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Situation of Soviet Jews in USSR with Sex Offenders in US

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Apr 2012, 22:51
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 02 Apr 2012, 22:56
Here is essay 'Comparing the Situation of Soviet Jews in USSR with Sex Offenders in the U.S'

http://voices.yahoo.com/comparing-situa ... tml?cat=17

What do you think
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Feb 2012, 23:00
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Post 04 Apr 2012, 19:42
That seems terrible but i doubt that it was a constant in all of the USSR.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 04 Apr 2012, 19:49
There has always been some lingering anti-Semitism in the USSR.
However after 1953 it became silently supported or at least tolerated by the state, with ,for example, the state-funded Ukrainian Academy of Sciences publishing such books ("Judaism without embellishment")...the cartoon suggests that Jews welcomed the Nazis in 1941.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Resident Soviet
Post 04 Apr 2012, 20:57
Simply put, this essay is a massive generalization.

There was no mass or state-based phenomenon of antisemitism. And while there were no doubt instances of bureaucrats in some school or workplace discriminating against Jews, the same phenomenon could occur in reverse, as it could anywhere (i.e. a Jewish manager might prefer to hire a Jew). The passport system has been debated about a lot in modern Russia, and while the KPRF's position remains that the note about nationality should be restored, there has been a lot of dissenting commentary, based on the idea that Russian-ness should be an identity rooted in patriotism to Russia, and not to blood. The old Soviet rationale of course was based in pointing out and proudly displaying one's nationality to show the diversity of the socialist motherland; to show that multiple peoples with varying cultures, customs and languages could work together to build socialism. I suppose it was a bit like multiculturalism in contemporary Western countries, although more real, genuine, not cosmopolitan, and based in the reality that all these peoples were living on their own historical lands (meaning any attempts at assimilation would create massive injustices and conflict).

I don't know all the details of what happened in this person's life story to make him come to such a broad generalization, but the idea that Jews were systematically discriminated against can easily be discredited by observing social trends, where Jews always known to be numerous in the highest levels in all the most prestigious institutions. There was a stereotype with a hint of truth in it that Jews were less likely to work manual labour jobs. This was attributable more than anything to the tendency among Jews to strictly discipline their children to work and study hard in order to achieve in their lives.

I will say that discrimination on a personal level probably did increase in the 1970s, mainly as a result of the massive mistake on the part of the government to allow Jews to immigrate to Israel, which created resentment of these 'sausage immigrants' (presumed to be leaving mainly for material reasons). The mass scale of the migration also gave many simple people the idea that Jews were not good Soviet patriots. I would say another contributing factor (though again, working on simple people unable to distinguish anti-Zionism from antisemitism) was the Soviet government's international position against Israel and Zionism. Loz, please don't turn this into another 'after Stalin died', since apart from the factors I've mentioned above, there was no fundamental shift in the Soviet position on antisemitism. I don't know about this book supposedly from the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, but if you're reading the Western academic interpretation of the book, the people doing the interpreting are probably the same ones that would say the 'Doctor's Plot' was evidence of Stalin's antisemitism.

Also, I don't want to sling mud at this guy in an attempt to discredit his argument, but his presumed status as a sex offender is kind of off-putting, as is the comment about child porn allegations...

Finally, it's really annoying how he talks about 1996 and the 'former USSR' as if it was the same as the pre-1985 USSR; as if the nationalist demagogue cockroaches did not have more of an opportunity to come out of their holes to spread their hateful messages with impunity in 1996.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Apr 2012, 22:51
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 04 Apr 2012, 23:36
Here is article
Sexual Fascism in Progressive America
Scapegoats and Shunning

http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/03/04/ ... -shunning/

I am just would like to explain what I am talking about. 2.5 millions people are now in prisons in USA. This is Gulag.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
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Komsomol
Post 05 Apr 2012, 07:34
soviet78 wrote:
I don't know about this book supposedly from the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, but if you're reading the Western academic interpretation of the book, the people doing the interpreting are probably the same ones that would say the 'Doctor's Plot' was evidence of Stalin's antisemitism.


S78, could you give me an explanation as to how the doctor's plot wasn't an example of Stalin's anti-semitism? I already know that not even all the doctors in question were Jewish (most of them were though,) but however that's only scratching the surface. Would you be able to provide more information the subject of the Doctor's plot?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Post 05 Apr 2012, 21:36
Man In Grey wrote:
S78, could you give me an explanation as to how the doctor's plot wasn't an example of Stalin's anti-semitism? I already know that not even all the doctors in question were Jewish (most of them were though,) but however that's only scratching the surface. Would you be able to provide more information the subject of the Doctor's plot?


Well, think again about how Stalin's antisemitism, as illustrated by the Doctor's Plot, is another interpretation by some academics. Consider who decided that the term 'rootless cosmopolitanism' is always 'code word for Jew' in any English language discussion of the term. Or who decided that Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenyev, Molotov's wife, etc. were marginalized and tried in part because they were Jews. Or that the Jewish Autonomous Oblast was designed as a sort of concentration camp for Jews (despite the fact that they were never really forced to go, and that the Oblast never had a majority of Jews). Or that the purges targeted Jews disproportionately (of course it's not considered that the purges targeted mostly the upper echelons of Soviet society, and that Jews were over-represented in positions of prominence in a country that was still having pogroms as late as 1913). Post-war events are again interpreted, the destruction of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee taken as another sign of antisemitism, rather than part of the emerging hard line attitude toward groups once associated with the Western allies (this hard line emerged on both sides by the way). The Doctor's Plot is the most famous recollection of Stalin's antisemitism, but again if we consider that Jews were over-represented in the professional fields, the allegation again becomes rather baseless. The problem with virtually all of these allegations of antisemitism in Stalin's USSR is that those making them take as their starting point the person's Jewishness, and then come to the conclusion that the person or group is marginalized or prosecuted because they were Jews. I'm sorry but that kind of skewed and deductive logic seems more a sign of the attempt to manipulate historical memory than to find out some truth. Why don't these geniuses talk more about some explicit form of racism, like that found in any European colony or in the United States during the same period? Some scholars even postulate that the Jews were scheduled to be purged on a mass level, perhaps deported, or worse, and the only thing that prevented this was Stalin's death. Yes, this baseless allegation is a good way to try to remove Stalin and the USSR from among the circle of victors that smashed fascism and Nazism, but again it's more a manipulation of public consciousness, and an attempt to make people forget those political and economic leaders from Western countries which aided the coming to power of scum like Hitler, rather than good history.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
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Komsomol
Post 06 Apr 2012, 21:53
Thank you. Seems like an analysis of sheer common sense. Also, I would agree that anti semitism occurred in the USSR just as it did any other country, especially the USA. However the difference in USSR was that there were actually laws on the books against anti-semitism, so that's a step in the right direction. But for some people to make a sweeping generalization that the USSR was "anti-simetic" would be just like saying the USA is also. Just because some occurred at a work place, or in some bureaucracies, doesn't make it a state based upon "anti-semitism." These things happen. They're isolated incidents. Just like you said there were many jews that held prominent positions in the Soviet Union.

I understand the arrests of Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, but however why Polina Molotova? All the information I can really find on her arrest was that it was anti-semitic in its intent, of course.

Also, to comment on that article. He is trying hard to tell us that anti-semitism was active in all levels of bureaucracy, work places, and institutions with in the USSR, which is ridiculous. And again the fact he admits he is a sex offender makes it a rather awkward read.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
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Post 06 Apr 2012, 22:38
I don't know much about the campaigns against cosmopolitanism, but one thing that I can't explain is why the "Black Book" about Nazi crimes against the Jewish was suppressed in the USSR. I remember reading that Vassily Grossman was very disheartened with this and considered that this might have been an act of anti-semitism.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Post 06 Apr 2012, 23:21
I think it may have had something to do with the Soviet conception of Nazi crimes being against all Eastern Europeans collectively, and that separating the Jews from the common suffering endured was somehow a slight to others. It has always annoyed me slightly to see how so much attention has been given to Jewish suffering, while 'East Europeans, Soviet POWs, homosexuals, gypsies, the mentally handicapped, etc.' are often lumped in together somewhere as secondary victims (and sometimes Eastern Europeans aren't mentioned at all in this list). I understand that in its scale and its precise execution, the Holocaust outweighed what happened to Eastern Europeans, even if the number of victims in the latter case was higher. That the Nazis painstakingly calculated and carried out the industrial slaughter of Jews is absolutely horrifying to think about, but to ignore or play down the suffering of others is also wrong. The Soviet position was that the Soviet Jews that were killed by the Nazis were Soviet people, and that they were targeted by the Nazis alongside Slavs and presumably other nationalities of the Soviet Union. To give them separate or special treatment would have been to downplay the suffering of all Soviet people.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 Mar 2012, 02:37
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Pioneer
Post 06 Apr 2012, 23:39
praxicoide wrote:
I don't know much about the campaigns against cosmopolitanism, but one thing that I can't explain is why the "Black Book" about Nazi crimes against the Jewish was suppressed in the USSR. I remember reading that Vassily Grossman was very disheartened with this and considered that this might have been an act of anti-semitism.


The book was suppressed in the USSR because Stalin wanted to keep the soviets as the main victims of the nazism in USSR and this book would put the Jews in their place. I think he was also afraid that the acknowledge of the Jewish suffering during the II WW might have led to a general feeling of solidarity and sympathy of the Russian society towards the Jews that he wanted to avoid, not because he hated them but he feared their influence inside and outside. Stalin was not anti-semitic. Think in Lazar Kaganovich, who was one of the Stalin's closest associates. Some people even say that he had a relationship with Kaganovich sister, Rosa Kaganovich. I doubt that this is true but nonetheless it shows how close the Kaganovich Jewish family was to Stalin.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Apr 2012, 22:51
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 09 Apr 2012, 23:06
Man In Grey wrote:
Thank you. Seems like an analysis of sheer common sense. Also, I would agree that anti semitism occurred in the USSR just as it did any other country, especially the USA. However the difference in USSR was that there were actually laws on the books against anti-semitism, so that's a step in the right direction. But for some people to make a sweeping generalization that the USSR was "anti-simetic" would be just like saying the USA is also. Just because some occurred at a work place, or in some bureaucracies, doesn't make it a state based upon "anti-semitism." These things happen. They're isolated incidents. Just like you said there were many jews that held prominent positions in the Soviet Union.

I understand the arrests of Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, but however why Polina Molotova? All the information I can really find on her arrest was that it was anti-semitic in its intent, of course.

Also, to comment on that article. He is trying hard to tell us that anti-semitism was active in all levels of bureaucracy, work places, and institutions with in the USSR, which is ridiculous. And again the fact he admits he is a sex offender makes it a rather awkward read.


I lived and worked in USSR. I do not know if you have that experience. Soviet Jews were pariahs. There were only jews scientists ( old people ) in USSR
and also humorists. Jews were excluded from Communist party leadership, any government positions, and even they could not become Professors.
I mean in 1970 - 1990. I graduated with all A+ and was send to Volgograd manufacturing Plant.
Why do you think millions of Jews left USSR? There was a reason. Nobody like to be marked like Jew. There was a special words for Jews: 'Zhid' or 'Zhidovskaya morda'.
It was very hard to bear, better to leave.
And when we moved to USA we found much more problems. You just may not have a real understanding what was USSR. You should live there.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
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Post 10 Apr 2012, 03:05
estrinfima wrote:
You just may not have a real understanding what was USSR. You should live there.
Unlike some comrades here, I don't have a problem believing that anti-Semitism was a regular feature of life in the USSR, but in all honesty I think it had more to with the countries and the people than it did with the Communist system.

From everything I've gathered, now that the USSR has ceased to be, the anti-Semitism has become much worse as the various nationalist groups have gained in influence and the enormous wealth divisions have only lead to more racial and ethnic hostilities.

If anti-Semitism in that part of the world was a consequence of the communist system, why has it become worse now?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
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Komsomol
Post 10 Apr 2012, 05:05
estrinfima wrote:
. You just may not have a real understanding what was USSR. You should live there.


Trust me, I wish I could live there...


However I do understand anti-semitism existed there. The fact you say more problems occurred for you in the US solidifies my own opinions even more. Thank you.

This is now the second time that I've been accused of believing that anti-semitism does not exist in the USSR. I don't get it!!! The first time I believe it was when I tried talking to the therapist about it, who was Jewish. I believe it was you Shig who said it was "ignorant of me to believe that anti semitism did not exist in USSR" then just now you say "Unlike other comrades, I do recognize that anti-semitism existed in the USSR."

I KNOW that it existed in the USSR, it exists everywhere. Just as racism does..
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Nov 2009, 17:36
Pioneer
Post 10 Apr 2012, 16:57
Immigrants to Western countries from the former USSR tend to lie or exaggerate about their old country, even if they lived a very comfortable life there, because they think that they will be better accepted in their new country. I know this from my relatives...
The guy who wrote that "essay" is especially looking for sympathy. Funny how he claims that it was dangerous to go to the synagogue... Most Soviet Jews did not care (and still don't) for religion, but when asked about it after immigration or during an immigration interview they often make that excuse. The majority, if not all, Jews left the former Soviet Union in the 1990's as refugees, so he is nothing special. If it was so bad for Jews there why did it take him till 1996 to leave...


Quote:
Stalin was not anti-semitic. Think in Lazar Kaganovich, who was one of the Stalin's closest associates. Some people even say that he had a relationship with Kaganovich sister, Rosa Kaganovich. I doubt that this is true but nonetheless it shows how close the Kaganovich Jewish family was to Stalin.

Also Stalin's children married Jews...


Quote:
There has always been some lingering anti-Semitism in the USSR.
However after 1953 it became silently supported or at least tolerated by the state, with ,for example, the state-funded Ukrainian Academy of Sciences publishing such books ("Judaism without embellishment")...the cartoon suggests that Jews welcomed the Nazis in 1941.

The cartoon shows Ben-Gurion welcoming the nazis, not Jews in general.
The book was denounced and banned. It was published in the Ukraine and in the Ukrainian language, so it can be viewed as an example of problems with anti-semitism in the Ukrainian SSR and not in the USSR in general.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Post 10 Apr 2012, 17:26
MIG wrote:
However I do understand anti-semitism existed there. The fact you say more problems occurred for you in the US solidifies my own opinions even more. Thank you.


Why should his negative experience related to sexual assault/child pornography-based allegations solidify your opinions?

estrinfima wrote:
There was a special words for Jews: 'Zhid' or 'Zhidovskaya morda'.


Yes, and there are special, negative connotation words for virtually every group in the English lexicon as well. Doesn't mean that these are standard, mandated or commonly used words.

estrinfima wrote:
Soviet Jews were pariahs. There were only jews scientists ( old people ) in USSR
and also humorists. Jews were excluded from Communist party leadership, any government positions, and even they could not become Professors...You just may not have a real understanding what was USSR. You should live there.


Maybe your mass generalizations will find sympathetic ears among people whose minds are filled with negative stereotypes about the Soviet Union, but they kind of fall apart when you're talking with someone who actually knows a little about the subject. Just from among my personal experience, several family members had close friends of Jewish origin, among them a famous stage actor, a supply officer for the army, and an officer in the air force. But forget about that. Here are a few lists of famous Jews, which you could find from just a couple minutes searching google. Note that these include more than just 'old scientists' and 'humorists'.

"Jews -Heroes of the Soviet Union"

http://lelchukfamily.com/znamenitye-lyudi-evrejskoj-natsionalnost/znamenitye-evrei/evrei-geroi-sovetskogo-soyuza/

-> 144 heroes of the Soviet Union
-> 3 twice heroes (including a cosmonaut and two generals)

"Jews - Outstanding Sportsmen of the USSR"

http://www.usfamily.net/web/joseph/vydayuschiesya_sportsmeny.htm

-> List is pretty self-explanatory with the use of googletranslate; Excerpts from the introductory paragraph: "The names listed here show the significant involvement of Jews in the sporting life of the USSR...It should be noted that these data only outline the general picture of participation of Jewish athletes in the sporting life of the Soviet Union. They do not include data about masters of sports of the USSR, sports referees, and sports administrators who have made an enormous contribution to its development."

"Famous Jews"

http://jewishclub.com/znamenitie_evrei.php?fieldlan=rus

->A list of famous Jews from around the world, but featuring many Russian and Soviet Jews, including scientists, politicians, musicians, actors, directors, writers and poets.

"Scientific Work of Jews in the USSR"
http://www.usfamily.net/web/joseph/evr_nauka_v_sssr.htm

->An article discussing Jews among the intelligentsia, noting that the Revolution of 1917 had "raised their national dignity", that Jews participated actively in post-revolutionary construction, that in 1928-29 they comprised 14.4% of college students, while by percentage of population they were less than 2%. "In subsequent years this percentage declined steadily, but the absolute number of Jewish students continued to steadily increase." Explaining the tendency among Jews to participate disproportionately in academia: "Among industrialized societies, about one third of young people seek higher education. Among the Jewish youth, that figure is about 70-80%."

->Lists important contributions by Soviet Jews in physics (including nuclear physics), chemistry, mathematics, as well as geology, geography, biology, optics, spectroscopy, Arctic exploration. Also briefly notes famous works by Jews in the humanities and social sciences, including linguistics, history, economics, philosophy.

->"Soviet scientists of Jewish origin made a great contribution in the projects that made the Soviet Union a superpower. This includes the development of nuclear weapons, aircraft [including the Tupelov bomber and the MiG fighter] and missile technology." Other military technologies where Jews played a prominent role in development included warships, submarines, hovercraft, bombers, military medicine, industrial engineering and shipbuilding, and logistics. The author also notes that among the Soviet spies who helped the USSR to steal American atomic secrets were several Jews.

-> During the war, Jews comprised 21% of recipients of the Stalin Prize, despite comprising less than 2% of the population. This figure reduced to 10% after the war, but rose again (in the form of the Lenin Prize) after the 1950s to 12%, even though Jews now comprised less than 1% of the population. The author notes that a significant source of discrimination occurred in local party committees of enterprises and institutions, with technical experts opposed or actively resisting such decisions. [This to me is a question of antisemitism surviving into the post-1917 environment at the local level, and can be explained, though not justified, by the fact that the Communist Party was an entire social institution, rather than just an ordinary political party, which in seeking to commit all of society to participate within it, might have entangled some anti-Semites. It can be recalled in the late 1980s how many opportunists and careerists quickly ran away from the Party when membership was no longer a prestigious or necessary thing, and how even among the upper echelons there were some extreme counter-revolutionaries who had hidden their true beliefs for the sake of power.]

->The author also mentions that Jews played a disproportionate role in medicine, and that many worked in the prestigious Kremlin Hospital. He notes that the Doctors' Plot played a real role in arousing public mistrust, with "patients refusing Jewish doctors, the matter even coming to public insults, which continued to the death of Stalin." However, in the author's personal experience, presumably from the later Soviet period, Jewish doctors "enjoyed considerable prestige and respect of staff and patients."
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 10 Apr 2012, 20:09
Quote:
Why should his negative experience related to sexual assault/child pornography-based allegations solidify your opinions?


I initially did not realize that the poster of the essay and the author was the same person. So when he said he came to the US I wasn't sure if he was referring to being a Jew or not. Then I realized that he himself IS the sex offender in question, that wrote the essay and posted it here. So what I said previously is irrelevant.

