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Soviet Partisans

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Detailed Description

RG-33.01, Burmanshtein Papers

RG-33.02, Partisan Artifacts

RG-33.03, Soviet-Jewish Partisans, photographs



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Soviet Partisans, 1941 -- 1960 | Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

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Collection Overview

Title: Soviet Partisans, 1941 -- 1960Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1942 -- 1944

Primary Creator: Grojnom Aronovich Burmanstein (1942 -- 1944)

Other Creators: Soviet partisan command (1942 -- 1944)

Extent: 0.0

Subjects: Documents in English language, Documents in Russian language, Grojnom Aronovich Bumanstein (George Burman), personal memoir, postwar, Grojnom Aronovich Burmanstein, partisan of the Soviet Belarus partisan unit, certificate, July 1944, Jewish partisans' family camps, Jewish partisans, family camps, 1941 -- 1944, photo-documents, Jewish partisans in the Soviet partisans' units, 1941 -- 1944, Lipicznay Forest (Lipiczany, Poland), Naliboki Forest (Naliboki, Poland), Narratives in English language, Narratives in Russian language, Partisan units, Soviet, 1941 -- 1944, Poland (1939 --1945), Ponomarenko Brigade, Soviet partisan brigade of the Belorussian partisan association, 1941 -- 1944, Soviet-Jewish partisan, a photograph of the unit, the former north-east Poland, Soviet-Jewish partisans, Soviet-Jewish partisans, a group photographs, the former north-east Poland, Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 -- 1944, Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 --1944, photo-documents, Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 941 -- 1944, Misha Kacowicz and his brother, a photograph, Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 1941 -- 1944, Soviet-Jewish partisans, personal documents, Soviet-Jewish partisans, photo-documents, Soviet-Jewish partisans, proofs of partisanship, 1941 -- 1944, Soviet-Jewish partisans units, areas of operations, Soviet partisans, Soviet partisans, individuals weapon, 1941 -- 1944, Soviet partisans, military artifcts, 1941 -- 1944, Soviet partisan units near the Sobibor extermination center, photo-documents, 1942 -- 1944, The Soviet Belorussia, Soviet partisan unit, 1941 -- 1944, The USSR (1941--1945)

Forms of Material: Soviet partisans, individual weapon, 1941 -- 1944, Revolver Nagant, Soviet partisans, military artifacts, 1941 -- 1944, Field map bag

Languages: Russian, English

Abstract

This Collection comprises official and personal documents with regard to the  Jewish individuals who fought in the Soviet partisans' units in the former territories of Soviet-annexed North-East Poland in 1941 -- 1944.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This record groups consists of three sub-collections, namely the  Burmanshtein Papers; Partisan Artifacts and Soviet-Jewish Partisans, photographs. Personal documents are largely the originals, while the photo-documents are of secondary print.

Collection Historical Note

This record groups contains three sub-collections that of the Burmanshtein Papers, Misha Kacowicz Artifacts and the Soviet-Jewish partisans’ photo-documents. It also contains personal documents, photographs, and artifacts once belonged to Jewish individuals serving in the Soviet partisan units.

Soviet partisans were not in a position to ensure protection to the Jews in the Holocaust. Able-bodied male Jews were usually welcomed by the partisans (sometimes only if they brought their own weapons). More than 10% of the Soviet partisan movement were Jews; in the Rowne Brigade, Alexander Abugov, commander of the reconnaissance unit, and Dr. Ehrlich, commander of the medical services were Jews.  Jewish women, children, and the elderly were usually not welcome. Eventually, however, separate Jewish groups, both guerrilla units and mixed family groups of refugees (like the Bielski partisans), were subordinated to the communist partisan leadership and considered as Soviet assets.

There was conflict between the Soviet partisans and groups which sought to establish nationalist regimes in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and Ukraine. Some resistance groups in the Baltic States and Poland sought to restore the pre-1939 regimes.

Soviet partisans are therefore a controversial issue in those countries. In Latvia, some former Soviet partisans, such as Vasiliy Kononov have been prosecuted for alleged war crimes against locals during Soviet partisan activity.

