State-Sponsored Anti-Semitism in Postwar USSR.

Studies and Research Perspectives

This essay offers a review of recent international historiography on “State anti-Semitism” in the USSR after WWII. After emphasizing the difficulties of reintegration of the Jewish population in the aftermath of conflict, the essay covers the different stages of anti-Jewish policies and focuses on the transition to a new phase in relations between Soviet Jews and Soviet state, coinciding with the struggle against “cosmopolitism” and the start of a more explicit anti-Semitic hate campaign. The author reconstructs the repression of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and the invention of the “Doctors ‘Plot’, and finally recalls the debate about the alleged preparation of a mass deportation of Soviet Jews. Promising research perspectives for the future are indicated in local case studies that would clarify the validity of “collective psychosis” which affects the Jewish community in the postwar era, as well as offer more information on the existence of a plan to mobilize the population on the basis of Judeophobia.

issue 01 / April 2010 by Antonella Salomoni