Jews evacuated into the Soviet Union

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michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 16 Dec 2005 03:44

Let me repeat my comment in simplified form so that it will be quite clear.

The Soviet authorities evacuated over one million Jews from the western borderlands into the interior of the Soviet Union because the Soviet ideology and system was fundamentally philosemitic at that time.

One source of the fundamental philosemitism of the Soviet ruling class was the fact that Karl Marx originated from among the Jewish people, causing that people to be officially held in particularly high regard in the Soviet Union and in the Communist movement in general. That was publicly proclaimed by Stalin in the mid-1930s.

The fierceness of the philosemitism of the Soviet establishment is demonstrated by the fact that anti-Semitism was punishable by death.

Another source of philosemitism in the Soviet Union may have been the concept that Lenin's genius was due to his Jewish blood, an idea stated by Lenin's sister herself ("Jewish blood" was the expression she herself used). However, even in Tsarist times there were Russian intellectuals who expressed the opinion that any intelligent and cultivated Russian must have some Jewish ancestry.

Perhaps Kunikov can tell us why some of his family was evacuated to Tashkent while others remained in Bessarabia, to be imured in a ghetto by the Romanian authorities.

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Post by David Thompson » 16 Dec 2005 05:12

Michael -- Your claim is not difficult to understand, and you need not repeat it. The question is, do you have anything in the way of contemporaneous documents to prove it?

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 16 Dec 2005 09:56

Anti-semitism was punished because it created classes in a classless society, not because there was something 'special' about Jews. The same can be seen when viewing nationalists and their punishments.

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Post by michael mills » 18 Dec 2005 01:19

Michael -- Your claim is not difficult to understand, and you need not repeat it. The question is, do you have anything in the way of contemporaneous documents to prove it?
A number of opinions have been expressed in this thread about the reasons for the evacuation of Jews to the interior of the Soviet Union, by Paratatruc, Pieter Kuiper, and Kunikov. None of those opinions has been supported by contemporary documents, nor have any of the persons expressing those opinions been asked for such documentary support by any member of the Forum staff.

Even so, I will give my sources for my statements about the official philosemitism of the Soviet establishment, which I see as the ideological imperative that drove the evacuation of over one million Soviet Jews to the interior of the Soviet Union, out of the path of the advancing German forces.

In 1932, Lenin's elder sister, Anna Elizarova, wrote to Stalin reminding him that Lenin's grandfather was Jewish, and claiming that Lenin's Jewish origins "are further confirmation of the exceptional abilities of the Semitic tribe".

In the following year, 1933, Elizarova wrote a second letter to Stalin, stating that "in the Lenin Institute, as well as the Institute of the Brain........they have long recognised the gifts of this nation and the extremely beneficial effects of its blood on mixed marriages ".

Source for the above: Dmitrii Volkogonov "Lenin" (New York , Free Press, 1994), pp. 8-9, as quoted in Amir Weiner, "Making Sense of War: The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution" (Princeton University Press, 2001), p. 203.

The fact that the Lenin Institute and the Institute of the Brain, both parts of the Soviet Establishment, believed in the apparently superiority of the Jewish race and the beneficial effects of racial mixture with Jews, demonstrates the primacy of philosemitism in Soviet ideology. It was the mirror image of the anti-Semitic ideology of National Socialist Germany, which held that racial mixture with Jews had a damaging effect.

Stalin himself sometimes adverted to the positive nature of Jewish ethnic origin. For example, in a speech given by Molotov at the 8th Congress of the Soviets on the new constitution and published in Pravda, 30 November 1936, the following words of Stalin were quoted:
Our fraternal feelings towards the Jewish people spring 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.
Source for the above: Naomi Blank, "Redefining the Jewish Question from Lenin to Gorbachev: Terminology or Ideology", in: "Jews and Jewish Life in Russia and the Soviet Union", ed. Yaacov Ro'i (The Cummings Center Series, 1995), p. 58.

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 18 Dec 2005 05:35

"But Stalin, the Russified Georgian, could not allow it to be known that Lenin had Jewish roots, and his strict prohibition remained firmly in place." Volkogonov, "Lenin" pg. 9. You can move on from the letters now, Stalin also said 'Absolutely not one word about this letter!' to the first letter Anna wrote him. Lenin's Jewish roots have nothing to do with who was or wasn't evacuated.

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Post by michael mills » 18 Dec 2005 07:30

Stalin's refusal to allow Lenin's Jewish roots to be publicised amongst the masses was for the purpose of preserving his sacred image among those masses, who were still deeply anti-Semitic at heart.

But I am talking about the Soviet Establishment, the people who made the decisions. Within that Establishment, philosemitism was the norm, as demonstrated by the views of the Lenin Institute and the Institute of the Brain, referred to by Lenin's sister, Anna Elizarova, that "Jewish blood" was beneficial.

The views of the Lenin Institute and the Institute of the Brain obviously reflected philosemitic views that were widespread within the Soviet Establishment. Elizarova's letter was simply echoing them.

The fact that Stalin ignored Elizarova's letter does not negate the philosemitism normal within the Soviet Establishment, which those letters represent.

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 18 Dec 2005 08:04

michael mills wrote:Stalin's refusal to allow Lenin's Jewish roots to be publicised amongst the masses was for the purpose of preserving his sacred image among those masses, who were still deeply anti-Semitic at heart.

But I am talking about the Soviet Establishment, the people who made the decisions. Within that Establishment, philosemitism was the norm, as demonstrated by the views of the Lenin Institute and the Institute of the Brain, referred to by Lenin's sister, Anna Elizarova, that "Jewish blood" was beneficial.

The views of the Lenin Institute and the Institute of the Brain obviously reflected philosemitic views that were widespread within the Soviet Establishment. Elizarova's letter was simply echoing them.

The fact that Stalin ignored Elizarova's letter does not negate the philosemitism normal within the Soviet Establishment, which those letters represent.
Then you've only proven that Lenin's sister thought there was something 'special' about Jews, not the "Soviet Establishment." As for the "Soviet Establishment" they did nothing that Stalin wouldn't sanction.

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Post by David Thompson » 18 Dec 2005 13:53

Michael -- You said:
Stalin's refusal to allow Lenin's Jewish roots to be publicised amongst the masses was for the purpose of preserving his sacred image among those masses, who were still deeply anti-Semitic at heart.
Are the readers supposed to take this crude and overgeneralized notion about whole national populations seriously?

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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.

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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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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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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?

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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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