World War II in Soviet Eastern Europe

This is an HONORS ADJUNCT course.

". . . the overwhelming brunt of the Nazi occupation between 1941 and 1944,
as of the devastating Soviet reoccupation, was borne not by Russia but by the
Baltic States, by Belarus, by Poland, and above all by Ukraine."
--Norman Davies, New York Review of Books June 9, 1994, p. 23.

Professor Jeffrey Burds
Office: 269 Holmes Hall
Telephone: (617) 373-2079

Course Description
This lecture and discussion course is devoted to the study of Russia’s western borderlands before, during, and immediately following the Second World War, 1939-1948. Drawing from a variety of original documents, films, and recent scholarly studies of the era, we will evaluate the impact of World War II on Soviet Eastern Europe. Required readings during the first four weeks of the course will introduce all students to the basic history of the Second World War in the East. This will be supplemented by several weeks of readings on special themes: Soviet Occupation Policy (1939-1941); Ostpolitik: German occupation policy in Soviet territory, 1941-1945; genocide and the Holocaust; the war; collaborators and rear-area sabotage; nationalism; ethnic reprisals after Soviet “liberation” of occupied zones; rape warfare; the postwar struggle against banditry; and the origins of the Cold War.

Regular class attendance is required. Any student with five or more unauthorized absences will fail the course.

Final grades will be calculated with attention to the following formula:


• Regular class attendance: 10 percent

• Half-page journal entries on each film: two evening films, an hour of German news reels; and 10 hours of the documentary film, Russia’s War: 10 percent

• Midterm bluebook examination and 5-7 page takehome paper: 40 percent

• Second midterm bluebook examination and 5-7 page takehome paper: 40 percent


All students must complete the midterm examination and paper. All Honors Adjunct students are expected to prepare an alternative paper 10-page and oral examination to replace the final examination and paper. This option is available for any student who scores a B or above on the midterm. Some students will be invited to make in-class presentations for extra credit.


I emphasize: attendance is a required part of this class. Note that any student with five or more unexcused absences may be either cut from the roster or will automatically fail this course.


All books are available in low-cost paperback editions at Barnes & Nobles bookstore, and are on Closed Reserve in Snell Library.

Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York: HarperCollins, 1993), paper

Alan Clark, Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-1945 (New York: Quill, 1965-1985), paper

Jan T. Gross, Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).

Waldemar Lotnik, Nine Lives: Ethnic Conflict in the Polish-Ukrainian Borderlands (London: Serif, 1999), paper

Alaine Polcz, A Wartime Memoir: Hungary 1944-1945 (Budapest: Corvina, 1991-1997).

Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 1944-1950 (New York: St. Martins Press, 1993), paper

In addition, students are expected to read and study short handouts to be distributed in class. All handouts and notes for most lectures and/or discussions will be available for review on the course WEB page. The WEB page also includes references and links to relevant materials which may assist students writing papers.


Documentary Film Viewing

Most Monday classes will be devoted to screening all ten hours of the documentary film series: Russia's War: Blood Upon the Snow. This film series is available on reserve in the Media Library, on the second floor of Snell Library. All students are expected to have viewed all ten hours of the documentary film, plus the three other films, by the 14 April. Viewing of all films must be demonstrated, either with attendance at scheduled screenings, or by getting a stamped receipt of viewing from the Media Library. Students should reflect with a half-page of writing on a specific theme of each film in an ongoing film journal, due on 14 April.


Bibliography An extensive list of useful readings and materials.


Check out summaries of the latest research in Soviet Military Studies [Frank Cass Publishing]

Check out the Journal of Slavic Military Studies [David M. Glantz, ed.]

Check out the U.S. Army Homepage, with extensive on-line monographs concnering all aspects of the Soviet military, World War II, Soviet partisans, etc.

