"Jewish Refugees in the Eastern Areas of the USSR during World War II"
Albert Kaganovitch is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Humanities, University of Manitoba in Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Jewish history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and his B.A. and M.A. with honors from the Department of Russian and Central Asian History at the University of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. For his Matthew Family Fellowship, Dr. Kaganovitch conducted research for his project, “Jewish Refugees in the Eastern Areas of the USSR during World War II.”
Dr. Kanganovitch is the author of The Mashhadi Jews (Djedids) in Central Asia (2007) and, in Russian, Rechitsa: The History of a Jewish Shteltl in Southeastern Belarus (2007). He has written numerous articles and book chapters on Bukharah Jews (Jews from Central Asia), including, “The Bukharan Jewish Diaspora at the Beginning of the 21st Century” in editors I. Baldauf, M. Grammer and T. Loy’s Bukharan Jews in the 20th Century: History, Experience and Narration (2008), and entries on Bukharan Jews, Chala, Mashhadi Jews (Djedids) in Central Asia, Samarkand, Rabbi Shelomo ben Moses Tajer, and Tashkent for the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (Norman A. Stillman, Executive Editor) which will be published this spring. His article, “Jewish Refugees and Soviet Authorities during World War II” was recently accepted for publication in the journal Yad Vashem Studies. Dr. Kaganovich has received many awards and grants, including the Graduate Prize of the Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East from the Hebrew University and the Israeli Ministry of Education, a Fellowship of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, and a Doctoral Scholarship from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. He has language skills in English, Russian, Hebrew, and Polish.
During his tenure at the Museum, Dr. Kaganovitch researched the attitudes of the local authorities and populations toward Jewish refugees in the eastern areas of the USSR during World War II. As part of this study he examined Jewish-Gentile relations prior to the War as well as how non-Jewish refugees were treated during the war. Dr. Kaganovitch used hitherto unexamined archival materials to provide new statistical data on the number of Jewish refugees in Central Asia and the eastern areas of the USSR during World War II, the difficult migration, Jews’ religious and cultural practices, and mortality among the refugees. He conducted research using the Museum’s collections from Ural, Sibir, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan as well as World Jewish Congress records. With the assistance of the Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center, Dr. Kaganovitch contacted survivors who were refugees in Central Asia, and also conducted interviews with the large community of Bukhara Jews in Queens, New York.
Dr. Kanganovitch was in residence at the Mandel Center from April 1 to September 30, 2010.