Pioneers and Partisans: An Oral History of Nazi Genocide in Belorussia

Hardcover | August 27, 2015

byAnika Walke

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The Nazi regime and local collaborators killed 800,000 Belorussian Jews, many of them parents or relatives of young Jews who survived the war. Thousands of young girls and boys were thus orphaned and struggled for survival on their own. This book is the first systematic account of young SovietJews' lives under conditions of Nazi occupation and genocide.These orphans' experiences and memories are rooted in the 1930s, when Soviet policies promoted and sometimes actually created interethnic solidarity and social equality. This experience of interethnic solidarity provided a powerful framework for the ways in which young Jews survived and, severaldecades after the war, represented their experience of violence and displacement.Through oral histories with several survivors, video testimonies, and memoirs, Anika Walke reveals the crucial roles of age and gender in the ways young Jews survived and remembered the Nazi genocide, and shows how shared experiences of trauma facilitated community building within and beyondnational groups.Pioneers and Partisans uncovers the repeated transformations of identity that Soviet Jewish children and adolescents experienced, from Soviet citizens in the prewar years, to a target of genocidal violence during the war, to a barely accepted national minority in the postwar Soviet Union.

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The Nazi regime and local collaborators killed 800,000 Belorussian Jews, many of them parents or relatives of young Jews who survived the war. Thousands of young girls and boys were thus orphaned and struggled for survival on their own. This book is the first systematic account of young SovietJews' lives under conditions of Nazi occupa...

Anika Walke is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Washington University in St. Louis.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 1.18 inPublished:August 27, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199335532

ISBN - 13:9780199335534

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Table of Contents

PrefaceNote on transliterationMapsIntroduction1. On Methodology: Oral History and the Nazi Genocide2. Between Tradition and Transformation: Soviet Jews in the 1930s3. The End of Childhood: Young Soviet Jews in the Minsk Ghetto4. Suffering and Survival: The Destruction of Jewish Communities in Eastern Belorussia5. Fighting for Life and Victory: Refugees from the Ghettos and the Soviet Partisan Movement6. Of Refuge and Resistance: Labor for Survival in the "Zorin Family Unit"Conclusion: Soviet Internationalism, Judaism, and the Nazi Genocide in Oral HistoriesSources

Editorial Reviews

"Pioneers and Partisans draws on the life histories of now-elderly child survivors to show how the Nazi occupation and genocide in Belorussia disrupted and ultimately reconfigured Jewish and Soviet identities and communities. With remarkable sensitivity and methodological sophistication, Walke attends to hesitations and inconsistencies in interviews and oral testimonies, tracing the effects of age and gender on women's and men's memories of their prewar childhoods, their wartime struggles to survive and resist, and their postwar lives." --Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, author of Legacy of the Siege of Leningrad, 1941-1945: Myth, Memories, and Monuments