Connect to the National Archives

Connect to the British Public Record Office [Press for Catalogue Search]

Get insight from The Boston Globe's series from Spring 2001: World War II: The Secret History

Waffen-SS Order of Battle provides indispensable reference data on SS units, both German and non-German



A Russian woman and child under attack by Nazi bayonets: "Save us!" This was one of the most memorable images of the Soviet home front in World War II






Week 1           Introduction /Contexts

Wednesday, January 7. Introduction. The Problem of Historical Memory

Thursday, January 8. NO CLASS MEETING

Please read two short selections:

Jeffrey Burds, "Ethnicity, Memory, and Violence: Reflections on Special Problems in Soviet & East European Archives," in William Rosenberg and Francis Blouin, eds.Archives and Social Memory: Institutions, Practices, and Political Cultures (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, forthcoming).

Piotr Wrobel, "Double Memory: Poles and Jews After the Holocaust," East European Politics and Societies Volume 11, Number 3 (Fall 1997), 560-574.

Week 2           Antecedents

Monday, January 12. Antecedents: The International Geopolitical Context in the 1930s

Wednesday, January 14. August 1939 to June 1941; The Soviet Occupation of Eastern Poland; The Winter War in Finland

The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion

Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1931-1941 [Documents of the Avalon Project]

Stalin's Speech Before the Politburo [19 August 1939]

Photo & Text of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact [23 August 1939]

Secret Protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact [23 August 1939]

Evening Film, 6:00 p.m. in 90 Snell Library. Dinner will be provided.
FILM: Come & See  (Elem Klimov, USSR, 1985)
Described as “142 minutes of raw emotion”, this film won top prizes at the Moscow and Venice film festivals in 1985. The story is based on writer Aleksandr Adamovich’s WWII memoirs of SS reprisals against partisans. Set in occupied Belorussia in 1943, the film follows a raw teenager into the swamps and forests of the Western border provinces, where he undergoes a hell of atrocities, transformed by his hatred for the fascists as he tries to survive the carnage of war. Russian with English subtitles. 142 minutes.

Thursday, January 15. Soviet Espionage & the Barbarossa Calamity

MAP: Soviet Military Intelligence Analysis of the Concentration of German Forces on the Eve of War

MAP: Disposition of Soviet & German Forces on the Soviet western borders on the eve of invasion

Documents: Soviet Espionage Communiqués On the Eve of Barbarossa

READ: Alan Clark, Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-1945, pp. 3-113.


Gabriel Gorodetsky, Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999).

Clement Leibovitz, Alvin Finkel, Christopher Hitchens, In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998).

Bruce W. Menning, ed. At the Threshold of War: The Soviet High Command in 1941 in Russian Studies in History: A Journal of Translations Volume 36, Number 3 (Winter 1997-98), pp. 2-93.

Albert Resis, "The Fall of Litvinov: Harbinger of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact," Europe-Asia Studies Volume 52, Number (January 2000): 33-56.

Cynthia Roberts, "Planning for War: the Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941," Europe-Asia Studies Volume 47, Number 8 (December 1995) pp. 1293-1326.

Geoffrey Roberts, "The Soviet Decision for a Pact with Nazi Germany," Soviet Studies Volume 44, Number 1 (1992): 57-80.

Week 3           Operation Barbarossa and the German Invasion of Soviet Eastern Europe

Monday, January 19. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. University closed.

Wednesday, January 21.  OPERATION BARBAROSSA: The German Invasion of Russia, 22 June 1941

Handout: Map1, Operation Barbarossa

Thursday, January 22. FILM: German News Reels, July 1941

READ: Alan Clark, Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-1945, pp. 114-219.


K. I. Bukov, "The Anxious October of '41", Russian Studies in History Volume 31, No. 4 (Spring 1993): 30-48.

John Erickson, “The Soviet Response to Surprise Attack: Three Directives, 22 June 1941,” Soviet Studies Volume 23, Number 4 (April 1972): 519-553.

Mark Harrison, Accounting for War: Soviet Production, Employment, and the Defence Burden, 1940-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).


