“They Left Not for Sausage, but for Dignity”: the Concept of Dignity in the Late Soviet Polemics on Jewish Emigration
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“They Left Not for Sausage, but for Dignity”: the Concept of Dignity in the Late Soviet Polemics on Jewish Emigration
Annotation
PII
S207987840021759-3-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Galina Zelenina 
Affiliation:
Russian State University for the Humanities
RANEPA University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract

The Jewish national movement in the late Soviet decades declared its concern about the infringed national dignity of Soviet Jews; emigration to Israel was considered a way to restore it, while the very struggle for the reight to leave the USSR was seen as a struggle for dignity. The article reveals various ways of gaining and defending one’s dignity in the practices and texts of Jewish activists, or Refuseniks, and describes this concept within a number of binary oppositions: unconditional — conditioned, universal — categorized, individual — group, integral — subject to external influence. The rhetoric of refuseniks in this regard is examined in the context of Soviet Jewish ego documents and of the Soviet press, including a vast corpus of anti-Zionist publications, and the concept of dignity appears as one of the central categories in the polemics about Jewish emigration conducted on the pages of newspapers, open letters and Samizdat.

Keywords
Soviet personality, Jewish national movement, Refuseniks, Zionism, anti-Zionism, emigration
Received
31.05.2022
Publication date
31.08.2022
Number of characters
91447
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Views
95
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