Survival of Polish Jews in Stalin’s Russia

February 14, 2018 Cambridge Free 0
(Photo: Polish People's Republic Archive)
(Photo: Polish People's Republic Archive)

Ellen G. Friedman’s presentation focuses on the largely unknown story of Polish Jews who were saved from Hitler by Stalin. This story is at the center of her new book, “The Seven: A Family Holocaust Story.”

Of the 3.3 million Jews in Poland before WWII, only about 350,000 survived, most of them by being banished to remote areas in the USSR. The reasons for the obscurity of this Holocaust narrative relate to it being the “wrong” story. Not about concentration camps, this story was buried by historians and by Polish Jews themselves, who felt they were low on the “hierarchy of victimhood.” Also, Cold War attitudes toward the Soviet Union discouraged those who wished to immigrate to the United States to expose where they were harbored. As this “wrong” Holocaust story, a story mainly of survival, makes its way into the larger story, how will it affect the Holocaust narrative?

Ellen G. Friedman, Professor, The College of New Jersey

Joshua Rubenstein, Associate Director, Major Gifts, Harvard Law School; Center Associate, Davis Center

Maxim D. Shrayer, Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies, Boston College; Director, Project on Russian and Eurasian Jewry; Center Associate, Davis Center

Cosponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University. The Project on Russian and Eurasian Jewry has been made possible with the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group. Additional support for this event provided by the Leon I. Mirell Fund.

For more information, please call 617-495-4037 or visit

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Fact Sheet
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 4:15 pm - 6:00 pm
CGIS South Building
1730 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02138
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