The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage

The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage

by Jeffrey Veidlinger
     
 

This is the first book in English to trace the fascinating and tragic history of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater, founded in 1919 and liquidated by the Soviet government in 1949. Since the conventional view of the fate of Jews in Soviet Russia is that from the beginning, the Soviet state pursued policies aimed at stamping out Jewish culture, it is surprising to learn…  See more details below

Overview

This is the first book in English to trace the fascinating and tragic history of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater, founded in 1919 and liquidated by the Soviet government in 1949. Since the conventional view of the fate of Jews in Soviet Russia is that from the beginning, the Soviet state pursued policies aimed at stamping out Jewish culture, it is surprising to learn that from the 1920s through World War II, secular Yiddish culture was actively promoted and Yiddish cultural institutions thrived, supported by the Soviet government, albeit for its own propaganda purposes. Drawing from newly available archives, Jeffrey Veidlinger uses the dramatic story of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater, the premiere secular Jewish cultural institution of the Soviet era, to demonstrate how Jewish writers and artists were able to promote Jewish national culture within the confines of Soviet nationality policies. He shows how a stellar group of artists, writers, choreographers, directors, and actors led by Solomon Mikhoels brought to life shtetl fables, biblical heroes, Israelite lore, exilic laments, and dilemmas of contemporary life under the guise of conventional socialist realism before the theater and many of its principal figures fell victim to Stalinist antisemitism and xenophobia after World War II. Enriched by rare photographs of the theater's artists and performances, The Moscow State Yiddish Theater brings to life a complex period in the history and culture of Soviet Jewry.

About the Author:

Jeffrey Veidlinger is Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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Indiana University Press

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253337849
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2001
Series:
Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.49(h) x 1.15(d)

What People are saying about this

Robert Weinberg
A product of in-depth research in Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, and English, [The Moscow State Yiddish Theater] not only furthers our knowledge of the Yiddish theater in the Soviet Union, but it also deepens and revises our understanding of the Kremlin's policy toward Jewish society and culture from 1919 to the early 1950s.

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Veidlinger is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Associate Director of the Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University.

Indiana University Press

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