Jews in the Soviet Union

A discussion of the fate of the Jews in the Soviet Union during World War II.

This paper focuses on the mass murder of the Jews in U.S.S.R. during World War II at the hands of the Nazis. It provides a chronological list of events in the U.S.S.R. from 1939-1945. It describes how the task of dealing with the Jews was entrusted to the shock groups (Einsatzgruppen) that accompanied the army assisted by local groups of collaborationists and how the Germans generally used one of four methods and in some cases, a combination of these methods to exterminate the Jews in the occupied localities in the Soviet Union: mass murders in ravines and quarries, rounding up and immediate extermination, concentration camps and ghettos. It concludes by telling the story of ghettoes of Vilna, Minsk, Riga.
“A few days later an announcement was made ordering the Jews to register with the Judenrat, on pain of death. After a few more days or weeks, at the most the Jews were ordered to report at a certain spot in the town, from which they were going to be sent to a labor camp or “moved to Palestine.” These announcements usually included a threat that any Jew who failed to report, and any person who helped Jews to hide, would be executed. The Jews were told to take along only a few items, and no food at all, since it would be provided for them by the authorities. The assembled Jews were escorted by Germans and locally recruited armed units who beat them, harassed them, and shot anyone who lagged behind or voiced any kind of protest.”