Info on Jewish refugees in Central Asia during the War #ukraine


Dear Ones,
My father from Lutzk (Pre-War Russia-Ukraine) was drafted into Red Army at start of War. He fled the Red Army to Central Asia (Uzbekistan -Tashkent, Samarkand). Having trouble finding info on life of these refugees in this area.
Any help would me appreciated.

Rabbi Moshe Waldoks
Founding Rabbi -Temple Beth Zion (TBZ)
1566 Beacon Street
Brookline,MA 02446
617-566-8171 x 12


In the spring of 1955, while stationed with the U. S. Air Force in Japan, i was invited to attend  a Passover seder being held at the Jewish Community Center in Tokyo, Japan! I was fortunate to have a long conversation with young men, about my age at the time (20-21y.o.) who, when asked by me as to how they came to live in Tokyo, I was told their story. It seems that young Jewish men, to escape the WWI draft in eastern Europe, fled eastward, across Asia and pleaded to the Japanese to allow them to emigrate and become Japanese citizens. They were mostly business people, manufacturers and industrialists, and were welcomed to Japan and they created their own community. They remained neutral during WWII except they continued with their businesses. They married within their community or sought out spouses in Israel. In1948, they were all granted honorary Israeli citizenship. Their children/grandchildren with whom we spoke, in fact were all polylingual with full use of Japanese, English, Hebrew, Yiddish and most could speak in their parents' mother-tongue (Russian/Polish/Lithuanian/etc). Their seder was very enjoyable and was conducted entirely in Hebrew. Along with the small contingent of fellow service-people who attended, following the seder we adjourned to their "playroom" and i was taught the fine points of snooker by their young people.
Murray Stollman
4625 Mirabella Ct.
St Pete Beach, FL 33706

Sherri Bobish

Rabbi Waldoks,

This paper that I found online may interest you.
Paradise Lost? Postwar Memory of PolishJewish Survival in the Soviet Union

It mentions a documentary film on the subject.


Sherri Bobish

Lewis, Megan

Eliyana Adler's book on the topic Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union was published last November.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and (I believe) Yad Vashem have information about refugees in their respective names databases.

Megan Lewis, reference librarian
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Michael Sharp


I just saw this zoom lecture by Eliyana Adler advertised on the Sir Martin Gilbert website:
In honour of Yom HaShoah

Survival on the Margins:  
Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union

Professor Eliyana Adler 

7 April 2021
7.00 pm-8.15pm (UK)
Free, donations welcome

Ann Belinsky

Steven Cohen

Chaim Grade escaped from Vilna to Soviet Central Asia, and his memoir, translated into English as My Mother's Sabbath Days, describes his experiences.

Steve Cohen

Laurence Broun

I found a book about a refugee from my grandparents shtetl of Mizocz who fled to Tashkent during the war. You can Google the book ...  Flight to Tashkent: The Desperate Journey of Holocaust Survivors Yosef Mednik and Feiga Geldi Mednik
This individual also served in the Polish forces in the Red Army. During the time he was in the military, his wife served on an agricultural commune. 

Also, I have a cousin whose family spent time in Tashkent after fleeing Latvia. I've been to Tashkent myself for business and the weather is fine ... sure beats Siberia. I have the impression it was one of the better places to end up for Jews fleeing Eastern Europe.  
Larry (Itzik Leib) Broun
Washington, DC | USA
e-mail: Laurencebroun@...

I was not able to obtain the article mentioned by Sherri Bobish using the link she provided, but if you enter the title Paradise Lost? Postwar Memory of Polish Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union into Google Scholar, the result has a link on the right to a downloadable PDF.  This worked for me.

Vicky Furstenberg Ferraresi
Belmont, CA, USA