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The Stalinist “Great Break” in Yiddishland

The Stalinist “Great Break” in Yiddishland

(p.36) 3 The Stalinist “Great Break” in Yiddishland
Gennady Estraikh
NYU Press

This chapter examines how the Great Break of 1929 affected the Jewish population in the Soviet Union. It considers the consequences of the Soviet doctrine of a “great break” in industry and agriculture, which marked the beginning of Joseph Stalin's autocracy for Soviet life and for the international communist movement. It explains how Jews succeeded in finding their place in the liberalized but always volatile market economy of the early Soviet Union. It also discusses the rise of anti-Zionist and antireligious campaigns in the Soviet Union as a protest against the decision of the party's Central Committee to leave little leeway for Jewish religious life. It suggests that many American Yiddish readers and writers remained loyal to communism and that Yiddish-speaking groups of communist parties continued to cooperate in the framework of the Comintern.

Keywords:   market economy, Great Break, 1929, Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, Jews, religious life, communism, agriculture, Comintern

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