Soviet Judaica Archival Materials


Poster images of refuseniks from the Soviet Union [fragment], Israel Sun, Ltd., Israel, 1986. Judaica Division, Widener Library JPCDISUN24400


[Poalei Zion archive] :[on microfiche]

The Poalei Zion documents, now in the Russian Centre of Conservation and Study of Records for Modern History in Moscow (formerly the Central Party Archive), were acquired from the Archive of Revolution and Foreign Policy, the Kiev Provincial Historical archive, and from the KGB archive in Lubianka (in the 1920s, the NKVD [forerunner of the KGB] had confiscated the documents of Poalei Zion for use as evidence against members of the organization who had been arrested). 
The archive includes documents, papers, correspondence, political literature, newspapers, journals, periodicals, serials, sheets of signatures, lottery tickets, postage stamps, receipt books, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, and publications relating to the activities of various Jewish political parties and organizations, and also concerning Jewish emigration to Palestine. Includes the correspondence of prominent leaders of the World Zionist movement (such as Ben Gurion, Ben Zvi, and B. Borokhov), as well as works of creative writing (e.g, poetry by David Hofstein with illustrations by Marc Chagall).
Most of the material is in Yiddish, with the rest mostly in Russian and Hebrew, but there are also some texts in German, French, Arabic, Ukranian, and Polish.

<5,039 > microfiches + guides.
758 files in 3 inventories, organized into the following series:
I. The Jewish Social-Democratic Labour Party ESDRP (Poalei Zion): inventory 1, files 1-129;
II. Correspondence of the Central Committee of the ESDRP with regional organizations: inventory 1, files 130-419;
III. Sections of the Central Committee of the ESDRP: inventory 1, files 420-535;
IV. Documents on the history of the ESDRP, Periodicals and serials published by the ESDRP: inventory 1, files 536-625;
V. The Jewish Communist Party of Poalei Zion (EKP Poalei Zion), the United Jewish Socialist Labour Party, the Jewish Socialist (from 1923, Communist) Union of Working Youth: inventory 2, files 1-30; inventory 3, files 1-103
Arrangement: chronological within geographic region for each record type (letters, documents, etc.)

Finding aids: Printed guide in Russian and English and electronic guide on CD-ROM in Russian and English.

Bund archive in RGASPI, Moscow

Reproduces a collection of documents in various languages (Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, German, French, Ukrainian, Polish) from the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) in Moscow. Topics covered include: History of the Jews in Eastern Europe; Antisemitism in tsarist Russia pogroms; Yiddish culture in Russia; Russian revolutionary parties; Jewish labour movement; Jewish political movement; International socialist movement; Socialist International; Free Trade Unions (ICFTU); Socialist parties in Germany, Great Britain, France, and other European countries; Biographies and correspondence of prominent leaders of socialist movements.

2,162 microfiches

United States. Holocaust Memorial Museum [various microfilms]

A collection of copies of archival documents held by former Special (Osobyi) archive in Moscow, in the Russian State Military Archive (RGVA), microfilmed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Contains documents and files confiscated in the territories occupied by the Red Army in the years immediately following the end of World War II.  

Online guide

John and Carol Garrard collection of Vasiliĭ Semenovich Grossman papers, 1902-2013, (bulk) 1923-1994

Vasiliĭ Semenovich Grossman (1905-1964) was a Soviet writer and journalist. At the outbreak of World War Two he became a war correspondent writing eyewitness accounts of a number of major battles, of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp at Treblinka, of the conditions of life at the fronts and on the liberated territories. John Gordon Garrard is a professor emeritus of Russian Studies at the University of Arizona; together with his wife Carol E. Garrard he wrote a biography of Vasiliĭ Grossman.
The collection primarily contains photocopies of documents from various Russian, German and American archives related to the life and writings of Vasilii Semenovich Grossman and to the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union and the anti-fascist movement: compositions, correspondence, military and civil records, and maps. The collection also includes compositions by others, correspondence of John and Carol Garrard with friends and relatives of Vasilii Grossman and with repositories and archives, photographs, drawings, maps, and souvenirs.

