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Jews in the Soviet Union

Jewish Life Between the Wars, cont.


A Yiddish school...



Outstanding students...



Designs for the Jewish Theater...



The painter Marc Chagal...



The Presidium of the Institute
for Proletarian Jewish Culture...


The Yevsektsii also campaign against the Hebrew language. In their eyes, Hebrew is the reactionary language of the Jewish bourgeoisie, whatever its content, and has to be eliminated in favor of Yiddish, the language of the Jewish proletariat. Hebrew schools and printing presses are closed.

At the end of the 1920s, Hebrew becomes the only language which is officially outlawed in the Soviet Union. Jewish religious education is now impossible. The only permitted expressions of Soviet-Jewish life are secular Yiddish education, literature, press and theater. They flourish as long as they are permitted, until the mid 1930s.

The newly established Yiddish schools are very popular at first. But as only few secondary school and no university courses are in Yiddish, their numbers decline. At the end of the 1930s, they have completely disappeared.

With the almost complete elimination of organized Jewish religious and communal life, the Yevsektsii have become redundant and are dissolved in 1930. During the Stalinist purges of the late 1930s, most of its members are accused of having had "nationalist tendencies," and are deported or killed. (CONT)


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