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Polish Jews in the USSR During WWII

Hosted By: The Center for Jewish History

When the “Ribbentrop – Molotov pact” divided Poland between the Soviet Union and Germany in 1939, the Polish territories annexed to the Soviet Union had a Jewish population of approximately two million. About 400,000 residents of these territories, many of them Jews, were deported to “special settlements,” mostly in Siberia. Additionally, 250,000 to 300,000 Jewish refugees from German-occupied western Poland fled to the Soviet Union after the war broke out. In this lecture, Serafima Velkovich, Head of the Family Roots Research Section at the Yad Vashem Archives, will provide an overview of the route and the fate of Jewish refugees from Poland who spent the war years in the USSR, and their post-war search for a new home. She will also explain how you can research the experiences and fates of family members who were among these refugees.

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