The History Place - World War I

Polish family members face an uncertain fate, leaving their home and everything they know, in the midst of war. Below: A makeshift shelter created by homeless Poles In an active war zone.

Below: A Jewish family near Lodz, Russian-Poland. The Jews of Russia had endured centuries of open discrimination, prohibitions and violence under Czarist rule. They were excluded from the general population, living in Jewish-only villages and settlements in areas that became part of the vast Eastern Front, criss-crossed by various armies amid the changing fortunes of war. Some Jewish communities changed hands several times--occupied by Austrians, then Russians, then by Austrians and/or Germans, by Russians again, and finally by Germans. Each occupying force oversaw the Jews under their control however they pleased, however, during this era, none were more severe than the Russian soldiers. Harassment, humiliation, larceny and widespread violence by Russian soldiers against defenseless Jews occurred, such as the hanging of nine Jews accused of "welcoming Germans in a friendly way."

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