Jewish Life in the USSR

Polar Bear: The big Russian bear seems to spew Jews out after awhile. I know at least one Tsar wanted them sent back to Poland, and later on Stalin wasn’t a fan either.

No, Stalin was extremely pro-Jewish for a long time. I think one of his wives was Jewish.

You must understand what it was like in the USSR. You weren’t supposed to talk about your ethnicity. It was sort of taboo. You were all just workers, and ethnic nationalism was seen as “barbarous bourgeois nationalism.” It was practically outlawed.

But then Lenin allowed the right to self-determination of nations which took the form of the extreme development of the cultures and languages of the USSR if they would agree to be loyal.

I’ve read things from Jews who lived in the USSR, and they said it was not something anyone talked about. One said that at his university there were ~300 professors in his department and all but 3-4 of them were Jews. But he said nobody cared or even bothered to remark on it! Like Trotsky who refused to identify as Jewish. Asked his nationality, he answered,

Working class.

That was how a Jew was supposed to be in the USSR.

After Israel was formed, Stalin was hoping it would ally with the East, but instead they went to the West and Stalin got very angry. Also, a lot of those Israeli and Western Jews used their contacts in the East to become Western spies against the USSR. Jews became a security risk.

So Stalin turned his support to the Arabs. Then there was the Doctor’s Plot in which some doctors, mostly Jewish, were arrested for plotting to poison Stalin, presumably because he turned his back on Israel. These men were executed. What’s odd is that there are theories that this plot was actually in the works and others who say that Stalin was actually poisoned to death!

Some of Stalin’s contemporaries complained that he was executing Jews and how that was pretty low considering they just fought a war against murderous antisemites, and I remember Stalin responded,

But you don’t understand! It’s not that they are Jewish. No one cares about that. The problem is that they are all Zionists! That’s the issue here.

Nevertheless, this turned into a bit of a pogrom against Jews, and some top Jewish cultural figures like writers of Yiddish were killed. I believe this was a low point for the USSR.

After Stalin died, there was a sleazy campaign against “rootless cosmopolitanism,” which was a code word for Jews. It spread to Communist Poland too, where it went over well in fertile ground. I think it was all because the Jews had all turned their loyalties to the West with the founding of Israel. This was actually another low moment for the USSR. Going from making antisemitism a capital offense for which the punishment was execution to waging what amounted to pogroms against Jews? That’s a real fall to me.

There ended up being some anti-Jewish laws put in place, but they were not much of a hindrance. I think the effect was that before the laws, Jews were six times over-represented in top jobs, and after the new laws, quotas brought it down to them being three times over-represented. Cry me a river! They were still doing great, just not as great as they were before. Whoop tee doo!

But if you read what I just wrote above you can see how insane it is that antisemites go on and on about how “Communism is Jewish…Bolshevism is Jewish…the USSR was Jewish…Soviet (Jews) killed 100 million Christians,” on and on.

You can see that the actual reality of Jewish life in the USSR was quite complex! And those Soviet Jews were as deracinated as they come.

The 100 million Christians lie is particularly noxious because they say “Bolsheviks” did it but they imply that Jewish Bolsheviks were driving it due to anti-Christian fervor. However, the Soviets at that time were not very nice to any religion, and they went after synagogues just as much as they went after churches. And Stalin killed 2.5 million people, not 100 million.

Anyway, most of those killed in the USSR were probably not practicing Christians, as many people left Orthodoxy when Communism took hold. A very large number of those killed were other Communists, and they were supposed to be atheists.

Along those lines, did you know that Stalin had originally wanted to study to be an Orthodox priest back in Georgia?

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)