The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a separate resistance force formed in 1942 (as a military arm of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists), was, at different times, engaged in the armed conflicts with the Soviet partisans, Nazi occupants and the Polish resistance. Although UPA initially attempted to find a common anti-Soviet ground with Nazi occupiers against the USSR, it soon was driven underground as it became apparent that the Germans' intentions for Ukraine were to establish a German colony with a subjugated local population, not an independent country as the UPA hoped for. As such, the UPA was driven underground and fought both the Nazi occupiers and the Soviet forces (including partisans) at the same time.

Later, UPA and Soviet partisan leaders tried to negotiate a temporary alliance, but Moscow NKVD Headquarters began harshly suppressing such moves by its local commanders. With two sides becoming established enemies, the Ukrainian civil population was primarily concerned with the survival.

Ukrainian nationalist resistance to Soviet rule continued into the mid-late 1950s.

Soviet partisans had very little support from the Baltic countries' populations. Their involvement in controversial actions that affected the civilian population (for example, the killing of the Polish civilians in Kaniūkai, in an event that has come to be called the Koniuchy massacre, and the destruction of the village of Bakaloriškės). The anti-Soviet resistance movements in the Baltic states, known as the Latvian or Lithuanian partisans, (established just before the Soviet re-occupation in 1944), and local self-defense units often came into conflict with Soviet partisan groups, much as the situation between Ukrainian partisans and the UPA in western Ukraine developed. In Estonia and Latvia, almost all the Soviet partisan units, dropped by air, were either crushed by the German forces or the local self-defense units.

In eastern and south-eastern Lithuania Soviet partisans constantly clashed with Polish Armia Krajowa (Home Army) partisans; AK did not recognize any territorial changes after 1939 and considered this region as a legal part of Poland, while Soviets planned to return it to the Soviet Union after the war. Only in April 1944 did Polish and Soviet partisans started coordinating their actions against the Germans.

Operating thousands of kilometers from the front lines, with little central authority, some fighters developed their own ideas that in many cases challenged the Soviet system. The Soviet Union viewed these actions with extreme hostility, and after the liberation of the territory, all partisan fighters had to pass through NKVD interrogation. Although the local population rarely came under any political pressure, some, particularly officers, were arrested on various grounds, with a number ending in labor camps. Some historians assert that the Soviet reactions to returning partisans were not better than for Soviet POWs. In 1955, a pardon was given to all returned prisoners of war and Nazi collaborators.

The Bielski partisans were an organization of Jewish partisans who rescued Jews from extermination and fought against the Nazi German occupiers and their collaborators in the vicinity of Nowogródek (Navahrudak) and Lida in German-occupied Poland (now western Belarus). They are named after the Bielskis, a family of Polish Jews who led the organization.

Under their protection, 1,236 Jews survived the war, making it one of many remarkable rescue missions in the Holocaust. The group spent more than two years living in the forests and was initially organized by members of the Bielski family.

The Bielski group's partisan activities were aimed at the Germans and their collaborators, such as Belarusian volunteer policemen or local inhabitants who had betrayed or killed Jews. They also conducted sabotage missions. The Nazi regime offered a reward of 100,000 Reichsmarks for assistance in the capture of Tuvia Bielski, and in 1943, led major clearing operations against all partisan groups in the area. Some of these groups suffered major casualties, but the Bielski partisans fled safely to a more remote part of the forest, and continued to offer protection to the noncombatants among their band.

Like other partisan groups in the area, the Bielski group would raid nearby villages and forcibly seize food; on occasion, peasants who refused to share their food with the partisans were the subject of violence and even murder. This caused hostility towards the partisans from peasants in the villages, though some would willingly help the Jewish partisans.

The Bielski partisans eventually became affiliated with Soviet organizations in the vicinity of the Naliboki Forest under General Platon (Vasily Yefimovich Chernyshev). Several attempts by Soviet commanders to absorb Bielski fighters into their units were resisted, and the Jewish partisan group retained its integrity and remained under Tuvia Bielski's command. This allowed him to continue in his mission to protect Jewish lives along with engaging in combat activity, but would also prove a problem later on.

