Identity Profusions: Bio-Historical Journeys From "Polish Jew"/"Jewish Pole" through "Soviet Citizen" to "Holocaust Survivor"

John Goldlust

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Seeking to complement historical and documentary sources with personal memoirs and testimonies, in this chapter I explore written and oral accounts illustrative of the various pathways taken by Jews born in Poland who spent the war years under Soviet authority, and who later settled in Australia. Over the course of the war and through the following post-war decade, most were subject to a series of often less than voluntary geographical relocations. As well as having to readjust to new places, people, and surroundings they were also continuously required to negotiate a shifting, often bewildering and frequently contradictory mélange of structural and political forces impinging not only upon their family loyalties, communal connections and personal liberties, but in some instances challenging the very core of their personal understandings, beliefs and values. I suggest that taken together, such potentially destabilizing encounters required of this disparate group of serially displaced Jews continuous readjustments to, and reevaluations of, their subjective attachments to both previous and more recently ‘acquired’ religious, political and ethno-national social identity(ies).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShelter From The Holocaust
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union
EditorsMark Edele, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Atina Grossmann
Place of PublicationDetroit, Michigan
PublisherWayne State University Press
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)9780814382688
ISBN (Print)9780814344408, 9780814342671
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Eastern Europe
  • holocaust survivors
  • refugees
  • Migration

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