Week 4           After Stalingrad: The Soviet Drive to Berlin

Monday, January 26. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 1

Wednesday, January 28. The School of Hate

Document: Hitler's Commissar Order, dated 6 June 1941

Einsatzkommando Diary - Lemberg (July 1941)

Molotov's Note on German Atrocities in Occupied Soviet Territory (January 6, 1942)

Ilya Ehrenberg, "The Justification of Hatred" (Summer 1942)

Follow the progress of the invasion through a German war album:
Otto Willnauer 3rd Company, 7th PanzerJaeger Battalion [toward Minsk]

Thursday, January 29. Discussion: Stalingrad

READ: Alan Clark, Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-1945, pp. 220-302.
* Michael Cherniavsky, "Corporal Hitler, General Winter and the Russian Peasant," The Yale Review Volume LI, Number 4 (Summer 1962), pp. 547-558.

HANDOUT: Data on Soviet/German/British/US Wartime Production


War Albums: Two German Soldiers on the Eastern Front

Photographs from the Eastern Front

World War II in Ukraine [A Photo Essay]

WEB Genocide Documentation Centre: Internet Resources on Genocide & Mass Killings [World War II]


WEB Guide: SS Atrocities in Wartime

Week 5           Occupation Policies

Monday, February 2. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 2

Tuesday, February 4. Discussion: After Stalingrad

READ: Alan Clark, Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-1945, pp. 303-465.

Handouts: Map3 of the Soviet Drive to Berlin

Handout: Stalin's Toast to Victory (May 24, l945)

Photo credit: Raising the Hammer and Sickle over the Reichstag,
2 May, 1945
by Yevgeni Khaldey


Antony Beevor, Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943(New York: Penguin Press, 1999).

William C. Fletcher, "The Soviet Bible Belt: World War II's Effects on Religion," in Susan J. Linz, editor. The Impact of World War II on the Soviet Union (Rowman & Allanheld, 1985), pp. 129-156.

Leonidas E. Hill, "The Published Political Memoirs of Leading Nazis, 1933-45," in George Egerton, ed. Political Memoir: Essays on the Politics of Memory (London: Frank Cass, 1994), pp. 225-241.

Daniel Peris : "'God is Now On Our Side': The Religious Revival on Unoccupied Soviet Territory during World War II," Kritika, Volume 1, Number 1 (1999): 97-118.

Thursday, February 5. Summer 1941

DOCUMENT: Signals from Moscow

Of Related Interest

Jan Gross, Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988). [View on-line in PDF format]

Terry Martin, "The Origins of Soviet Ethnic Cleansing," The Journal of Modern History Volume 70, Number 4 (December 1998): 813-861.

Benjamin B. Fischer, "The Katyn Controversy: Stalin's Killing Field," Studies in Intelligence (Winter 1999-2000) [CIA's Declassified Journal]

Victor Zaslavsky, "The Katyn Massacre: 'Class Cleansing' as Totalitarian Praxis," Telos Issue 114 (Winter 1999) 67-107.



Memorandum on NKVD letterhead from L. Beria to "Comrade Stalin" proposing to execute captured Polish officers, soldiers, and other prisoners by shooting. Stalin's handwritten signature appears on top, followed by signatures of Politburo members K. Voroshilov, V. Molotov, and A. Mikoyan. Signatures in left margin are M. Kalinin and L. Kaganovich, both favoring execution

Week 6           Holocaust : The Politics of Ethnic Cleansing

Monday, February 9. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 3

Wednesday, February 11. The Holocaust in Central & Eastern Europe

HANDOUT: Eyewitness Account of Einsatzgruppen Executions

HANDOUT: Holocaust Data


Evening Film, 6:00 p.m. in 90 Snell Library.

FILM: Angry Harvest (Agnieszka Holland, Germany, 1986)
Acclaimed Polish film director Agnieszka Holland’s Academy-Award nominated film is a powerful emotional drama set during the German occupation of southeastern Poland. Following a raid on the Jewish ghetto, a young, beautiful Jewish woman manages to escape a sealed train car while en route to a Nazi death camp. A sexually repressed Polish Catholic farmer discovers her hiding in a nearby forest, and saves the woman, by then delirious from hunger and fever. This brilliant psychological drama follows the evolution of their relationship between inter-dependent love and ubiquitous terror. A tour-de-force of acting and directing, the film stars Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Wojtech Pszoniak. German with English subtitles. 102 minutes.

