In this article Grossmann addresses a transnational Holocaust story that has remained marginalized in both historiography and commemoration. The majority of the quarter million Jews who constituted the “saved remnant” (She'erit Hapleta) of eastern European Jewry collected in displaced persons (DP) camps in Allied-occupied Germany, Austria, and Italy survived because they had been “deported to life” from parts of Poland that came under Soviet control as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, first in labor camps in the Soviet interior and then, with their release after the German invasion in June 1941, in central Asia. Grossmann focuses on their struggle for survival and the extensive relief efforts organized in Teheran by the Joint (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) and other Jewish groups from the United States, Palestine, and the British Empire. This work sustained some two hundred thousand Jews who, after their postwar repatriation to Poland and renewed flight from murderous antisemitism into DP camps in the American zone of Germany, became the largest, yet mostly unmarked, part of the international collective we now know as Holocaust survivors. Using published and unpublished sources, Grossmann seeks to remap the landscape of death and survival, relief and rescue, and to ask how this “Asiatic” experience shaped Jewish understandings of wartime persecution as well as definitions (and self-definitions) of “survivors.”

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