Can Judaism be “National in Form and Socialist in Content”?

Sydney Kightlinger

On page 70, we are presented a photo of an elementary school primer from 1936 that is written in Yiddish. Lenin is at the top of the page and the words read: “Vladimir Ilich Lenin / Lenin is our leader, / Our teacher, our friend / We do as Lenin teaches us, / All working people know and love Lenin.” This is supposed to exemplify the Soviet Government’s commitment to “national in form and socialist in content.” I believe message is conveyed fairly well, but do we think that it is a representation of Jewishness? The commentary beneath this argues that “Yiddish was an insufficient basis on which to maintain one’s identity.” Going back to conversations we had in the first two weeks, do you think that the J.A.R was an actually celebrated Soviet Jewish region or an area settled by Jewish people that had to give up major parts of the Jewish faith in order to comply with Soviet policy?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *