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The Unexpected Arrivals: Soviet Jews in West Berlin before 1990

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The Unexpected Arrivals: Soviet Jews in West Berlin before 1990

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The Unexpected Arrivals: Soviet Jews in West Berlin before 1990

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Wednesday 30 June
1pm

Free for members

Speaker: Carole Fink – Emerita, Ohio State University

Sparking an almost unknown chapter in contemporary Jewish, German, and international human rights history, more than five hundred Soviet Jews unexpectedly arrived in West Berlin in 1974. These migrants, after undergoing the arduous process of leaving the USSR, had not only asserted their freedom to choose a destination other than Israel; they had also selected a startling destination: the “land of the murderers” long vilified by Moscow. Ill-prepared, the West Berlin and West German governments – facing the diplomatic repercussions and wavering between welcome and expulsion – devised stopgap measures that ultimately led to a small but significant increase in the Federal Republic’s tiny Jewish community before 1990.

Carole Fink, Humanities Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at The Ohio State University, is the author/editor of fifteen books, most recently West Germany and Israel: Foreign Relations, Domestic Politics, and the Cold War, 1965-1974 (2019); Writing 20th Century International History: Explorations and Examples (2017); and Cold War: An International History (2017).

This online lecture is being held in conjunction with Mandelbaum House and Sydney University’s Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies.

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