(Forward) Three books written by Jewish author David Duvid about his experience fleeing Poland to the East — and safely escaping the “Holocaust” — have all been but ignored by the mainstream Holocaust Industrial Complex — and here a Jewish relative of Duvid searches to understand the silence on this all-too-common experience of Jews safely fleeing Poland and other eastern European nations:
[Yiddish scholar David Duvid] published eight Yiddish books over the course of his life, including two novels in Warsaw in the early 1930s. Then came the war, his own experience of which he didn’t write about for almost two decades.
Unlike his wife and daughter, and most of his family, Duvid escaped the German occupation and crossed the Bug River into Soviet territory, and he survived the war there. Duvid was one of several hundred thousand Polish Jews to do so. Yet his was the first such story I had ever come across, despite a strong Jewish education.
There are many Jews like me who have relatives that survived the war by escaping to the USSR. But despite a recent resurgence in scholarly interest, those who survived under Stalin rather than Hitler are largely absent from mainstream literature, and even more so from English-language television and film. Scholars aren’t even sure what to call this population: Survivors-by-exile? Holocaust escapees?
Few English-language accounts by these Polish Jews have been published by mainstream publishing houses, despite a plethora of Yiddish-language testimonials and memoirs. Duvid himself recounted his wartime experiences in a trilogy of autobiographical novels published between 1963 and 1975, which I found digitized on the Yiddish Book Center’s website. Their Yiddish titles translate to: In a Storm, In a Strange Land and On the Road Back.
Critic Yisroel Emyot, reviewing the second book in the Yiddish Forverts in 1968, noted that there were already “many, many” such accounts written in Yiddish — so many that he didn’t need to list them. So how had I, half a century later, never read one in Yiddish or English?
Polish scholar Magdalena Ruta noted more recently that a large corpus of such accounts in Yiddish needs to be compiled, and that among literature of the gulag, of exile and of totalitarianism in general, Yiddish-language accounts “are still waiting to become part of that discussion.” These Jews’ cultural obscurity is all the more striking because they’re the largest group of Polish Jews to survive the war. Australian sociologist Jonathan Goldlust calls this phenomenon a case study in cultural amnesia.
There are many complex reasons for this silence. Scholars of the Holocaust describe a “hierarchy of suffering” in which the Holocaust naturally dwarfed the Soviet experience in cruelty, brutality, privation and horror. Even those who’d spent years in the gulag often felt a need to keep quiet. Historian Eliyana Adler notes that those who had accepted Soviet citizenship, or who’d had it forced upon them, were afraid this would prevent them immigrating to the U.S. Many Holocaust survivors had also been liberated by the Red Army and much of the world wasn’t ready to hear about the horrors of Soviet communism in the immediate post-war period.
Still, the rarity with which such accounts have been translated out of Yiddish is astounding, despite a robust community of Yiddish literary translators working today. The overwhelming majority of Yiddish literature — an estimated 98% — remains untranslated….
Duvid fled Nazi-occupied Warsaw in November 1939 for the relative safety of Soviet-occupied eastern Poland, leaving behind his wife and daughter. The following spring, he and thousands of other Polish refugees were deported to the gulag or to forced labor settlements. He survived backbreaking labor and starvation in unimaginable cold.
After being granted amnesty and Soviet citizenship following Hitler’s invasion in 1941, Duvid and thousands like him traveled across Central Asia looking for work and bread. He and other Polish Jews were repeatedly rejected from, then finally accepted into, the Polish Army. He reached liberated Lublin in 1944, where he found Christian Poles running shops confiscated from Jews. He recalls them crossing themselves at the sight of him. In Lublin he learned that of all his family, only a brother in Tel Aviv remained alive.
The themes explored in accounts like Duvid’s — the betrayal of refugees by a supposedly tolerant government, cultural erasure, forced labor and religious persecution, territorial annexation through sham elections — are sadly as salient today as ever. Yet historical memory is politically contentious, and it can feel like a zero-sum game. Though decades of self-silencing by Polish Jewish escapees still undoubtedly has a strong effect, contemporary politics may also have a role.