2.5 linear feet (6 boxes, including 1 pf box and 2 pf folders)
Arranged into five series: 
I. Compositions; 
II. Correspondence; 
III. Research files for the "Bones of Berdichev : the life and fate of Vasilii Grossman"; 
IV. Other material; 
V. Additions to collection.

Electronic finding aid

Jewish theater under Stalinism :Moscow State Jewish Theater (GOSET) and Moscow State Jewish Theater School (MGETU)

Documents covering the period 1916-1950 from the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI) in Moscow about the Moscow State Jewish Theater and the affiliated Moscow State Jewish Theater School (MGETU).
The collection includes the archive of GOSET (RGALI, Fond 2307) and the archive of the Theatrical School of the State Jewish Theater (MGETU) (RGALI, Fond 2308). This collection of archival documents from the RGALI contains material that describes the history of the Soviet culture and Theater, Jewish Theater, Jewish avant-garde art and the Kremlin's policy toward Jewish society and culture from 1919 until the early 1950s. The collection contains correspondence with ministries, state organizations, authors, administration, plays, notes ( with comments of censors) and the personal archives of Alexei Granovskii, Solomon Mikhoels, and other actors and writers. Other materials that can be found in this collection are press reports from Soviet and foreign periodicals about the theater and its tours in Europe, posters, drawings, theater programs and documents about other Jewish theaters.
The documents of GOSET were transferred to RGALI in two stages: In 1958 RGALI received the documents from the Central archive of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and in 1959 from the A.A. Bakhrushin State central theater museum. The museum received the documents from the liquidation commission in 1950. After the closing liquidation of the theater its archive was moved for preservation to the Aleksei Bakhrushin State Theatrical Museum where it was stored (without being catalogued). On the night of January 6-7, 1953 a major fire occurred in the small room where the archives of these discredited theaters were housed. A result of this was not only that the documents suffered considerably, but also that many of them were destroyed. The documentary materials that survived were transferred by order of the Committee for the Arts of the Council of Ministers of the USSR to the collection of the Main Archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and in 1959 to the Central Archive of Literature and Art (TsGALI), now know as the Russian Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI): Fond 2307, which contains 541 items in storage (dating from 1919-1949).

86 reels; fond 2307 : 650 files ; fond 2308 : 206 files. Includes index.

Evreĭskie pogromy na Ukraine, 1918-1921 g.g : Dokumenty Kievskoĭ komissii pomoshchi postradavshim ot pogromov = Jewish pogroms in Ukraine, 1918-1921 : documents of Kiev District Commission for relief to victims of pogroms

The collection, filmed at the State Archive of Kiev Oblast, includes over 30,000 pages of correspondence, witness accounts, reports describing commissioners' and committee activities, records of individual investigations, refugee and victim lists and statistics, communications with Western relief organizations and documents pertaining to Jewish emigration out of Ukraine.

Accompanied by guide entitled: Jewish pogroms in Ukraine, 1918-1921 : documents of Kiev District Commission for relief to victims of pogroms. 

Judaica microfilm reel guides : collection 1

Collection of indexes from microfilm collections produced by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, K.G. Saur, and IDC.Includes Bund Archive and Poalei Zion Archive.

The Judaica Digital Image Collection

The Harvard Judaica Collection includes an extensive collection of over 5.5. million digital images documenting Jewish life in Israel and other countries including Russia/Soviet Union.  The images are chiefly digital photographs but there are also digital images of ephemera  and posters related to Jews in Russia/Soviet Union as well as Russian Jews in Israel.

Access by keyword(s): via HOLLIS Images  and  HOLLIS .  Limit your search to: Depository--  Widener Library Judaica Division.

For more information about the Judaica collections at Harvard please contact the Judaica division of Harvard Library.