Thursday, February 12. Discussion: Discussion: Ostpolitik: The German Occupation Zone

READ: Jan T. Gross, Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).



Alexander B. Rossino, "Polish 'Neighbors' and German Invaders: Contextualizing Anti-Jewish Violence in the Bialystok District during the Opening Weeks of Operation Barbarossa," Forthcoming in Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, Volume 16 (2003).

HISTORICAL CONTROVERSY: The Reaction to "Neighbors" in Poland

Yedwabne: [Jewish Shtetl] History & Memorial Book

Voices on the Jedwabne Tragedy

Anna Bikont, "Scene fron Jedwabne," Yad Vashem Studies (2002) A Polish Jew's discussion of the controversy


Of Related Interest on the Problem of Wartime Collaboration

Alexander Dallin, German Rule in Russia, 1941-1945: A Study of Occupation Policies,
pp. 84-167, 305-319, 376-408. [View on-line in PDF format]

Martin Dean, Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-44 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), pp. 41-59, 78-104, 161-168.

Collaboration in the Holocaust in its entirety.

John Erickson, "Nazi Posters in Wartime Russia," History Today, Sep94, Vol. 44 Issue 9, pp. 14-19.

Frank Gordon, Latvians and Jews Between Germany and Russia Translated by Vaira Puķīte and Jānis Straubergs (Stockholm: Memento, 1990)

Jan Tomasz Gross, Polish Society Under German Occupation: The Generalgouvernement, 1939-1944 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979).

Zygmunt Klukowski, Diary from the Years of Occupation, 1939-44 (University of Illinois Press, 1993).

Excerpts from Klukowski's diary

Wolodomyr Kosyk, The Third Reich and Ukraine (New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 1993), pp. 185-315. Documents on pp. 546-548, 548-549, 550, 554 [View on-line in PDF format]

Paula Kovalevskis, Oskars Noritis and Mikelis Goppers, eds., Latvia: Year of Horror [English translation of a German-prepared collection of photos and documents covering the communist rule in Latvia from June 17, 1940 to July 1, 1941] (Riga. Zelta Abele Publisher. 1942)

Richard Rhodes, Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust (New York: Knopf, 2002)

Oleg Zarubinsky, "Collaboration of the Population in Occupied Ukrainian Territory: Some Aspects of the Overall Picture," The Journal of Slavic Military Studies Volume 10, No. 2 (1997): 138-152.

Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal Proceedings [Complete series on line]


The Einsatzgruppen Case


National Archives Collection of World War II War Crimes Records (RG238)


WWII Timeline: Poland

Reading/Research on World War II Poland

Week 7           Wehrmacht War Crimes

Monday, February 16. President's Day. No class.

Wednesday, February 18. DISCUSSION: Ordinary Men

READ: Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (Entire)


READ: Koineh Schacter-Rogel, "A Letter from Ukraine," published by the Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies, 2001.

This eyewitness report describes the first 24 hours of the German occupation in Tshudin, Ukraine.


Before Class, please review the Wannsee Protocol Museum Site, birthplace of the Final Solution on 20 January 1942.


HANDOUT: Beyond Redemption? Reflections on the Holocaust



Follow the German Army's brutality in the East at War of Annihilation: War Crimes of the Wehrmacht, 1941-1944

Judith Levin and Daniel Uziel, Ordinary Men, Extraordinary Photos, Yad Vashem Studies, 2002. Studies German soldiers' photo albums as a source about the mentalité of perpetrators of atrocities


Visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. where there are several on-line photographic and documentary exhibits.


Visit the Gallery of Holocaust Images prepared for an on-line Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust.


Visit an on-line Photographic Exhibition of the Holocaust.


Recommended Reading

Yitzak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, editors. The Einsatzgruppen Reports (New York: Holocaust Library. 1989). [Includes additional documents]

 Randolph L. Braham, "The Assault on Historical Memory: Hungarian Nationalists and the Holocaust," East European Quarterly Volume 33, Number 4 (Winter 1999): 411-425.

