Join us online for this lecture with Rita Nash on the escape of Polish Jews to the USSR.
“Deportation was a stroke of luck for us because there were no gas chambers in Siberia,” so said a young survivor after the war.
This lecture aims to unravel the paradox that, by fleeing into the Soviet Union in 1939, around 200,000 Polish Jews escaped the brutal murders perpetrated by the Nazis and their allies. It was a fraught decision: “the lesser of two evils”. But this “deportation to life” resulted in the She’erit Hapletah, the surviving remnant of the Jews of Poland. This multi-layered, geopolitically complex story of post-war Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Soviet Union has only recently attracted the attention of historians.
This lecture is the first of a two-part series presented by Rita Nash. In the first lecture, Rita will look at the escape of Polish Jews to the USSR. In the second, she will look at their post-war experience in the immediate aftermath of the war.
Image: Poles and Polish Jews fleeing to Soviet-occupied Poland 1939, USHMM.