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Jews in the Soviet Union: 1941 to present

The Right to Emigrate


Young Jews...



Jewish "refuseniks"...



Minutes later...



This woman received an exit visa...



Manuscript page...


All pressures on Soviet Jews to forgo their identity do not have the effect the authorities aim for. As Jewish cultural and religious life in the Soviet Union has become practically impossible, and even complete assimilation is no guarantee against discrimination, some Jews start to demand openly the right to emigrate to Israel.

From the end of the 1960s onward, the samizdat journal Khronika reports about an increasing number of Jews taking part in demonstrations and hunger strikes. Other activities as well testify to the growing awareness of Soviet Jews of their identity and their history.

In spite of the official silence about the extermination of Jews during the Second World War, Soviet Jews start to hold commemorations at sites of massacres during the Nazi occupation. Young Jews with hardly any knowledge of Judaism meet informally at synagogues, closely watched by the KGB, and take part in underground Hebrew lessons. (CONT)


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