The Unexpected Arrivals: Soviet Jews in West Berlin 1972-1989
Sparking an almost unknown chapter in contemporary Jewish, German, and international history, several hundred Soviet Jews unexpectedly arrived in West Berlin in the early 1970s. These migrants, after undergoing the arduous process of leaving the USSR, had not only asserted their freedom to choose their destination but had also selected a startling place to settle – West Berlin, the former capital of the “land of the murderers” long vilified by Moscow and its Warsaw Pact allies.
Surprised and ill-prepared, the West Berlin and West German governments wavered between welcome and expulsion of the mostly illegal arrivals. Nonetheless, facing domestic and diplomatic repercussions, they devised stopgap measures in coordination with local Jewish community leaders that ultimately led to a small but significant increase in the Federal Republic’s Jewish population before 1990.
Prof. Carole Fink, Humanities Distinguished Professor of History Emerita, The Ohio State University
Carole Fink is Humanities Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at The Ohio State University, where she taught between 1991 and 2011. She is the author and editor of fifteen books, most recently West Germany and Israel: Foreign Relations, Domestic Politics, and the Cold War, 1965-1974; Writing 20th Century International History: Explorations and Examples; and Cold War: An International History, soon to be published in its third edition. Two of her earlier books – The Genoa Conference: European Diplomacy 1921-1922 and Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and International Minority Protection, 1878-1938 - were awarded the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association. Her biography of the French Jewish historian and resistance hero, Marc Bloch: A Life in History, has been translated into six languages. Since retiring in 2011, Professor Fink has continued to lecture nationally and internationally and has been a guest professor in China, Israel, Germany, and Australia. She is currently at work on a global history of the 1980s.
Monday, 6 December, 8 pm Israel / 6 pm UK / 1 pm EST
Monday December 6th 2 Tevet 08:00 - 09:30
Prof. Carole Fink
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General public, Historians
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