On this edition of Parallax Views, Emil Draitser joins us to give a personal account of not only growing up Jewish in the Soviet Union but also working as a satirist in the Soviet Union. Emil has written about his Soviet adventures in books such as Shush! Growing Up Jewish Under Stalin: A Memoir, Farewell, Mama Odessa: A Novel, and, most recently, In the Jaws of the Crocodile: A Soviet Memoir. Emil discusses at length his experiences facing antisemitism in the Soviet Union, explain the history of antisemitism in Russia from the Proctocols of Zion to the Doctor’s Plot of the Stalin era, and the discrimination he faced from antisemitism. Additionally, Emil and I will delve into what it meant to write satire in the Soviet Union and his experiences working for the Soviet satirical magazine Krokodil. And Emil will describe what it was like growing up in Odessa specifically. One thing that is striking about Emil’s experiences is how relatable they may feel despite cultural differences between the Soviet Union and countries like the United States.
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