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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

The Great Exodus of WWI


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  • 2 weeks later...

For more information on this subject see the books:

Prologe to the Revolution which has minutes taken of the council of Ministers meetings in 1915. The subject of jews comes up a number of times.

Nationalizing the Russian Empire which deals with the deportations, property siezures, hostage orders ect. This was done by almost the who's who of Russian army leadership in WW I.

I can state that the deportations and people fleeing the war zone led to the creation of several million refugees. Taking care of them was a major burden for the Tsarist government and helped lead to it's collapse in 1917. Also a lot of these people who were not big fans of the Tsarist government before the war sure hated it after they were driven off their land, homes burned and looted ect.

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Latest issue (No. 52) of Tseikhgauz (Russian language magazine of the buttons, badges and uniforms persuasion) has a bit about the uniforms of the Russian government relief agency belatedly formed to try to deal with the resettlements.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have studied the war on the Eastern Front a good deal. I also have oral history and

some letters from my grand-father, who was a staff officer in the German Army in Russia in 1915.

Many Jewish residents were not excited about continuing life under the Tzar, and when the Cossacks

came about to drive the people east and burn their houses down, to deny shelter to the Germans

(classic scorched earth policy), some Jews were able to bribe the Cossacks and not be driven off,

and even to have their homes spared. So the advancing Germans often mostly found Jews left behind.

They could communicate with the Jews, as Yiddish is German at its root, and they often had various

sorts of dealings and help from the Jews. (This time was the time of a great deal of migration from

Russia/Poland into the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, where Jews were certainly treated better.)

My grand-father made a good friend in Russia, an industrialist, and later in 1919 he appeared in Berlin,

and my grand-father gave him a room, he had fled the Revolution, but I don't know if he was Jewish. The

story is much more complicated, but long. Wonder how an industrialist stayed behind. In Russia he was

very rich.

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