Post-WWII Records for Ufa #russia #records


Gary
 

Does anyone have a good source (especially online) for obtaining records from Ufa, Russia in the 1941-1949 timeframe?

I'm looking for information on siblings of my great-grandmother Gussie Squire/Scvirsci, born Gitel Gorovitz. The two primary names I have connected to Ufa are Ida S. Lifshitz and Lisa Solomovna Horovitz. According to letters I have dated 1948-1949 they're from Lvov originally but fled to Ufa in 1941. Ida may have subsequently moved to Moscow to rejoin her children. 

Thanks,
Gary
--
Gary Ehrlich
Rockville, MD
SCVIRSCI, Zhivotov, Ukraine; WASHLIKOVSKY/WASHALKOWSKY, SATER, Bialystock, Poland;
LIFSHITS/LIFSHITZ, GOROVITZ, HOROVITZ, Lvov, Ukraine; Ufa and Moscow, Russia
YAGUDA, Albany, NY


jenny.grosslerner@...
 

Hello from Paris (France)
I would be inetrested to know how to find any information about Ufa : my uncle Heny Kirschenbaum (1920-1943) is born in Ufa. His father (Leon Kirschenbaum 1891-1971) from radomysl (poland) and her mother (jenny Goldberg 1897-1944) from riga (letonie) went to Ufa ; I do not know why ; neither her sisters (my mom Frida  (1924-) or emy born in France
why jewish people from poland and letonie went to Ufa ?
how to find a birth certificat from Ufa ?
sincerely

jenny grosslerner
Paris (France)
grosslerner (izbica, turobin, chelm, bychawa, canada) kochmann (izbica, lublin), kirschenbaum (radomysl), goldberg / berg (riga, brooklyn)


mvayser@...
 

Gary,
what kind of documents are you trying to locate?  Yad Vashem might have lists of families evacuated to Ufa that would have been compiled around 1942-43.   The list will typically contain immediate family members, age, where they lived and worked prior to evacuation.  If you are able to locate them in Yad Vashem database, then you can try to contact them to get a scan of the page and get it translated here.
If they worked in Ufa, there might possibly be employment documents in the city archive.

Jenny,
On Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 01:41 AM, <jenny.grosslerner@...> wrote:
why jewish people from poland and letonie went to Ufa ?
These were just different regions of the same country - the Russian Empire.  Riga was one of the uezd (district) capitals in the Livonia governorate, Radomysl (which specific one?) would have been part of one the governorates in what is now Poland (there was also Radomysl in the Kiev governorate), and Ufa was the main city of the Ufa governorate.
I don't think it's possible to find out why they were in Ufa without knowing what line of work Leon was in and when they got to Ufa.  Maybe they were there for a job or as internally displaced persons (WWI or Civil war).  Knowing when they arrived is critical to determining what documents to look for. If they arrived prior to the revolution, there are going to be documents that list the reason why they were there, approval to settle or stay temporarily, as well as census records.  There aren't going to be documents like that after the Revolution, as they wouldn't need to be authorized to be there.  Registration of births around 1920 was handled by the civil authorities, prior to that it was recorded by the religions authorities.  The only Jewish birth records that survived in Ufa are from 1908 to 1911.  You can try to contact the Ufa City Archive to see if they can locate documents about the family, but it would definitely be helpful if you knew when the family moved there and when they left.  If your uncle's parents worked in Ufa, there might possibly be workplace documents in the archive, depending where they worked.

website: https://ufacity.info/district/archiv/
email address: archiv@...

Mike Vayser


jenny.grosslerner@...
 

hello from Paris
thank you for your answer
1) I do not know when they do in Ufa neither when they arrived
2) henry is born in 1920 in Ufa : does that mean it is available to ask to the civil authorities ?
3) they were in strasbourg in 1924 when my mother is born : I do not know what they do between
4) I wrote to the two adresses you gave me ; thanks again
thanks a lot
jenny Grosslerner


mvayser@...
 

Jenny,
In the Soviet Union all metrical records were handed over to the civil authorities (Registry office - ZAGS in Russia, RAGS in Ukraine, etc) around 1920. All registrations after that time were recorded in that office using their standard forms for births, marriages, divorces, and deaths. After a certain number of years these records are turned over to the city or district archives.  Birth records for 1920 are definitely no longer in the Registry office, which is why I suggested to contact the city archive.  Naturally, there are privacy laws involved with these types of records and, hopefully, you can obtain the information for an event that took place 100 years ago.

Mike Vayser


rivke1@...
 


