The mass emigration of Soviet Jews is a well-known fact. Indeed, since 1971 as many as 1.2 million of Soviet Jews and their family members made aliyah. Another 600,000 made their way to other countries.
However, people seldom ask themselves simple questions
The mass emigration of Soviet Jews is a well-known fact. Indeed, from 1971 to the 1990s, as many as 1.2 million Soviet Jews and their family members moved to Israel. Another 600,000 made their way to other countries. This emigration changed the course of history and created a new geopolitical reality in the Middle East. However, people seldom ask themselves some basic questions about the dramatic events of this period:
- Why, after two generations of intensive Soviet propaganda, when Jewish identity was supposed to have been totally erased, did this multitude of people still want to emigrate?
- What caused the totalitarian Soviet regime to open its doors in 1971 to allow mass Jewish emigration?
- How did it happen in 1989 that Mikhail Gorbachev decided to finally lift restrictions on emigration, causing a massive “brain-drain” from his country?
Many would tend to say that the answer is simple — Mikhail Gorbachev was a liberal leader and this suited his general policy. Let us present another opinion: with all due respect to Mr. Gorbachev’s commitment to liberalization, he was highly influenced by a fascinating chain of events which preceded his decision.
Voice your opinion.
Agreed why? Disagreed why?