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August 30, 1985 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-08-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

16

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, August 30, 1985

b ruce m. weiss
b

Partie
Pa pee
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Disposable products
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BOOKS

BRANCH OUT JEWISHLY

at the Midrasha College of Jewish Studies
through our Natural Resources

N i ra Lev
Hebrew Language
and Literature

Personal Russian Jewish
Accounts Define History

Testimonials assembled from
the records of some 200 Russian
Jewish emigres provide the mas-
sive data regarding Jewry in the
Soviet Union, with background
material that emerges at high-
leveled history.
The Wiener Oral History Li-
brary of the American Jewish
Committee conducted the inter-
views, and the record thus pro-
vided became the basis for a vol-
ume of immense significance
compiled by Sylvia Rothchild in A
Special Legacy (Simon and Schus-
ter).
An entire century of Jewish ex-
periences in Russia is embodied in
the reminiscences of the nearly
200 Russian Jews interviewed for
the purpose of retaining factual
historical data in the American
Jewish Committee's project.
The generations who are af-
fected by the pioneering Soviet
leadership, followed by Stalin and
his associates, provide the record
of events that affected the Jews
under Communist domination.
Included also are the earlier
events, thus making Rothchild's
A Special Legacy an historical
literary gem.
The compiled studies of the
educational handicaps, the pro-
fessional involvements and the
religious and social factors in the
life of the Russian Jews receive
special emphasis in the many case
histories thus recorded in the in-
terviews of the scores utilized in
this important volume.
Notable are these excerpts from
the case histories in A Special Le-

gacy:

Dr. Joseph Gutmann
Art History

• a 50-year-old artist/architect
who discovered boxes of photo-
graphs and documents depicting
Hitler's annihilation of the Jews.
"Nowhere, not in one Soviet
newspaper, not in a single Soviet
book, had anything been written
about that."
• Katya, an editor of scientific
texts, who talks of her "dual per-
sonality," "One is for yourself and
the things you really think, and
the other is an outer face for the
public that conforms with policy.
You have to comply with the rules
and walk in step . . . It didn't enter
my head that it could be any
different."

Dr. Zvi Gitelman
Jewish History

o

Dr. Jacqueline Zeff
Literature

Dr. Sidney Bolkosky
Jewish History

• Lena, a Russian who had re-
turned to Russia after the Revolu-
tion. She recalled the Stalinist
era: "I was cursing myself for com-
ing back . . . You worried day and
night, and there was agitation
and propaganda against Jews all
the time, and the KGB held people
so tightly, knowing everything.
God forbid you should say a word.
We were afraid the walls would
hear. There was a telephone in the
corridor, and when we had to say
something we covered the phone
with a pillow. And each person
would tell the government about
the other."

• Rita S., whose best friend was
a naive 17-year-old who had
formed a group of students to help
Jewish children. "She thought
Stalin didn't know the situation
and wrote to tell him what was
wrong. The answer she got was
that her little group of university
students were put in jail for nine
years."

• Leonid K., who arrived in
America feeling lost and con-
fused. While everyone had
bumper stickers that said "Save
Soviet Jewry," no one was there to
"explain what a check is and how
to cash it. No one took us into a
supermarket and told us how to
shop . . . we didn't know most or-
dinary things and there was no
one to ask."
The testimony accumulated
masterfully by Sylvia Rothchild,
thanks to the valuable efforts of
the AJC Wiener Library, reveals
a defiance of restrictions and a re-
vival of Jewish identifications as
well as the miseries suffered
under Soviet oppression.
Out of the related experiences
the reader learns about the Kt:8-
sures that led to the massive de-
mands for emigration from the
USSR.
Sylvia Rothchild, compiler of
this oral history, has a marked re-
cord of notable literary achieve.
ments to her credit, qualifying her
highly for the task she had under-
taken in A Precious Legacy. She is
the author of the acclaimed Voices
from the Holocaust, a novel, Sun-
shine and Salt and a biography of
I.L. Peretz, Keys to a Magic Door.

Tamar Traub
Hebrew Language

Adult
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For a complete brochure
or information
rime call 3524117

'Arfletio ;1111/?",01/01./fi Z ei?"'

Dr. Anita Norich
Yiddish Language
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Courses Begin September 3

Midrasha College of Jewish Studies

Sigmund and Sophie Rohlik Bldg.
161$0 West Twelve Mile Road
uthfield, Mich, 48076

4

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?Sr

'0. 4 4 .4
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,



Six of the seven right-wing Knesset members who skied si in in a
Hebron flat last week are escorted out of the apartment, The ow
Ws are, from left; Yuval Haman, Ceuta CoUn, Rabbi Eiteeer
Waldman, Doi) 8hilansky, Gershon 8hafat and Benny $halito , MK
Rabbi Maim Drueknum was the other MK asoarkd from the

t iv iiiiti atf fiff i d/R140/11/1 6 M AM e

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