The history of communist repression, like the history of Nazi oppression, risks exploitation today by right-wing nationalist governments such as those of Hungary and Poland, who seek to whitewash their countries’ histories of antisemitism and collaboration with the Nazis. Accounts by more left-leaning authors such as Duvid, or his friend and companion Avrom Zak, might run this risk of being used as a vehicle to condemn socialist and liberal policies. Gulag memoirs by more left-leaning authors such as Duvid, or his friend and companion Avrom Zak, might run this risk as much as accounts by right-wing Jews like Menachem Begin or Julius Margolin. The Soviet regime’s crimes against Jewish refugees also complicate Russian national myths surrounding the Great Patriotic War — the Russian name for World War II — which makes stories like Duvid’s doubly politically volatile.
The obscurity of survivors-by-exile means that the largest group of Polish Jews to survive World War II is largely absent from mainstream understanding of Jews’ fate during the war. As the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles with time, so will the number of survivors-by-exile and native Yiddish speakers. There is, then, a certain urgency in translating more accounts like Duvid’s out of Yiddish now, however fraught today’s politics may be in the background…
The reason the Holocaust Industrial Complex™ ignores these accounts of Jews who safely escaped Nazi persecution™ and the Holocaust™ is far more simple than this Jewish writer is able to understand — their stories contradict the mainstream Holocaust™ narrative.
Not just “hundreds of thousands” — but actually at least 1.6 million Jews fled to the East safely behind Soviet lines — and yet these Jews were nevertheless counted among the sacred 6 Million™ who were “murdered” by the Nazis™ in Gas Chambers™.
According to a 1943 report titled International Conciliation: Commission To Study The Organization Of Peace published by the Carnegie Peace Foundation,
Of some 1,750,000 Jews who succeeded in escaping the Axis since the outbreak of hostilities, about 1,600,000 were evacuated by the Soviet Government from Eastern Poland and subsequently occupied Soviet territory…About 150,000 others managed to reach Palestine, the United States, and other countries beyond the seas.–April 1943, No. 389, as quoted in The Fraud of Soviet “Anti-Semitism” by Herbert Aptheker, p. 6, 1962
Two Jewish sources confirmed the truth of this evacuation of Jews to the East:
“At the outset of the war, Jews were amongst the first evacuated from the western regions threatened by the Hitlerite invaders, and shipped to safety east of the Urals. Two million Jews were thus saved.”
—Louis Levine, President of the American Jewish Council for Russian Relief, October 30, 1946
“Thanks to the evacuation, the majority (80%) of the Jews in the Ukraine, White Russia, Lithuania and Latvia before the arrival of the Germans were rescued.”
—David Bergelson, Jewish journalist who wrote in the Moscow Yiddish paper Ainikeit, December 5th, 1942
The Holocaust Industrial Complex™ must maintain that these nearly 2 million Jews were “murdered” by the “Nazis” otherwise their 6 Million™ non-negotiable kaballistic number is impossible to maintain.
That’s especially true because the magic 6 Million™ death toll was announced at a time when the Holocaust Industrial Complex™ insisted that 4 Million of those 6 Million™ were “murdered” at Auschwitz™.
And even when Auschwitz™ quietly lowered the official death toll of Jews from 4 Million to 1.2 Million — and changed the memorial plaque accordingly — the Holocaust Industrial Complex™ still refused to budge on their sacred 6 Million official death count.
So with 2.5 Million Jews that didn’t die at Auschwitz™ — and another 1.5 million who fled to safety behind Soviet lines — that means at least 4 Million of the sacred 6 Million™ didn’t actually die as they insist — ignoring all the Jews who were shipped directly from concentration camps to the safety of Palestine with the help of the Mossad.
This obvious mathematical discrepancy forced the High Priests of the Holocaust to invent the Holocaust By Bullets™ — a conveniently unverifiable claim that the Germans, as they advanced East through Russia, murdered 2 Million Jews by gun shot and dumped their bodies in alleged mass graves such as Babi Yar that have never been exhumed — by order of rabbis who know what’s not in those mass graves.
This is a massive psy-op directed not only at non-Jews — but even more importantly at Jews themselves — they must believe that “another Holocaust” is possible at any moment, and all Jews must circle the wagons the second a swastika is found carved on a bathroom wall at a school in a small town in Indiana.