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The Soviet State and its Jewry: the Origins of Popular and Official Antisemitism during and after WWII (2011-2012)

Field of study: History

This paper argues that a cautious anti‑Jewish sentiment developed contours among the Soviet state’s bureaucracy during the German‑Soviet war and gradually solidified after the end of the war. Popular antisemitism among the various lower strata was the first to appear on the Soviet territory during this period, and it was primarily nourished by Nazi propaganda and the difficulties caused by the prolonged war. The same cannot be said about Soviet state officials. The latter’s anti‑Jewish sentiment was primarily a reaction to the “hardening” of Jewish identity among Soviet Jewry and the mobilization of Jewish elites for promoting the rights and
interests of their co‑ethnics.

Keywords: Soviet Union, antisemitism, WWII,

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