This research focuses on the experiences of millions of Soviet civilians forced to abandon their homes in the western regions of the USSR following the Nazi invasion and relocate to the Soviet hinterland for the duration of the war. The project re-conceptualizes the history of the war in the Soviet Union by demonstrating how wartime displacement fractured social bonds, stimulated the creation of new social networks, and brought about a re-calibration of the terms of belonging, citizenship, and identity in Soviet society. This study advances our understanding of legacies of the war and the impact of population displacement in the states and societies of the former USSR.
Wilson Center Projects
“Encounters in the East: Evacuees in the Soviet Hinterland During the Second World War”
Natalie Belsky received her PhD in History from the University of Chicago in 2014. She completed her undergraduate studies at New York University. Her research interests include Soviet history, Soviet Jewish history, nationalism and minority politics in the Soviet Union, borderlands studies, the Holocaust, and displacement and migration. She has conducted research in Russia, Kazakhstan and the United States. Her research has been supported by numerous organizations, including the Center of Advanced Holocaust Studies at the USHMM, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Councils for International Education. Her current project examines the experiences of evacuees in the Soviet Union during the Second World War.
“Fraught Friendships: Polish and Soviet Jews on the Soviet Home Front During the Second World War,” Shelter from the Holocaust: Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union, eds. Mark Edele, Sheila Fitzpatrick, and Atina Grossmann (Wayne State University Press, 2017), pgs.161-184.