We pent to the reader the next part of the second volume of this book two years after its first part dedicated to the history of the Mogilev Jewry from 1917 to 1941 has been issued. The authors and editors truly estimate the patience of the readers and are most grateful to many of them for their support of the current publication.
The current part deals with a few years in the life of one generation of the Jews of Mogilev. We devote our special attention to the period that was imbued with tragedy, fear, and grief caused by both political repression of the Soviet Regime and Nazi occupation and genocide.
The Jews, as all the other nations of the Soviet Union that suffered from the Stalin’s repressions, were among both the persecutors and the victims. Since our access to the documentary sources about the repressions was limited, we relied not only on the archives of the Communist party, but also on the memoirs of the persons who suffered in the persecutions, and testimonies of the relatives of the those who did not survive them. We do not aim at the comprehensive historical analysis of the political repressions. Our goals are different: we wish to save from oblivion the dreadful experiences of the Mogilev Jews from the past and to commemorate as many as possible events and names. This mission looks to us even more important as an increasingly great number of young people are ignorant about what happened to their grandparents during those years.
The occupation of Belorussia by Hitler’s army led to the disaster and countless losses of all the local population, and became a deadly threat for the Jews, whom the Nazis destined to exterminate totally. Although the Jews took a most active part in the war of all people of the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, the official Soviet historiography was silent about the Holocaust and the true scope of the Jewish contribution to the victory over Nazism in the World War II. The scholarly attitude to these subjects began to change only in the post-Soviet times.
In the present part, we continue to display to our reader documents and photographs from personal collections, archives, and museums, and many of these texts and images are published here for the time.