Soviet Jews in the War Against Nazi Germany
Arad examines the contribution of Jews to Soviet military efforts during World War II and prior to it (including the Civil War in Spain, 1936–1939) in the army, air force, navy, the engineering and medical corps, and in the war industry. He notes the participation of Jews in the resistance in the POW camps, including the revolt in Sobibor. His article contends that Jewish servicemen in the Soviet armed forces were among the most loyal in the crucial early stages of the war, when many other soldiers surrendered or defected to the German side. Nazi antisemitic propaganda directed at Soviet soldiers is also mentioned. Antisemitism, which was not absent in the ranks of the Soviet Army, caused many Jewish fighters to take non-Jewish names and to conceal their Jewish identity. As noted herein, Soviet postwar propaganda tended to diminish the Jewish participation in the war effort.