under German occupation.

The proportion that Jews represented of the total number of evacuees was about 10 times the proportion they represented on the total Soviet population (although a smaller multiple of the proportion they represented of the population of the western borderlands).

That clearly indicates that preference was given to Jews for evacuation, even though no specific orders appear to have been given for such preference. Obviously local authorities must have decided proportionally more Jews than members of other nationalities on their own initiative, without specific orders from Moscow.

Why would regional members of the Soviet power structure have decided on their own initiative to evacuate Jews in particular?

I have given two possible reasons for that tendency.

One is that the Soviet Establishment had fraternal feelings towards the Jewish people springing from the fact that the Jewish people gave birth to the creator of genius of the ideas of the Communist liberation of mankind - Karl Marx. That sentiment had been expressed by Stalin himself, whose words were publixhed in Pravda in November 1936, in connection with the promulgation of the new Constitution.

Another is the belief in the "exceptional abilities of the Semitic tribe" and "the extremely beneficial effects of Jewish blood in mixed marriages". That belief had been propagated by the Lenin Institute and the Institute of the Brain, obviously parts of the Soviet scientific Establishment, as shown by the letters of Anna Elizarova, Lenin's sister, to Stalin.

If members of the Soviet Establishment believed in beneficial effects of Jewish "blood" (presumably because it was believed by Russian intellectuals that Jews were genetically superior to the primitive Slavic masses, and that intermarriage between Jews and members of the Slavic upper strata would create a class with a higher-than-average genetic endowment, competent to rule over the Soviet Empire), then obviously they would want to preserve that precious "blood" by evacuating its bearers to safety.

By the same token, the invading Germans, who shared that belief, would want to destroy that "blood", including the children of mixed marriages, thereby depriving the Slavic masses of a genetically superior ruling class, and rendering them more susceptible to German domination. That motivation becomes clear from the writings of various German intellectuals, in particular the comments of Erhard Wetzel, the race expert of the Ostministerium, on the first draft of the RSHA version of the Generalplan-Ost.

Pieter Kuiper
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Post by Pieter Kuiper » 20 Dec 2005 00:18

michael mills wrote:If members of the Soviet Establishment believed in beneficial effects of Jewish "blood" (presumably because it was believed by Russian intellectuals that Jews were genetically superior to the primitive Slavic masses, and that intermarriage between Jews and members of the Slavic upper strata would create a class with a higher-than-average genetic endowment, competent to rule over the Soviet Empire), then obviously they would want to preserve that precious "blood" by evacuating its bearers to safety.
Nonsens. The Soviets did not believe in that kind of blood ideology. In fact, at the time they were very sceptical about genetics in general (remember Lysenko?).

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 20 Dec 2005 02:01

How is it possible that moderators allow him to propagate such baseless opinions over and over again?

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 20 Dec 2005 04:46

michael mills wrote:One is that the Soviet Establishment had fraternal feelings towards the Jewish people springing from the fact that the Jewish people gave birth to the creator of genius of the ideas of the Communist liberation of mankind - Karl Marx. That sentiment had been expressed by Stalin himself, whose words were publixhed in Pravda in November 1936, in connection with the promulgation of the new Constitution.
Really? Stalin was a staunch anti-Semitist. How could it be possible?

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 21 Dec 2005 01:09

Pieter Kuiper wrote:
Nonsens. The Soviets did not believe in that kind of blood ideology. In fact, at the time they were very sceptical about genetics in general (remember Lysenko?).
The above generalisation is based on lack of knowledge.

I suggest consulting this book:

"The Wellborn Science : Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil, and Russia", edited by Mark B. Adams ( New York : Oxford University Press, 1990)


The chapter on eugenics in the Soviet Union, by Mark Adams, is full of fascinating information, and shows that for a long time Soviet scholars propagated Mendelian genetics and Darwinism, contrary to the popular but incorrect view.

Until the early 1930s there was even a joint German-Soviet Institute of Racial Science operating in the Soviet Union.

One of the leading Soviet eugenicists was the Jew Levit, who conducted research into heredity using twins placed at his disposal by Soviet orphanages. At the time, Soviet orphanages were packed with the children of "repressed" enemies of the people, and not much importance was placed on their survival. Sound familiar?

One of the recommendations of the Soviet geneticists was a program to improve the biological quality of the Soviet people through a large-scale program of artificial insemination.

The conflict in the Soviet Union between the proponents of Mendelian genetics, to which the eugenicists belonged, and the proponents of Lamarckianism led by Lysenko was long and protracted. Eventually Stalin decided in favour of the Lamarckians (partly because of ideological opposition to the "zoological hypernationalism" of National Socialist Germany that was supposedly based on Mendelian genetics and Darwinism), and both genetics and eugenics were suppressed. Levit himself was executed during the Great Terror.

However, the geneticists simply went underground and preserved their science during the long night of Lysenkoism. They re-emerged in the late 1950s when Lysenko fell from power due to the failure of his agricultural experiments.

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Post by nny » 21 Dec 2005 07:20

michael mills wrote:Pieter Kuiper wrote:
Nonsens. The Soviets did not believe in that kind of blood ideology. In fact, at the time they were very sceptical about genetics in general (remember Lysenko?).
The above generalisation is based on lack of knowledge.
Not completely, that Genetics was linked to Eugenics and thus the Nazis, was not a far stretch to say in at least Stalins mind. Lamarcks (whom I find it mind boggling that any reasonable person ever believed in his evolutionary ideas) ideas on evolution had less to do with genetics and more to do with environment than Darwins ideas on evolution did, and thus this was the tract that many Soviet eugenicists were forced to take if they wished to say in the Soviet Union under Stalin (and even this track was not a pleasant one). (Contrary it is for the nearly opposite reason that Darwinism flourished in Nazi Germany).

