Professor Samuel Kassow considers the relationship between Yiddish, Hebrew, and the corpus of traditional Jewish texts. This issue was highly relevant around the time of the Czernowitz Conference in 1908. I.L. Peretz’s opinion is addressed, as is the concern for making traditional texts accessible to ordinary Jews.
Professor Samuel Kassow explains why the Soviet Union encouraged Yiddish as a language and literature during the 1920s. Many Yiddish writers moved to the Soviet Union in the 1920s as it seemed like “the only place in the world where the state was not just tolerating but encouraging the Yiddish language.”
Professor Samuel Kassow speaks about the events and factor leading up to 12 August 1952, when Stalin ordered the execution of many Yiddish poets and Jewish figures in the Soviet Union. One such prelude which Kassow considers is the founding of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.
Professor Samuel Kassow describes what happened on August 12, 1952, when many Yiddish poets and Jewish figures of the Anti-Fascist Committee were executed on Stalin’s orders. The Doctor’s Plot, which erupted in January 1953, was the next stage in Stalin’s cycle of conspiracies.
Professor Samuel Kassow talks about Birobidzhan, which was an area located in Eastern Siberia and developed as a Jewish autonomous region. The hope for Birobidzhan was that it would become a full-fledged Yiddish-speaking Soviet Republic, though there were many factors working against fulfilling this hope.
Professor Samuel Kassow explains the popularization of science in different sectors of Jewish communities both in the US and in Europe. Kassow also speaks about the development of Yiddish secular education beginning around World War I, as new science textbooks for schoolchildren were written in Yiddish.