Ehrenburg, Ilya

Ilya Ehrenburg
Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Ehrenburg (26 Jan. 1891 – 31 Aug. 1967) was a Soviet-Jewish journalist and the Soviet Union’s main war propagandist. He was put in charge of submitting daily articles to the Western Allies in order to foment “hate, hate, and more hate” against everything Ger­man, as Stalin put it. In fact, Ehrenburg ended up writing more than one article per day, some­times up to five, inventing German atro­cities in assembly-line fashion, and depicting Germans as subhuman monsters, calling upon his readers to kill every single German, wher­ever they may be found.

Together with another prominent Soviet-Jewish journalist, Vasily Grossman, Ehrenburg compiled a collection of Soviet atrocity stories on claimed German wartime crimes during the war, titled The Black Book. (See the entry on Grossman

Ehrenburg was also the first person to definitively and publicly announce that the Germans had killed six million Jews – at a time when the war wasn’t yet over and no one could possibly have known the actual death toll: Ilya Ehrenburg in an article headlined, “Remember, Remember, Remember,” Soviet War News, 22 December 1944 (pp. 4f.):

“In regions they seized, the Germans killed all the Jews, from the old folk to infants in arms. Ask any German prisoner why his fellow countrymen annihilated six million innocent people, and he will reply quite simply: ‘Why, they were Jews.’”

(Hoffmann 2001, pp. 156-168, 189, 402f.)

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