The Bielski partisan leaders split the group into two units, one named Ordzhonikidze, led by Zus, and the other Kalinin, commanded by Tuvia. Fighting on the Soviet side, they took part in clashes between Polish and Soviet forces. Notably, they took part in a disarmament of a group of Polish partisans by the Soviets on 1 December 1943. According to partisan documentation, the Bielski fighters from both units claimed to have killed a total of 381 enemy fighters, sometimes during joint actions with Soviet groups.

In the summer of 1944, when the Soviet counteroffensive began in Belarus and the area was taken over by the Soviets, the Kalinin unit, numbering 1,230 men, women and children, emerged from the forest and marched into Nowogrodek.

Despite their previous collaboration with the Soviets, relations quickly worsened. The NKVD started interrogating the Bielski brothers about the rumors of loot they had reportedly collected during the war, and about their failure to "implement socialist ideals in the camp". Asael Bielski was conscripted into the Soviet Red Army and fell in the Battle of Königsberg in 1945. The remaining brothers escaped Soviet-controlled lands, emigrating to the West. Tuvia's cousin, Yehuda Bielski, was sought by the NKVD for having been an officer in the pre-war Polish Army, but managed to escape with Tuvia's help and made his way to Hungary and then to Israel.

RG-33.01, Burmanshtein Papers

RG-33.01.01, Burmanshtein, certificate, partisan service

RG-33.01.02, Burmanshtein, Grojman Aronovich, memoirs

RG-33.02, Partisan Artifacts

RG-33.02.01, Soviet Jewish partisan field bag (map bag)

RG-33.02.02, Revolver Nagant, belonged to a Soviet Jewish partisan

RG-33.02.03, Soviet-Jewish partisans, Misha Kacowicz

RG-33.03, Soviet-Jewish Partisans, photographs

RG-33.03.01, Soviet-Jewish partisans, former Eastern Poland

RG-33.03.02, Soviet and Jewish partisans, a group photograph

RG-33.03.03, Soviet-Jewish partisans, Naliboki Forest, Poland-Western Belarus

RG-33.03.04, Soviet and Jewish partisans, Lipiczany Forest, Poland-Western Belarus

RG-33.03.05, Soviet Partisan Unit outside Sobibor

Biographical Note

Grojnom Aronovich Burmanstein took part in the combat operations of the Ponamarenko Brigade, a Soviet partisan formation in the Brest region

Subject/Index Terms

Documents in English language
Documents in Russian language
Grojnom Aronovich Bumanstein (George Burman), personal memoir, postwar
Grojnom Aronovich Burmanstein, partisan of the Soviet Belarus partisan unit, certificate, July 1944
Jewish partisans' family camps
Jewish partisans, family camps, 1941 -- 1944, photo-documents
Jewish partisans in the Soviet partisans' units, 1941 -- 1944
Lipicznay Forest (Lipiczany, Poland)
Naliboki Forest (Naliboki, Poland)
Narratives in English language
Narratives in Russian language
Partisan units, Soviet, 1941 -- 1944
Poland (1939 --1945)
Ponomarenko Brigade, Soviet partisan brigade of the Belorussian partisan association, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisan, a photograph of the unit, the former north-east Poland
Soviet-Jewish partisans
Soviet-Jewish partisans, a group photographs, the former north-east Poland
Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 --1944, photo-documents
Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 941 -- 1944, Misha Kacowicz and his brother, a photograph
Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisans, personal documents
Soviet-Jewish partisans, photo-documents
Soviet-Jewish partisans, proofs of partisanship, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisans units, areas of operations
Soviet partisans
Soviet partisans, individuals weapon, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans, military artifcts, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisan units near the Sobibor extermination center, photo-documents, 1942 -- 1944
The Soviet Belorussia, Soviet partisan unit, 1941 -- 1944
The USSR (1941--1945)


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Sub-Collection:

