Stalin and the Soviet Leadership

Responses to the Holocaust
  • Yitshak Arad
Chapter

Abstract

The study of the attitude of Stalin and the Soviet leadership to the Holocaust in general and the Soviet Jews in particular faces some scarcity of sources. The archives in the former Soviet Union that have been opened to researchers in recent years — among them the Russian State Archive, ‘GARF’ (known as the October Revolution Archive in the Soviet period) and the Communist Party Archive — contain important documents relating to the Holocaust, but few of them make direct reference to Stalin and the Soviet leadership. The Kremlin Archive, known as the ‘Presidential Archive’ (Prezidentski Arkiv) is still inaccessible to historians. However, it is doubtful whether it contains additional documents that can shed more light on this subject. The sources used for this article were Stalin’s speeches, recorded conversations and media interviews, and the diplomatic Notes sent by Foreign Minister Molotov to the Allies during the war referring to the German terror against the civilian population in the occupied territories. The Soviet press of those years was another important source. It was not a free press: what it printed, or did not print, was dictated by the senior Soviet leadership; anything that found its way into the press may be regarded as the expression of the leadership’s views.

Keywords

Burning Europe Dispatch Romania Kalinin 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Dmytri Volkogonov, Stalin (Moscow, 1992) vol.2, p.123.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robert Tucker, Stalin in Power, (New York and London, 1990), p.41.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Svetlana Alliluyeva, Tolko Odin God [Only One Year], (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 146.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yosef Guvrin, The Jewish Aspect in Nazi Germany’s Relations with the Soviet Union (Hebrew), (Jerusalem, 1986), p.72 (hereafter: Guvrin). Guvrin quotes from a collection of documents on Soviet foreign policy; Tucker, pp.255–256, writes that already in January 1934 the German ambassador in Moscow said in his report to Berlin that Stalin was not in favour of Litvinow’s policy, directed towards an alliance with France and England, but ‘his real preference was for a German—Soviet collaboration’.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Arkady Vaksberg, Stalin against the Jews, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), pp.83–86. In the wake of his removal, Litvinov and other Jews — including the ambassador to London Ivan Maisky (Yisrael Liakhovitsky, a half Jew) and the ambassador to France (and formerly to Germany) Yakov Surits — were to be arrested as an anti revolutionary group within the Foreign Ministry and charged with espionage. The Ribbentrop—Molotov agreement prevented this step. Stalin was afraid that the international community would see it as another act of appeasement toward Hitler.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Ben-Cion Pinchuk, ‘Soviet Media on the Fate of Jews in Nazi-Occupied Territory, 1939–1941’, Yad Vashem Studies 11 (Jerusalem 1976), pp.226–227.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    A. Anatoli (Kuznetsov), Babi Yar (London: Sphere Books, 1970), p. 103.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    I. Stalin, O Velikoy Otechestvennoy Voine Sovietskogo Soyuza (Moscow: State Publishing House, 1950), p.23.Google Scholar
  9. 22.
    M.N. Penkower, The Jews Were Expendable (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1983), p.91.Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    Arthur D. Morse, While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy (New York: Ace Publishing Corporation, 1968), pp.272–273.Google Scholar
  11. 36.
    Shimon Redlich, War, Holocaust and Stalinism, A Document Study of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the USSR (Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995), document 46, pp.243–244.Google Scholar
  12. 38.
    Hirsch Smoler, Where Are You Comrade Sidorov? (Hebrew), (Tel Aviv, 1973), pp. 164–170.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yitshak Arad

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations