[Cz-L] Translation of the 1944 Report on Travel to Czernovitsy

From: <sottovoce1_at_verizon.net>
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2008 20:51:56 -0600 (CST)
To: czernowitz-l_at_cornell.edu
Reply-to: sottovoce1_at_verizon.net

Dear Czernowitzers,
In October, I wrote about two documents in Russian concerning the treatment=
 of the Czernowitz Jews returning from Transnistria by the Soviet authoritie=
s following the Soviet takeover of the region. Many of you expressed interes=
t in reading them in English. I have translated these documents, but, accord=
ing to the rules of this list-serv, attachments are not allowed. If you are =
interested in receiving these documents please let me know, and I'll send th=
em to your e-mail address.
Here are some excerpts from my October e-mail:
“ Report On Travel To Czernovitsy”, was =
written by my father, a Yiddish poet and writer Naftali Hertz Kon. In 1944, =
after the Soviets re-occupied Bukovina, he was sent by the Jewish Anti-Fasci=
st Committee in Moscow, of which he was a member, to Czernowitz to write abo=
ut the local Jewish resistance fighters who aided the Red Army in the war.

What he found upon arriving in Czernowitz was so horrific that it had nearl=
y eclipsed for him the story of the Jewish resistance. The â€=
Report ” describes these horrors in great detail to th=
e leadership of the Anti-Fascist Committee.

The copy of the report in my possession is a Russian translation of the Yid=
dish original, published by Lev Drobyasko in the Holocaust and Modern Times=
, March-April, 2003, No 2(8) ), a publication, I think, of the Kiev Institut=
e of Judaica. Drobyasko, who I understand passed away recently, had unearthe=
d the report while searching the archives of the Soviet Ukrainian Ministry o=
f Internal Security.

The report is a remarkable document on three accounts. First, gathering tha=
t type of material so openly critical of the Soviets, and then writing and s=
ubmitting it, required for a Soviet citizen an enormous courage, a courage t=
hat my father must’ve known was practically suicidal. Seco=
nd, treading precariously, my father peppered the text with standard Soviet =
phraseology, such us “political education of the masses=
€, “politically unproven elements,â=
 and many others. Nevertheless, the ruse did little to save him fro=
m the scathing condemnation by the Soviet authorities, who classified it as =
 â€œscurrilous”, “hostile=
”, ”anti-Soviet” and such=
. And finally, the report was, quite possilby, the very first account of the=
 plight of the Bukovina Jewish survivors at the hands of the Soviets in the =
immediate aftermath of the WWII.
Ina Lancman
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Received on 2008-01-03 02:51:56

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