Catherine A. Bernard, "tell him that I . . . . Women Writing the Holocaust," Stanford University, 1995.

Richard Breitman, "Himmler's Police Auxiliaries in the Occupied Soviet Territories," Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, Volume 7.

The Christine Damski/Sara Rozen Story -- Jewish Rescue in Lvov

Follow more stories in Ellen Land-Webber, To Save a Life: Stories of Holocaust Rescue (University of Illinois Press)

Daniel Goldgahen, Hitler's Willing Executioners, and review by Raul Hilberg, "The Goldhagen Phenomenon"

Library of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, Volumes 1-6 (

A Virtual Tour of Jewish Lodz (Poland)

Witnesses--On Line Testimonies of Holocaust Survivors, Liberators & Other Documents

Documents on the Holocaust -- Soviet Union


Thursday, February 19. Midterm.


Hints on preparing for the blue book exam

Midterm Essay Question


The midterm will consist of a bluebook examination in class, and
a takehome paper of 4-6 pages based on course materials.

Week 8           Partisans & Collaborators

Monday, February 23. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 4

Wednesday, February 25. The Soviet Partisan Movement


READ:  Colonel I. G. Starinov, Over the Abyss: My Life in Soviet Special Operations (New York: Ivy Books [Ballantine Books], 1995), pp. 161-366.


Of Related Interest

Photo: Belorussian Partisans, 1944



Alexander Dallin, German Rule in Russia, 1941-1945: A Study of Occupation Policies,
pp. 497-636. [View on-line in PDF format]

Leonid D. Grenkevich, Soviet Partisan Movements: A Critical Historiographical Analysis (London: Frank Cass, 1999).

Propaganda Posters for the Eastern Front: An On-Line Exhibit

Rear Area Security in Russia: The Soviet Second Front Behind the German Front (Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 1951).

[From the German War Report Series based on U.S. interrogations of German officers from the Eastern Front]

Major Claude R. Sasso, Soviet Night Operations in World War II (Leavenworth Paper No. 6) Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command

Pavel Sudoplatov, Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness -- A Soviet Spymaster (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1994-1995). Revised Edition.



Thursday February 26. German Anti-Partisan Operations


Truman Anderson, "Incident at Baranivka: German Reprisals and the Soviet Partisan Movement in Ukraine, October-December 1941," Journal of Modern History Volume71, Number 3 (September 1999): 585-623.



Truman Anderson, “Germans, Ukrainians and Jews: Ethnic Politics in Heeresgebiet Süd, June-December 1941,” War in History Volume 7, Number 3 (2000): 325-351.

Ben Shepherd, Blood on the Snow: The German Army and the Soviet Partisan War, 1941-1944 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004).

Ben Shepherd, “Hawks, Doves and Tote Zonen: A Wehrmacht Security Division in Central Russia, 1943,” Journal of Contemporary History Volume 37, Number 3 (2002): 349-369.


SPRING BREAK BEGINS Sunday, February 29, and
ends Sunday March 7

Week 9           War within the War: World War II as a Civil War

Monday, March 8. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 5

Wednesday, March 10. Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence on the Eastern Front

READ: Perry Biddiscombe, "Unternehmen Zeppelin: The Deployment of SS Saboteurs and Spies in the Soviet Union, 1942-1945," Europe-Asia Studies Volume 52, Number 6 (2000): 1115-1142.


Related Reading

Perry Biddiscombe, "The problem with glass houses The Soviet recruitment and deployment of SS men as spies and saboteurs," Intelligence and National Security (London) Vol. 15, No. 3 (2000): 131-145.

D. Karov, Underground Activity in Kharkov, 1941-1943: Interrogation Methods Used by German Counterintelligence in Kharkov, Russia.1941-1943 (sic: Khar’kiv, Ukraine) (U.S. Army Historical Division, 1953). Declassified Report (1997)

Robert W. Stephan, Stalin's Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence against the Nazis, 1941-1945 (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2004),


Thursday, March 11. The Roots of Ethnic Nationalism in Soviet Eastern Europe


READ: Waldemar Lotnik, Nine Lives: Ethnic Conflict in the Polish-Ukrainian Borderlands (London: Serif, 1999), pp. 7-206.


