This volume is the third installment of a collection of letters penned by Soviet Jews during the Great Patriotic War which has been compiled and published by Russian Holocaust Center. The volume brings to light about 250 written documents and rare photographs that reveal a great deal about Soviet Jewish life during the war years. Most of them were received by the Russian Holocaust Center in the recent three years and resulted from the exposure of the audience in Russia, post-Soviet states, Israel, and other countries to second volume of letters published by the Center in 2010. The bulk of the collection consists of letters sent by Soviet Jewish soldiers at the front to their families in the rear. Their stories give the reader a glimpse of everyday life at the frontlines. The soldiers and officers, among whom well-known public figures and rank-and-file military men offer incredible accounts of their experiences in battle and reflect upon their thoughts during those critical moments when their lives seemed to hang by a thread. Of special interest are the letters shedding light on the life of evacuated Jews, as well as providing new details on the Holocaust in the occupied territories. One of the most fascinating aspects of the correspondence are soldiers’ accounts of the Red Army’s liberation of the occupied Soviet territories, especially where they were less enthusiastically welcomed (Baltic states, West Belorussia) and Germany.
The publication of the volume was made possible thanks to the support of the Russian Jewish Congress and Claims Conference.