Size and Direction

  • Victor Zaslavsky
  • Robert J. Brym


In Chapter 4 we had occasion to criticise the belief that Jewish emigration from the USSR was induced largely by external forces. Students of East-West relations have convinced us that the Soviet ruling class has never made concessions on domestic matters as a result of Western pressure, even in times of great weakness. Although the efforts of Western publics and governments have undoubtedly been of indirect benefit to the movement, the organised political force that has done most to impose its will on the regime is to be found in the USSR itself, among Soviet Jews. This was not, however, to suggest a voluntaristic interpretation of the movement’s origins. For, as we have just seen, there were sound economic and political reasons for the emergence of conflict between the regime and the Jewish community, and for the outcome of that conflict — reasons located, again, within the USSR and the historical development of its nationality policy.


Jewish Community Jewish Identity Emigration Rate Immigrant Absorption Soviet Authority 
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Copyright information

© Victor Zaslavsky and Robert J. Brym 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Zaslavsky
    • 1
  • Robert J. Brym
    • 2
  1. 1.Memorial University of NewfoundlandCanada
  2. 2.University of TorontoCanada

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