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April 14, 2012 11:00 am

New Documents to Show Depth of Nazi Persecution in Lost Soviet Communities

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Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. Photo: wiki commons.

Haaretz – More than a million new testimonial pages about Jews in the Soviet Union will be released by Yad Vashem, starting next week, in the wake of agreements with the KGB archives and the national archives of Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The documents, which include personal papers belonging to World War II survivors from these states, are expected to help researchers measure the scope of persecution and extermination of Jews in the former Soviet Union.

“There are many black holes concerning communities and individuals in Central and Eastern Europe, where the majority of Jews lived,” says Dr. Haim Gertner, head of the archives division of the Yad Vashem World Center for Holocaust Research, Documentation and Education. “It has been very difficult for us to copy records from this region; it includes entire villages that were wiped out by the Nazis in one day, and nobody was left to narrate what happened.”

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