Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jews Seize St. Petersburg! Actual Footage!

[click outward pointing arrows for fullscreen. sound on]

This seeming trifle is actually important.

Before 1917 Jews were not even allowed to be in St. Petersburg because it was beyond the Pale of (Jewish) Settlement. My grandfather had to bribe a policeman to travel by train from Latvia, inside the Pale, to neighboring Estonia, outside it.

Under Stalin and his successors, Jews were not permitted to publicly practice Judaism anywhere in the Soviet Union.

Today, for the first time ever, Jews in Russia are free to be Jews, free to be themselves. It is an immense step forward for Russia, and in our own time. Those who think our times are shallow and bleak aren't seeing what is right in front of them.

The vast green building in the background toward the end of the video is the Czar's Winter Palace, where the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917. Nearby is the Nevsky Prospekt where Raskolnikov walked and raved in "Crime and Punishment".

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