Related Reading

Timothy Snyder, "'To Resolve the Ukrainian Question Once and For All': The Ethnic Cleansing of Ukrainians in Poland, 1943-1947," Journal of Cold War Studies Volume 1, Number 2 (June 1999).

Press to read a reprint of Jeffrey Burds' H-DIPLO review of Snyder's article.

Timothy Snyder, "The Causes of Ukrainian-Polish Ethnic Cleansing 1943,” Past and Present Number 179 (May 2003): 197-234.

For More Information
Violence and Self-Identity
: Diagnostic Criteria for Evaluating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as identified by Judith Herman, M.D. Trauma & Recovery (New York: Basic Books, 1992). Herman identifies trauma as an overlooked epidemic.

Of Related Interest on Postwar Ethnic Violence

Zygmunt Klukowski, Red Shadow: a physician's memoir of the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland, 1944-1956 (Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., 1997).

J. Otto Pohl, Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949 (Greenwood Publishing, 1999).

Week 10         Volksdeutsche: East European Reprisals Against Ethnic Germans

Monday, March 15. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 5

Wednesday, March 17. Ethnic Cleansing after the Holocaust

Thursday, March 18. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 6


Of Related Interest

Istvan Deak, Jan Gross, and Tony Judt, eds.  The Politics of Retribution in Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

Erich Anton Helfert, Valley of the Shadow: After the Turmoil, My Heart Cries No More (Creative Arts Books, 1997).  [Chronicles the fate of a Sudeten German family]

John Sack, An Eye for an Eye: The Untold Story of Jewish Revenge against Germans in 1945 (New York: Basic Books, 1993, 1995).

Bozena Szaynok, "The Jewish Pogrom in Kielce, July 1946 -- New Evidence," Intermarium Volume I, Number 3,

Kielce - July 4, 1946: Background, Context and Events, a Collective Work (Toronto and Chicago: Polish Educational Foundation in North America, 1996).


Week 11         Retribution

Monday, March 22. DISCUSSION. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 1944-1950 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993).

Wednesday, March 24. Postwar Retribution

Thursday, March 25. DISCUSSION

READ: * Alaine Polcz, A Wartime Memoir: Hungary 1944-1945 (Budapest: Corvina, 1991-1997).

And view the powerpoint slide show on
Soviet Women & Nazi Violence in World War II: Women as Hero-Victims

Of Related Interest on postwar Gender Violence

Visit the WEBsite of Poland's Institute of National Remembrance, the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes Against the Polish Nation

Jeffrey Burds, "Gender and Policing in Soviet West Ukraine, 1944-1948, " in The Role of the Political Police in the Soviet Union, 1918-1956, edited by Terry Martin and Andreas Graziosi, in a special double issue on the history of the Soviet political police, Cahiers du Monde Russe et Soviétique April-September 2001).

Lucille Eichengreen, From Ashes to Life: My Memories of the Holocaust (Mercury House, 1994).

Marlene Epp, "The Memory of Violence: Soviet and East European Mennonite Refugees and Rape in the Second World War" Journal of Women's History, 9 (1), Spring 1997.

Norman Naimark, "Soviet Soldiers, German Women and the Problem of Rape." The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,1995), 69-140.

Agate Nesaule, A Woman in Amber: Healing the Trauma of War and Exile (New York: Penguin Books, 1995).

Vieda Skultans, The Testimony of Lives: Narrative and Memory in Post-Soviet Latvia (London and New York: Routledge, 1998).

Week 12         The Soviet Struggle Against Banditry

Monday, March 29. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 7

Wednesday, March 31. The Soviet Struggle Against Banditry

READ: * Jeffrey Burds, “The Struggle Against Banditry in the USSR, 1944-1953,” Social History—Yearbook 2000 (Moscow: Institute of History and Rosspen, Russian Academy of Sciences, 2000), pp. 169-190.

READ: * Jeffrey Burds, "AGENTURA: Soviet Informants' Networks & the Ukrainian Rebel Underground in Galicia, 1944-1948," East European Politics and Societies Volume 11, Number 1 (Winter 1997): 89-130.


