Stalin and the Black Book of Soviet Jewry

Event Co-sponsors

Embassy of Israel in the United States

Rabin Chair Forum at George Washington University

Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia

Leadership, Ethics, and Practice Initiative at the Elliott School of International Affairs

Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC

In 1944, Soviet writers Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman together with the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee prepared a 500-page book of testimonials about the mass murder and resistance of the Soviet Jews during the Holocaust. Shortly before publication, Stalin reversed his decision to publish the book, members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee were executed, and silence descended upon the memory of the Holocaust. The Black Book would not be published in Russia until 2014. In this event, we will screen excerpts from Israeli filmmaker Boris Maftsir’s upcoming documentary exploring the fate of the Black Book and consider Stalin’s views and policies vis-à-vis Soviet Jewry.

This event is part of a series organized by the Kennan Institute in honor of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, with support from the Embassy of Israel in the United States and Rabin Chair Forum at George Washington University. For more information about the series, please visit our website.



  • Boris Maftsir

    Documentary Filmmaker
  • Zvi Gitelman

    Short-Term Scholar, Kennan Institute
    Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Joshua Rubenstein

    Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University