And In response to the rest of your post...God bless you for being so knowledgeable on subjects like these. Especially when some individuals post on here with an axe to grind armed with generalizations and biases.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Resident Soviet
Post 10 Apr 2012, 21:06
Man in Grey wrote:
I initially did not realize that the poster of the essay and the author was the same person.


I am not completely sure, but it seems like it is the same guy. Otherwise why would he use this particular essay about antisemitism in the USSR when one can find others like it online without any problems.

Man in Grey wrote:
And In response to the rest of your post...God bless you for being so knowledgeable on subjects like these. Especially when some individuals post on here with an axe to grind armed with generalizations and biases.


Well again, my knowledge is not thorough. But I've responded heavily in this thread because I'm sick of the simplistic idea that the USSR was an antisemitic country -like a light version of Nazi Germany. I'm glad the posts can help turn someone's opinion at least from black to a light shade of grey, if not white, since in English language writing I have yet to find anything about Jews in the Soviet Union that's not talking about how state and society were thoroughly antisemitic. Having said that, in the contemporary Russian political-historical consciousness antisemitism has definitely grown to proportions unknown in the USSR, and there are many hate sites and conspiracy theories, some even spread by professional academics, about 'secret Jews' who changed their last names, including the likes of Gorbachev and Yakovlev, whose mission was to destroy Russia. Obviously some of these people may have had the opportunity to participate during the Soviet period in the local party committees which denied membership, awards, etc. to Jews, but at least they did not have a right to publicly voice their views and to agitate people who did not think about these matters deeply to accept their hateful and ridiculous opinions.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Nov 2009, 17:36
Pioneer
Post 10 Apr 2012, 21:19
estrinfima wrote:
There were only jews scientists ( old people ) in USSR and also humorists.

That is being stereotypical...
To that list you have to add writers, musicians, actors, athletes, doctors, engineers, factory directors, lawyers, teachers...


Quote:
Jews were excluded from Communist party leadership, any government positions, and even they could not become Professors.

I personally know at least three Jews living in the US who were professors in the USSR (candidate of sciences degrees), so you are wrong.


Quote:
I mean in 1970 - 1990. I graduated with all A+ and was send to Volgograd manufacturing Plant.

And so?


Quote:
Why do you think millions of Jews left USSR? There was a reason. Nobody like to be marked like Jew.

Millions? Emigration from the USSR did not exceed a million...


Quote:
There was a special words for Jews: 'Zhid' or 'Zhidovskaya morda'.

And these were invented during Soviet times?


Quote:
It was very hard to bear, better to leave.

So why did it take you so long to leave?


Your situation in the US might be unfair, but you should not lie and compare it to being Jewish in the USSR, especially after you made the same comparison with Nazi Germany (http://estrinyefim.newsvine.com/_news/2 ... omparisons).
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
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Forum Commissar
Post 11 Apr 2012, 01:09
Man In Grey wrote:
I believe it was you Shig who said it was "ignorant of me to believe that anti semitism did not exist in USSR" then just now you say "Unlike other comrades, I do recognize that anti-semitism existed in the USSR."
I wasn't having a go at you specifically MIG, but I was just directing my comment at those who seem to think that somehow the USSR was some kind of idealistic haven from anti-Semitism. There is a lot of romanticism that goes on about the USSR here on SE. It's not always a healthy thing. I think it was a flawed state in a number of areas and that it is worthwhile for us to acknowledge those flaws as well as the merits.

My interest in these sorts of subjects has always been based on the philosophy that we need to learn what they (the USSR) did wrong as well what they did right.

YGB85 wrote:
So why did it take you so long to leave?
Do you realize how difficult it was to leave prior to very late in the Soviet era? Even in countries where people are free to leave it is not such an easy thing to do. Leaving your home and everything familiar in the hope that the place you are going to will be better (something you can hardly be certain about).
It's not something you can do lightly.
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