Shlomo Berger (ed.), The Politics of Yiddish; Amsterdam Yiddish Symposium 5 (ISBN 978-90-815860-2-3, 67 pp., Amsterdam 2010).
The Politics of Yiddish is the fifth collection of essays in the Amsterdam Yiddish Symposium series. In his essay, ‘Learning Stalin’s Yiddish,’ Mikhail Krutikov examines the discussion sessions held at the Kiev Institute for Jewish Proletarian Culture on February 26 – March 3, and on April 25-30, 1932; the published protocols of these sessions offer a unique glimpse into Soviet literary policy in the making, and enable us to reconstruct the arguments, rhetoric, and power structure of the official Soviet Yiddish discourse at a formative moment of its development. Rachel Rojanski discusses David Ben-Gurion view on the role of Yiddish both before and after the Holocaust, as he expressed it in the 1950’s. Jeffrey Shandler, in ‘The Cultural Politics of Yiddish in the United States after the Holocaust,’ looks at the array of new uses and symbolic values that Yiddish has taken on in the post-World War II era, concluding that uniting all uses of Yiddish in the postwar era is their negotiation of a cultural politics defined by notions of “before vs. after” the Holocaust, as this divide has had its impact on Jews, their culture, their politics, and their languages.
Mikhail Krutikov: Learning Stalin’s Yiddish:
Two Debates on Literary Theory at the Kiev Institute
for Jewish Proletarian Culture in the Spring of 1932;
Rachel Rojanski, Ben-Gurion and Yiddish after the Holocaust;
Jeffrey Shandler, The Cultural Politics of Yiddish in
the United States after the Holocaust.