[Sub-Collection 1: RG-33.01, Burmanshtein Papers, circa 1944, 1996],
[Sub-Collection 2: RG-33.02, Partisan Artifacts, circa 1941--1944],
[Sub-Collection 3: RG-33.03, Soviet-Jewish Partisans, photographs, circa 1941--1944],
[All]

Sub-Collection 2: RG-33.02, Partisan Artifacts, circa 1941--1944Add to your cart.
This collection consists of military artifacts and a photograph relating to Soviet -ewish Partisans.
Subject/Index Terms:
Soviet-Jewish partisans
Soviet partisans
war weaponry
Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans, military artifacts, 1941 -- 1944, Field map bag
Misha Kacowicz, Soviet-Jewish partisan
Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 941 -- 1944, Misha Kacowicz and his brother, a photograph
Poland (1939 --1945)
The USSR (1941--1945)
Holocaust in USSR (1941-1944)
uniforms
Military Uniforms (Soviet)
Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisans, proofs of partisanship, 1941 -- 1944
Jewish partisans in the Soviet partisans' units, 1941 -- 1944
Partisan units, Soviet, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans, military artifcts, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisan movement in the USSR
family artifacts
Soviet partisans, individuals weapon, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans, individual weapon, 1941 -- 1944, Revolver Nagant
proof of resistance
Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 --1944, photo-documents
Photographs
Photo-documents, wartime, 1939 -- 1945
Photographs, wartime, 1939 -- 1945
wartime photographs
Partisans, Soviets, photographs
Soviet-Jewish partisans, photo-documents
Creators:
Soviet partisan command (1942 -- 1944)
Jewish photographers (1939--1945)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 1: RG-33.02.01, Soviet Jewish partisan field bag (map bag), circa 1941--1944Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
A Soviet Jewish partisan field bag (map bag).
Subject/Index Terms:
uniforms
Soviet-Jewish partisans
Soviet partisans
Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisans, proofs of partisanship, 1941 -- 1944
Jewish partisans in the Soviet partisans' units, 1941 -- 1944
Partisan units, Soviet, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans, military artifcts, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans, military artifacts, 1941 -- 1944, Field map bag
Soviet partisan movement in the USSR
family artifacts
The USSR (1941--1945)
Creators:
Soviet partisan command (1942 -- 1944)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 2: RG-33.02.02, Revolver Nagant, belonged to a Soviet Jewish partisan, circa 1941--1944Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
A revolver nagant that once belonged to a Soviet Jewish partisan.
Subject/Index Terms:
war weaponry
Soviet-Jewish partisans
Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans
Soviet partisans, individuals weapon, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans, individual weapon, 1941 -- 1944, Revolver Nagant
The USSR (1941--1945)
uniforms
Military Uniforms (Soviet)
Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisans, proofs of partisanship, 1941 -- 1944
Partisan units, Soviet, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisans, military artifcts, 1941 -- 1944
Creators:
Soviet partisan command (1942 -- 1944)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 3: RG-33.02.03, Soviet-Jewish partisans, Misha Kacowicz, circa 1941--1944Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
A photograph of two Soviet-Jewish partisans. One person in the picture is Misha Kacowicz.
Subject/Index Terms:
Soviet-Jewish partisans
Soviet partisans
proof of resistance
Misha Kacowicz, Soviet-Jewish partisan
Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 1941 -- 1944
The USSR (1941--1945)
uniforms
Military Uniforms (Soviet)
Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet-Jewish partisans, combat units, 1941 --1944, photo-documents
Soviet-Jewish partisans, proofs of partisanship, 1941 -- 1944
Partisan units, Soviet, 1941 -- 1944
Soviet partisan movement in the USSR
Photographs
Photo-documents, wartime, 1939 -- 1945
Photographs, wartime, 1939 -- 1945
wartime photographs
Soviet-Jewish partisans, individuals, 941 -- 1944, Misha Kacowicz and his brother, a photograph
Partisans, Soviets, photographs
Soviet-Jewish partisans, photo-documents
Creators:
Jewish photographers (1939--1945)


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