Greetings from Sydney Australia!

Although I cannot help with birth records I can provide some more information about why people went to Ufa - my parents lived there until 1946 when they were repatriated to Poland and my brother was born there. I am currently researching how and why people went to Ufa and other towns in the Soviet interior.

1. When Hitler invaded Poland 1st September 1939 and Stalin invaded from the east on 17 September hundreds of thousands (not just Jews) fled east into the Soviet zone. This Zone was known as the Eastern borderlands and was basically made up of Belorus and Ukraine. The decision was made in a rush, panic was everywhere but the overriding thought was communism or fascism? Hitler or Stalin? In testimonies those who went east made comments such as:
   a. There is plunder on the one hand and plunder on the other but the Russians plunder one as a citizen and a man while the Nazis plunder one as a Jew.
   b. And so one moment decides a person's fate - one runs this way, the other that way and neither knows what the future holds in store.  But what can the future hold for a Jew I ask? Here it is bad and there it's no good.

People went by any transport available but many on foot. Parents encouraged the young ones to go, families were broken up but ecpected to be reunited. More men than women went since they were in danger of being conscripted, Women wanted to stay with parents or didn't want to travel with little children. They often employed people smugglers to help them cross  the rivers to get to the Soviet side. The two major cities they went to were Bialystok and Lwow which became intensely overcrowded with little work available.

2. Stalin immediately wanted to turn his new territories into extensions of the communist state. Permanent residents immediately became Soviet citizens and a chaotic process called "Sovietization" began. As well as severe economic consequences, the NKVD quickly began to identify class enemies and other undesirables who were then deported to the gulags or special settlements. The refugees who had fled to the Soviet zone were offered Soviet "passports". If they refused they were to be sent back to Poland - one of Stalin's ruses. They were in fact put on cattle trains for weeks and weeks and travelled deep into remote territories to liv and work in appalling conditions.

Becoming a citizen could also mean being conscripted into the Red Army and then be sent anywhere they were needed. Generally Jews were not considered to be good soldiers so when they were conscripted they were put into labour battalions rather than fight on the front. I believe this is what happened to my father and why he ended up in Ufa where he worked on the railways. He even received an invalid pension after his leg was injured in a  railway accident. My mother also worked for the Red Army as a seamstress - her job was to sew the long Russian nightshirts worn by the officers.

3. When Hitler broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in June 1941, more chaos ensued.  Stalin ordered factories and war plants to be dismantled and put on trains to get them out of the hands of the Germans. He chose major centres such as Ufa where the factories and plants were rebuilt to provide machinery and vehicles for the war effort. He also evacuated betweeen 1 and 2 million civilians many of whom were needed to run the factories and work in them. Ufa was a particularly useful area - oilfields, railways, mines and a major waterway. So your relatives could have been caught up in these evacuations. I haven't ruled out the possibility that my parents were caught up in these evacuation also.
You say that your family were from Lwow originally but perhaps they were not Lwow born - perhaps they also fled to Lwow from Poland escaping Hitler. Even if they were Lwow natives they still might have taken the opportunity to escape the Nazi invasion.

The overwhelming tragedy of this story is that those Jews who had fled to the Soviet zone and were unable or unwilling  to move further east in June 1941 were then subject to the brutal murders perpetrated in Belarus and Ukriane by the Einsatzgruppen. About 1 million Jews were murdered. The irony was that those who were deported to "Siberia" survived and formed the She'erit Hapletah or the surviving remnant of the Jews of POland. Although up to 30% perished in Siberia due to  disease, hunger, hard labour and terrible weather, around 250,000 did ultimately survive and were repatriated to Poland mostly in 1946. Stalin did not set out intentionally to save these Jews - he was after all fairly anti-Semitic. It was more that he benignly accepted their presence and they were to come into good use post war (a completely different yet fascinating story).

This part of the Holocaust story has been largely neglected till recently - it's a story that fell through the cracks. Up till recently, a  holocaust  survivor was defined by being in a camp or in hiding or  under false papers. People who "ran away" could not be classed as survivors. Historians have begun unravelling this extraordinary tale. It's a story that has many parts - a most fascinating one is about about when the refugees and deportees were amnestied and the all flocked to Central Asia where they spent years in Tashkent and Samarkand and other exotoc places. 

It's a complex piece of history and has taken me along time and a lot of reading to unravel this geo-political tale. But I do hope this helps to explain part of the Lwow/Ufa story.

Rita Nash
Sydney
 







   

 




mvayser@...
 

On Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 05:24 PM, <rivke1@...> wrote:
Generally Jews were not considered to be good soldiers so when they were conscripted they were put into labour battalions rather than fight on the front.

Rita,
That's an outrageous anti-Semitic statement, if I've ever heard one.  This is what I heard while growing up from anti-Semites , despite numerous members of my family dying on the battlefield, leaving their children to grow up without fathers and others returning wounded .  It's a shame to see these statements on a Jewish Gen list.

Easy check on Wikipedia, shows that according to the Central archive of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, there were over half a million Jews in the Soviet army, including 167000 officers of all ranks.  During the war, 198000 died in battle, from wounds, and illnesses, or were missing in action.  That's 39.6%.   According to some sources, 120-180000 died on the battle field and about 80000 were murdered in the concentration/extermination camps.  Out of the remaining 300000, 180000 were wounded and out of that number 70000 heavily wounded.  According to one historian, 27% of Jewish soldiers voluntereed and 80% of privates and junior officers served in the forward-deployed units.

Mike Vayser


Jx. Gx.
 

Mike Vayser,

I think what Rita meant to say is that Russian soldiers looked down on Jews and considered them poor soldiers.  She, herself, was not making that judgment. We know from the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and perhaps from thousands of other examples, as well as from your statistics that the claim of Jews having been poor soldiers/fighters isn't true.

Respectfully,

Jeffrey Gee
Arizona


Alexander Sharon
 

Mike Vayser,

Your reply to Rita Nash posting is unacceptable.
Rita posting was related to Jewish Polish refugees that have escaped to USSR following Hitler invasion against Poland in 1939.
Polish refugees have been subjected to harsh conditions in Stalin camps, and only after invasion of Germany against Soviets in 1941, they have been released under Stalin's "amnesty".
As foreigners Polish refugees were not forced to serve in Red Army, but many were working as artisans in Soviet working battalions known as TRUDARMIA.  Two Polish armies have been formed on the Soviet soil: Anders Army, and communist Kosciuszko Division.

I believe that your apologies to Rita are due.

Alexander Sharon
JGFF director


rivke1@...
 

Thank you Jeffrey and Alexander for your supporting statements.

As Jeffrey stated, I did NOT say that I personally believe that Jews did not make good soldiers. I used the word "generally" deliberately to encompass a variety of beliefs espoused at different times by Stalin, General Anders, and others in the military hierarchy and, as Jeffrey says, Russian soldiers. Neither does my statment obviate the achievements and casualties of Jewish soldiers. I was remarking on a generalised attitude which often resulted in Jews being sent into work battalions often in remote parts of the USSR.

Mike - that your family has suffered great losses on the battlefields is extremely sad but bears no relationship to my statement about Soviet attitudes in the 1940s.
The accusation of anti-Semitism in this context is not only inaccurate but hurtful.

Rita Nash
Sydney


Gary
 

Rita and Mike,

Thanks for the information and suggestions. The discussion sent me back to look at the letters from Ida to Gussie. I realized my memory was faulty. I had thought Ida Lifshitz' husband had died in Ufa, but actually according to the letters he died "defending his homeland" and only Ida, her daughters Lisa and Vito (or Vita) and another sister Liza fled to Ufa. My guess is that Ida's husband may have wound up in the Russian Army, I shall have to research that.

In the meantime, Ida talks in one of the letters as being trained as a chemist and working as a director of a chemical laboratory in Ufa. Rita's comments about Ufa being a major city for factories and plants providing machinery and vehicles for the war effort as well as being a center for oilfields and mines make me wonder if that's a large part of the reason Ida and family wound up there after fleeing Lvov.

I also realized Ida's children were old enough at the time of the letters to have been born in Lvov (or elsewhere nearby), and if things worked out as she discussed she followed them to Moscow where they went for university. So in the end records from Ufa may not tell me much. But the discussion helped refocus me!

Gary
--
Gary Ehrlich
Rockville, MD
SCVIRSCI, Zhivotov, Ukraine; WASHLIKOVSKY/WASHALKOWSKY, SATER, Bialystock, Poland;
LIFSHITS/LIFSHITZ, GOROVITZ, HOROVITZ, Lvov, Ukraine; Ufa and Moscow, Russia
YAGUDA, Albany, NY


Mike Coleman
 

Gary :

"My guess is that Ida's husband may have wound up in the Russian Army, I shall have to research that."

 

Try this - it turned up trumps (sorry!) for me.

 

https://obd-memorial.ru/html/

Mike Coleman, London U.K.