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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Through Soviet Jewish Eyes

December 31, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Through Soviet Jewish Eyes
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 List: Through Soviet Jewish Eyes by David Shneer

My next selection for the Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 is Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust, by historian David Shneer, which uncovers the role of Jewish photographers in the Soviet photography industry.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: A Replacement Life

December 26, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: A Replacement Life
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 - A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman

Today’s pick for the Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 list is Boris Fishman’s A Replacement Life. I first read it in 2014 when it came out, and somehow, with the politics of the last few years, the book feels more important now than it did then — less for the insight into Slava’s split identity, and more for the close-up of his grandfather’s generation.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Yiddish Glory

December 24, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Yiddish Glory
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top Picks - Yiddish Glory album

My second pick for the top Soviet-Jewish works of the past decade is Yiddish Glory: Lost Songs of World War II, which has completely changed what we thought we knew about how Soviet Jews made sense of the war. Its significance cannot be overstated.

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On #FirstSurvivor and the Russian-Jewish Holocaust experience

January 27, 2019 / Comments Off on On #FirstSurvivor and the Russian-Jewish Holocaust experience
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Walking to the site of a Holocaust mass grave in Romanow, Ukraine

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day—sharing some thoughts on the Russian-Jewish Holocaust experience. There’s a thread making its way around Twitter about #FirstSurvivors, asking people about the first survivor they ever met. This was my response, which I’m posting here too, with some tweaks, before it disappears into the abyss of updates. Like many #SovietJews there's…

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Kristallnacht on Twitter seems hopelessly naive

November 11, 2013 / Comments Off on Kristallnacht on Twitter seems hopelessly naive
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Kristallnacht on Twitter post - interior of burnt synagogue in Berlin

This weekend was the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht – the Night of the Broken Glass, when thousands of Jewish homes and businesses were ransacked and destroyed across Germany. Ninety-one Jews died that night. That was the night of November 9/10, 1938. (Awkward anniversary tie-in – on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down.) Media…

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An A-Z of Russian hospitality to Jews for Shimon Peres: The outtakes

December 5, 2012 /
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Moscow Jewish Museum of Tolerance logo - Peres at Jewish Museum in Moscow

You might have heard something about Israeli President Shimon Peres and the Jewish museum in Moscow? It’s just opened and Peres was among the important so-and-so’s in attendance. At some point in the proceedings, overcome with emotions dredged up from childhood, he opened his mouth and and the following came out: “My mother sang to me in…

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Monday Links – Russia loves Raymond, nobody loves cannibalism edition

March 28, 2011 / Comments Off on Monday Links – Russia loves Raymond, nobody loves cannibalism edition
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Exporting Raymond movie poster

This week’s links round-up starts with a snicker before getting into the heavy stuff. “And then, the Russians called…” – Global Post The creator of Everyone Loves Raymond is invited to make a Russian version of the show. Of course he makes a video about it. Of course you should watch it. Muscovite Lives, Entangled…

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Monday links – The super Soviet, super Jew-y edition

March 21, 2011 / Comments Off on Monday links – The super Soviet, super Jew-y edition
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It’s been a while since I did a links round-up, so let’s just call this one the super-belated, super-Soviet edition. Did Britain try to assassinate Lenin? – BBC Zev Yaroslavsky: From Soviet Jewry Activist to L.A. Mayor? – Forward Diaspora? What Diaspora? – Scary Azeri blog The Fashions of the War Times – Real USSR…

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Teaching history through games: Are some things off-limits?

February 1, 2011 / Comments Off on Teaching history through games: Are some things off-limits?
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Monopoly ship piece representing teaching history through games

In my last post, I talked about a new Monopoly game in Poland, which is being used to teach children about communism. I also talked about a role-playing game I participated in at summer camp, just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, where we played Soviet Jews trying to escape the country. Come to…

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Summer camp is for history games (mud optional)

January 31, 2011 / Comments Off on Summer camp is for history games (mud optional)
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Monopoly board for educational history games

Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (an Orwellian-sounding name if there ever was one) has just launched a communist-style variation of Monopoly, to help teach kids about life under communist rule. Lots of waiting in lines, lots of squabbling over basic necessities, lots of random shortages—”Go to end of line. Do not pass Go. Do not…

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