READ: * Jeffrey Burds, "Gender and Policing in Soviet West Ukraine, 1944-1948," Cahiers du Monde Russe Volume 42, Numbers 2-4 (April-December 2001).


Thursday, April 1. World War II and the Origins of the Cold War

HANDOUT: The Alperovitz Thesis

Photo: Soviet MVD Special Tasks Unit near Stanyslaviv, Ukraine, early 1950s

Very short selections from Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima & Potsdam (The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power) (Boulder, Colorado: Pluto Press, 1994). Second Expanded Edition.


New Documents: 'OPERATION UNTHINKABLE': Churchill's Plan to Launch a Third World War Against Stalin [22 May 1945]

Week 13         Origins of the Cold War

Monday, April 5. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 8

Wednesday, April 7. BLOWBACK

READ: * Alfred J. Rieber, "Civil Wars in the Soviet Union," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 4(1): 129–62, Winter 2003.
* Jeffrey Burds, "The Early Cold War in Soviet West Ukraine," No. 1505 in The Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2001).

Of Related Interest

The Anti-Soviet Resistance in the Baltic States (Vilnius: Du Ka Press, 1999).

Juozas Daumantas, Fighters for Freedom: Lithuanian Partisans Versus the USSR  (1944-1947). Second Edition. (Toronto, 1975). [Fascinating first-hand account by Lithuanian anti-Soviet guerrilla leader, originally written in 1948. The name is a pseudonym for Juozas Luksa, who escaped to the West in December 1947 and returned to rejoin the Lithuanian Freedom Army in 1950. He was captured and executed by the NKVD in October 1951.]

Stephen Dorril, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service (2000).

Peter Grose, Operation Rollback: America's Secret War Behind the Iron Curtain (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Company, 2000).

Mart Laar, War in the Woods: Estonia's Struggle for Survival, 1944-56 (Washington, D.C.: Compass Press, 1992).

Gregory Mitrovich, Undermining the Kremlin: America's Strategy to Subvert the Soviet Bloc, 1947-1956 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000).

Amir Weiner, "Nature, Nurture, and Memory in a Socialist Utopia: Delineating the Soviet Socio-Ethnic Body in the Age of Socialism," American Historical Review Volume 104, Number 4 (October 1999): 1114-1155.


Related Documents

Stalin's Analysis of Victory (February 9, 1946)

The Origins of Containment: George Kennan's "Long Telegram" (Moscow-to-Washington) (February 22, 1946)

"The Sinews of Peace": Audio and Transcript of Churchill's Speech at Fulton, Missouri, 5 March 1946

The Novikov Telegram: Soviet Ambassador in Washington DC to Moscow, September 27 1946

Andrei Zhdanov's "Report on the International Situation" (September 1947)

NSC-68 -- The Foundations of American Cold War Policy


Compendium of Documents & Readings on the History of the Cold War


Of Related Interest

Cold War/International History Project WEBsite

Cold War Espionage on CNN.COM

Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb (New York: Random House, 1996).

James Jay Carafano, "Mobilizing Europe's Stateless: America's Plan for a Cold War Army," Journal of Cold War Studies Volume 1, Number 2 (1999).

Hiroshima-Nagasaki: Fifty Years of Deceit and Self-Deception [An Exhibition at Bethune College, York University]

Kenneth M. Jensen, ed. The Origins of the Cold War: The Novikov, Kennan and Roberts "Long
Telegrams" of 1946
. 1993 revised edition (US Inst of Peace, 1993).

Christopher Simpson, Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War (New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988), pp. 3-11, 138-175, 264-290.

The Truman Presidential Papers. (University Publications of America) Vol. 1 The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb in Japan

Thursday, April 8. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 9

Week 14        

Monday, April 12. FILM: Russia’s War, Part 10

Wednesday, April 14. Second Midterm examination.

Hints on preparing for the blue book exam

Second Midterm Essay Question

There is no final examination in this course.
All work must be submitted by 3:00 pm Wednesday, April 14.