Tag: ethnic minorities

Katyn Forest Massacre

Katyn Forest was home to the graves of over 4,300 Polish officers. The German army discovered these graves in March of 1943. The deceased Polish officers were Prisoners of War following the aftermath of the invasion of the Soviets and occupation of the Polish Eastern provinces between 1939-1941. Unfortunately for the Germans, the Soviets completely […]

You Rebel Scum!

On June 22, 1941, Hitler’s planned invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, commenced making rapid advancements across the Soviet Union. The German Army moved so quickly that many Soviet units were just overrun, especially the reserve units and party leaders. As the Germans moved across Soviet lands they committed many war crimes against Russians, … Continue reading You Rebel Scum!

Between Shades of Gray

Over spring break I read Between Shades of Gray (published March 2011), a young adult historical fiction novel by Ruta Sepetys. The story follows a 15-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941 who is taken from her home with her mother and younger brother by the NKVD (Soviet secret police). They are put on a crowded, dirty […]

Russian Ethnic Cleansing: Assisted by the United States

The holocaust is arguably the most notorious aspect of World War II.  While millions of Jews lost their lives during the Holocaust, it is easy to forget that they were not the only group victimized by the Nazi’s systematic and brutal tactics of annihilation.  Massive amounts of Poles, Slavs, gypsies, mentally disabled, and Russian prisoners … Continue reading “Russian Ethnic Cleansing: Assisted by the United States”

The Sovietization of Central Asia: A Daunting Project

Upon the assumption by the Bolsheviks of the reigns of power,  the new rulers quickly realized that the “Sovietization” of Russia was not their only project. Many other non-Russian areas of the former czarist empire also had to be brought under socialism, particularly Central Asia, one of the poorest and most backwards regions of the … Continue reading The Sovietization of Central Asia: A Daunting Project

National Identity and its Role in the 1905 Revolution

The Russian Empire, like many Eastern European empires, was a multi-ethnic one. With at least a dozen different minority groups in Europe, and many more in Asia, the Russian czar could be said to have governed over a more diverse territory than any state save for Britain. And with ethnic diversity comes socio-political unrest, and … Continue reading National Identity and its Role in the 1905 Revolution

Samarkand: Home to Jewish Tradition

This 1911 photograph from the Prokudin-Gorskii collection captures a Jewish teacher instructing Jewish children in Samarkand. Beginning around 600 BC, the Silk Road connected Europe with Eastern Asia in order to establish a trade circuit. Samarkand, located in Uzbekistan, stood as a main stop in central Asia along the trade route, and in turn, adopted a… Continue reading Samarkand: Home to Jewish Tradition