Cover Osteuropa 6/2020

In Osteuropa 6/2020

Countering the sin of defencelessness
Friedrich Gorenstein and (post-)Soviet Jewry

Liza Rozovsky

Deutsche Fassung


The émigrés from the former Soviet Union who came to Israel in their hundreds of thousands in the early 1990s still remain a separate group from the cultural and political mainstream there today. In order to understand what characterised and motivated them, it is worthwhile taking the work of the Russian Jewish writer Friedrich Gorenstein into consideration, which can be read as a type of encyclopaedia of Soviet Jewry. His texts draw on both biblical sources and his own biography. The lesson that Gorenstein draws – that for the Jewish people, defencelessness is the greatest sin – is shared by many (post-)Soviet Jews, and not only in Israel.

(Osteuropa 6/2020, pp. 191–202)