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The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage (Jewish Literature and Culture) Paperback – October 18, 2006

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


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From the Publisher

Reveals the enduring impact of forced service in the Tsarist army on both Russian Jewish youth and Russian Jewish literary culture.

Product Details

  • Series: Jewish Literature and Culture
  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; New edition edition (October 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253218926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253218926
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,678,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeffrey Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Professor Veidlinger is the author, most recently, of "In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine," which won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for History. His previous books include "The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage," which won a National Jewish Book Award and the Barnard Hewitt Award for Theater Scholarship, and "Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire," which won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Scholarship and the J. I . Segal Prize. His work has been supported by grants and fellowships from numerous agencies, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. From 1999-2013, he taught at Indiana University, where he was Alvin H. Rosenfeld Chair in Jewish Studies, Professor of History, and Director of the Borns Jewish Studies Program. Veidlinger is a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Jewish History, the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and the Board of Directors of the Association for Jewish Studies. He is currently conducting research on anti-Jewish violence in Ukraine.

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Format: Paperback
This book offers information regarding the theater, writers, and the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee which I don't think is available anywhere else. However, two points bother me: 1) The author gives different explanations in different parts of the book for the same events or actions of an individual or governmental office (e.g., Mikhoels, Ministry of State Security, Stalin, amongst others); and 2) some of these issues have been cleared up by more recent disclosures from the Kremlin (see: "Stalin's Last Crime", by Brent and Naumov).

From the more recent information, it seems that Stalin's entire motive for causing the demise of Jewish/Yiddish theater and culture in the Soviet Union was not anti-Semitic as such but because the Jews were just such easy sacrificial scapegoats... with the end of WWII came the end of Stalin's lifelong dream of international revolution and takeover, which he had worked so hard through the 1930's to coordinate with Hitler, and which Hitler betrayed. Stalin was trying to construct a case for blaming the Jews for an American/Zionist conspiracy of assassination schemes, just so that he could get WWIII going, and another "Purge" would keep the people in terror and himself in power. Sound crazy? Not if you know Stalin's actual character, motives, and lifelong history.

The author's speculations are reasonable educated guesses which probably were similar to efforts of the victims at the time to understand their persecutions, and reports of the witnessed responses and quotes are wonderful for giving insight into these people. All of them were trying to work within the rules and laws, and if there was an arrest or government-sanctioned murder, they internalized the reasons--they themselves did something wrong, or someone somewhere made a mistake.
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The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage (Jewish Literature and Culture)
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