Jews as a group were never mentioned in Soviet evacuation orders, which prioritized withdrawal of the party, Soviet and security agency functionaries, as well as those employed in defense industries. During the Cold War, this led to allegations of Soviet indifference to the fate of the Jews; accusations that they were deliberately abandoned to their fate under German rule. The reality, so it seems, was more complex.
In the first months of the war, the Soviet regime was on the verge of military defeat and total collapse. In fact, with the exception of the aforementioned groups, critically necessary for its survival, the regime left the decisions to its people, Jews among them. As a result, Soviet Jews had to make one of the most important decisions of their lives: to flee or not to flee. This was an enormous challenge for people disciplined for years not to display initiative if the government did not explicitly tell them to do so. But now, Jewish individuals and families had to make fateful decisions, frequently at the spur of the moment, and almost always without having reliable information, thus relying on their intuition.
The behavior of Soviet Jewish civilians in these critical hours and days was motivated by their resourcefulness, the degree of their “Sovietness,” Jewishness, personal circumstances like health problems, as well as by the specific conditions reigning in their region (like the behavior of local Soviet authorities, presence of refugees and German bombardments).+ More... - Less...
CJP provides the above links concerning third-party events for your convenience only. CJP has no control over the content of the linked-to websites or events they describe, and accepts no responsibility for the websites, including any advertising or products or services on or available from such sites, or for any loss or damage that may arise from your attending, or registering to attend, the described events. If you decide to access any of the third-party websites linked to below, you do so entirely at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such websites and event attendance. CJP is not responsible or liable to you or any third party for the content or accuracy of any materials provided by any third parties. All statements and/or opinions expressed in the linked-to materials or at the described events, and all commentary, articles and other content provided at the third-party websites or at the events, are solely the opinions and the responsibility of the persons or entities operating the linked-to websites and events. The inclusion of any link on this website does not imply that CJP endorses the described event, or the linked-to website or its operator. MORE