Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Religion in Soviet Union

And while you were there, was there any, any semblance of practicing Judaism of any sort?

No, none at all. Through all the years during the war, there was no indication of practicing a Jewish life--other than the children spoke Yiddish in the orphanage, some of them. But there was no attempt. In the orphanages, the people who ran it were not Orthodox and not religious Jews. They were the more, the city sophisticated people, more assimilated.

Were they communists?

Uh, they--were they communist at one time? I don't know, but they were anti-government at that time. They were all hating the system.

So this was not just your family that didn't practice but as far as you know the entire community...

None, the whole community didn't practice any Jewish uh, there was no Jewish expression of any kind.

Just the Yiddish.

Just the Yiddish.

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