Alexander Grin with comrades

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  • Photo taken in:
    Moscow
    Year when photo was taken:
    1970
    Country name at time of photo:
    Soviet Union
    Country name today:
    Russia

This is me, the second from the left, with other Soviet Jews who made a successful career at that time.

This photo was taken during a meeting with Jewish communists of Argentina in the House of Friendship with foreign countries in 1970.

These communists visited the USSR to make sure that Jews had a good life in the USSR. A photographer of the House of Friendship took this photograph.

In 1970, when the foreign mass media published articles about the oppression of Jews in Russia, a group of Jewish communists from Argentina arrived in Moscow looking for evidence that this wasn't true and that Jews were prospering in the country.

They gathered a group of prosperous Jewish scientists in Moscow. They were deputy directors of research institutes, including me. By the way, I never understood why we had this meeting or who they were.

We had a meeting in the House of Friendship of the People. One of the employees there, a former employee of our institute, explained to me what it was about.

The chief editor of 'Our Soviet Russia' magazine, the only magazine in Yiddish in the USSR, with ridiculous circulation, was there. This was a pro-Soviet magazine.

This editor entertained us with his chattering saying that knowing Yiddish one could travel anywhere. There were Jews speaking Yiddish all across the globe.

He said he had been traveling all over the world and even in Shanghai met a man who could speak Yiddish.

We were sitting round the table talking about our life. There is a very powerful diaspora in Argentina. There are many Jews who escaped from Germany, when Hitler came to power. They gathered proof that we had a good life.

We told them that we didn't see distinct signs of anti-Semitism. The career level of the participants of this meeting was high and this was sufficient proof for them. They didn't care about our well-being.

Interview details

Interviewee: Alexander Grin
Interviewer:
Svetlana Bogdanova
Year of interview:
2003
Moscow, Russia

KEY PERSON

Alexander Grin
Year of birth:
1924
City of birth:
Moscow
Country name at time of birth:
Soviet Union
Occupation
after WW II:
Working in natural and technical schiences

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