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The Great Patriotic War

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We Are Devoted To Our Memories
Мы этой памяти верны

They survived World War II and the Holocaust.
They outlived Stalin’s barbarism.
They experienced the Cold War—from the other side.
Now, they are rebuilding their lives, right here in Minnesota.
These are their remarkable stories.

The Soviet Union, too, had its own Greatest Generation. More than 20 million Soviet citizens died in World War II, for them The Great Patriot War – about 50 times the number of American deaths – including well over one million Jews. They defeated fascism, but did not enjoy the freedoms of democracy; victory was soon followed by horrific Stalinist purges and authoritarian rule. Jews, in particular, experienced significant discrimination after the war, and most were unable to leave for decades. Their stories are remarkable and, until now, have been largely overlooked. This Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest exhibit depicts the war experiences of Minnesota’s Russian Jewish Veterans little known to Americans.

Alexander Daylis
Faina Borisovna Glikina
Yakov Grichener
Yevgenia Iosifovna Merlis
Isay Morgenshtern
Vladimir Posse
Yakov Rabinovich
Maria Borisovna Reznik
Yelena Semashko
Mera Leybovna Sokolinskaya


Film Information

The American VOICE of the Soviet Jews is a new feature-length film work that collects and preserves memories of local Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, including their childhood, their academic studies and their professional lives, their Holocaust experiences and their service in Stalin’s army during the Second World War, the constraints of their post-war lives during the Cold War era, and finally, their emigration.

Photo by Kamil Dadashev

Interviewed in the film are Vladimir Posse, who marched in the 1945 Victory Parade in Moscow’s Red Square; Georgiy and Yelena Semashko and Evgeniya Merlis, who lived through the Ukrainian golodomor (famine); and Mera Sokolinskaya and Maria Reznik, who experienced Hitler’s siege of Leningrad—along with the unbelievable starvation, cannibalism, and human degradation it caused.

Watch a one minute trailer for The American VOICE of Soviet Jews



Igor Dadashev, Film Director
Kamil Dadashev, Director of Photography
Lyudmyla Petrenko, Community Organizer, VOICE: Community Building Initiative

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