Stalin and the Soviet Leadership

Responses to the Holocaust
  • Yitshak Arad


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.


Mass Murder Occupied Territory Jewish Organization Black Book Soviet Leadership 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Yitshak Arad

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