From The Politics of Heredity :

(Chapter on Eugenics and the Left):
"...the eugenics movement in the Soviet Union had a decided class bias, at least up to 1925. In the early 1920s, the vast majority of scientists were drawn from that class generally hostile to the October (if not to the February) Revolution. Their overriding concern was with what they saw as the dysgenic effects of the Revolution..."
(IE the attacks against the aristocracy and intellectual classes in Russia under the Bolsheviks.
"It is hardly surprising that the newly revolutionized students and workers were more attracted to "Lamarckism" than to the views associated with Mendel, Weismann, and T. H. Morgan."
"Muller's twin enthusiasms for socialism and eugenics prompted his emigration to the Soviet Union in 1934. There he worked with N. I> Vavilov at the Institute of Genetics in Moscow (Perhaps the university you were speaking of previously?), and completed Out of the Night, which he presented, along with an effusive letter of personal appeal, to Stalin."
"...the copy that he presented to Stalin was accompanied by a lengthy personal appeal effusive in its praise of Bolshevism and excoriating the racist and class uses of eugenics in capitalist societies. The strategy failed and Muller shortly thereafter found it advisable to leave the Soviet Union by joining a medical unit in Spain (I believe the attempted Bolshevik takeover of Spain was occurring at this time)."
"But while the book did not please Stalin, its reception outside of the Soviet Union was enthusiastic. The Daily Worker hailed it as a model for Marxist scientists while Science and Society requested that Muller become a foreign editor (he accepted).
I have a book "The Greatest Benifit to Mankind", in which one Soviet eugenicist argues that eugenics / genetics cannot be truthfully practiced until the class playing field is levelled, IE it is not fair to compare the IQ tests of the child of a broke Mississippi couple to say the child of a Wall Street Banker. Perhaps if the neighbor of the broke Mississippi couple wrote the questions on the IQ test, and all the culture sensitive applicable answers that go with those questions, that child would be considered a genius whereas the Wall Street Bankers child would be considered "An Idiot of the First degree".

As for Solomon Levit and your reference to Mengele, do you have any further information on his studies with orphans? As far as I can see most science oriented sites consider his execution a crime against science, so to speak :
With regard to Agol and Levin, the charges involved vague references to "menshevising idealism" and association with a trotskyist conspiracy. As to Levit, the director of the Institute of Medical Genetics, his studies of human heredity had supposedly made him an abettor of nazi doctrines, or so it was declared at a meeting of the science division of the Moscow party organisation, presided over by Amost Kolman. Levit died in prison and his institute was closed. The other two were shot.**
http://www.comms.dcu.ie/sheehanh/lysenko.htm


as for :
Really? Stalin was a staunch anti-Semitist. How could it be possible?
This didn't happen until after WWII, more specifically until Israel was formed. It has been argued that Stalin held "traditional Georgian" antisemitic attitudes but over all he was not an antisemite in the way we would think of it today.

From Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar.
"Stalin was aware that his regime had to stand against anti-Semitism and we find in his own notes a reminder to give a speech about it: he called it "cannibalism," made it a criminal offence, and regularly criticised anti-Semites. Stalin founded a Jewish homeland, Birobizhan, on the inhospitable Chinese border but boasted, "The Tsar gave the Jews no land, but we will."
"Stalin was an anti-Semite by most definitions but until after the war, it was more a Russian mannerism than a dangerous obsession...the creation of Israel, the increased self-consciousness among Soviet Jews and the Cold War with America combined with his old prejudice to turn Stalin into a murderous anti-Semite."

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Dec 2005 14:08

The topic is Jews evacuated into the Soviet Union. Stay on it. If anyone wants to discuss an unrelated topic, start a new thread.
Last edited by David Thompson on 22 Dec 2005 05:26, edited 1 time in total.

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 22 Dec 2005 01:06

nny,

Thanks for the link.

It shows that Lysenkoism did not receive official endorsement from the Soviet Government until 1948, which accords with my own recollection.

Thus, Pieter Kuiper's comment is shown to be incorrect. As of 1941, Lysenko did not yet reign supreme, and genetic concepts could still exist in the ideology of the Soviet Establishment.

Thus, in 1941 it was entirely possible for the Soviet Establishment to think of the Jews as a people with special talents, and worth preserving by evacuating them from the danger posed by the invading Germans.

Even if eugenic ideas, such as those propagated in relation to the Jews by the Lenin Institute and the Institute of the Brain, referred to by Lenin's sister, Anna Elizarova in her letters to Stalin in the early 1930s, were falling in dsirepute in the Soviet Union, the fraternal feelings toward the Jewish people publicly declared by Stalin, due to their being the people from which Marx originated, must have been a powerful incentive to the Soviet Establishment to take speacial measures to protect the Jews of the Soviet Union from the danger threatening them.

The fact is that the statistics show that Jews were evacuated from the west into the interior of the Soviet Union at between five and 10 times the rate that corresponded to the proportion that the Jewish nationality represented of the total Soviet population. That cannot have been because Jews were greatly over-represented among the class of skilled workers required for the Soviet war effort, since Soviet Jews were more concentrated among the class of "sluzhashchie", administrators and bureaucrats.

It is clear that Jews were proportionately favoured over other Soviet nationalities for evacuation away from the path of the German invasion. I am arguing that that favouring was a result of the essential philosemitism of Soviet ideology, and I have given some examples of how that philosemitism was expressed in words by different parts of the Soviet Establishment, including by Stalin himself.

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