pageok
pageok
pageok
Old Soviet Joke:

The Soviets talked a great deal about "Druzhba Narodov," which is to say "Friendship of the Peoples," though in fact the Peoples weren't really that Friendly to each other.

So the joke, of which I was very recently reminded: What is the Friendship of the Peoples? It's when the Georgian walks hand in hand with the Armenian, and with the Ukrainian, and with the Russian, and they all go to beat up the Jew.

anonVCfan:
I suppose Borat walks hand in hand with the others, too...?
1.23.2007 3:10pm
dearieme:
Greatest happiness of the greatest number has its limitations.
1.23.2007 3:12pm
QED:
Most people who aren't from that part of the world are utterly clueless as to the depths of the hatred of Jewish people there.
1.23.2007 3:22pm
Cornellian (mail):
Most people who aren't from that part of the world are utterly clueless as to the depths of the hatred of Jewish people there.

I'm aware of it on an intellectual level, but understanding it is more of a hurdle. So many people over there instinctively feel revulsion at the very word "Jew", without any factual basis for it and without even having met any Jewish people. I can't understand how people can feel that way, or how if one did feel that way and had any inclination towards introspection at all, how one could fail to question one's feelings in that regard.
1.23.2007 3:28pm
Mho (mail):
Such a feeling doesn't come about by accident. What does it say about the particulars of their upbringing? And I don't just mean their religious upbringing since most of the people who feel that way are atheists who never set foot in a church.
1.23.2007 3:39pm
Mark Field (mail):
Sounds like the Tom Lehrer song "National Brotherhood Week":

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews.
1.23.2007 3:52pm
Ted McClure (mail):
Hungarian joke from the late 1950s:

Reporter to citizen: "Do you consider the Russians to be your brothers or your friends?"

Citizen: "Oh, definitely our brothers. Your friends you can choose."
1.23.2007 4:02pm
Concerned:
Please Gentlemen, lets leave race out of this
1.23.2007 4:14pm
Concerned:
How do you break a Polacks finger- punch him on the nose. It's OK for me to say this since I'm Polish.
1.23.2007 4:16pm
Enoch:
Ask a Pole, "The next time the Germans and Russians invade Poland together, who will you shoot first?"

Answer: "The Germans, of course - business before pleasure."
1.23.2007 4:52pm
Concerned:
Now that one I can appreciate
1.23.2007 4:59pm
DrGrishka (mail):
I also remember one that went something like this. Friendship of the People is when a Soviet hand is extended in friendship from a rolling tank. (Was popular during Huungary 56 and Prague 68).
1.23.2007 5:42pm
Cornellian (mail):
What does it say about the particulars of their upbringing? And I don't just mean their religious upbringing since most of the people who feel that way are atheists who never set foot in a church.

I doubt more than a small percentage consider themselves atheists. More likely they consider themselves Christians even if they're not particularly observant. As to how they reconcile that with an antipathy towards Jews, I think my earlier point stands - it just doesn't cross their minds that any of their beliefs have to reconciled or even examined, they're just accepted.
1.23.2007 5:52pm
JB:
Stalin is giving a speech in Magnitogorsk announcing the new steel production targets. Someone sneezes. Stalin stops his speech and asks, "Who sneezed?"

The room is silent.

"Guards! Take the last row out and shoot them!" Stalin says. The guards do as he says, and shots are heard. "Who sneezed?" Stalin repeats.

The room is silent.

Again Stalin calls for the last remaining row to be shot, and again they are filed out and shot. Again Stalin asks "Who sneezed?"

An old man in the second row raises his hand. "Ah, Comrade, it was I who sneezed."

"Bless you," Stalin says and continues with his speech.
1.23.2007 6:19pm
BGates (www):
I used to teach in a high school with a lot of Russians. Once a girl asked me if I was Jewish; what struck me was her answer when I asked if she was. "No, I'm Russian," she explained.

I don't think she was aware that some people are both.
1.23.2007 7:05pm
Vovan:

"No, I'm Russian," she explained.

I don't think she was aware that some people are both.


Uhm, no. Technically you are either ethnically Jewish, or ethnically Russian. The "Russian-Jew" is a placeholder name in the US and Israel for jews that immigrated from former USSR
1.23.2007 7:16pm
anonVCfan:
If you're going to be technical, please try not to offend the Ukrainian Jews who immigrated from the former USSR. Soviet is not necessarily Russian, just as Russian is not necessarily non-Jewish
1.23.2007 7:45pm
Mho (mail):
I doubt more than a small percentage consider themselves atheists.


Atheist may be the wrong term: non-observant was more what I meant. As in: they didn't learn this in Sunday school. So my question remains, where do they pick this up from?

Their self-identification as Christians is, I believe, largely an ethnic identity more than a belief system. Maybe it's as simple as Jews look and behave a little bit different from non-Jews in Russia, and ethnic Russians don't particularly like anyone who is "not like us." That sentiment is not restricted to Russians, and it's certainly not restricted to Jews.
1.23.2007 8:02pm
Vovan:
to anonVCfan

Слыш, украинец, я на comment отвечал, а так обижайся скольло хочешь...
1.23.2007 8:08pm
Byomtov (mail):
Technically you are either ethnically Jewish, or ethnically Russian. The "Russian-Jew" is a placeholder name in the US and Israel for jews that immigrated from former USSR

I don't know about the Soviet Union, but it is definitely the case that in pre-war Poland one was either a Pole or a Jew, but not both. The demarcation was clear, despite the fact that roughly 10% of the population was Jewish.
1.23.2007 9:36pm
Cornellian (mail):
Atheist may be the wrong term: non-observant was more what I meant. As in: they didn't learn this in Sunday school. So my question remains, where do they pick this up from?

Maybe it's as simple as Jews look and behave a little bit different from non-Jews in Russia, and ethnic Russians don't particularly like anyone who is "not like us." That sentiment is not restricted to Russians, and it's certainly not restricted to Jews.


They make pick up part of it from the local Christian clergy. Anti-semitism in the Russian Orthodox church isn't exactly unheard of. I suspect they pick it up mostly from their parents first, then their friends and neighbors. I don't think it's purely a function of Jewish people looking or acting a bit differently. Chinese people are visibly different as well, but they don't attract the enmity in Russia that Jewish people do.
1.23.2007 9:38pm
Visitor Again:
I grew up in the Manchester area in England in the 1940s and 1950s in a working class council house (post-war public housing estate). Anti-semitism was rife. There was no physical violence, at least that I knew of, but the verbals flew frequently every single day. "You Jew" and "You lucky Jew" were commonly used as denigrations. These people were ordinary working folks and considered themselves good Christians, although they might not attend church regularly.

I don't think the middle and upper classes were much less anti-semitic, if at all, although they probably were better at concealing it or expressed it in more subtle ways.

I don't know what it's like today. There were no people of color living where I lived in those days. I never saw a black person until the day I sailed to Canada from the Liverpool docks. Now there are many persons of color living where I once lived. Probably they've taken over the bottom spot on the pecking order from the Jews.
1.23.2007 10:00pm
Lev:

was Jewish; what struck me was her answer when I asked if she was. "No, I'm Russian,

Poland one was either a Pole or a Jew


How about the US? Either American or Jew?

How about Sharia law? Either American or Moslem?
1.23.2007 10:54pm
Mho (mail):
The root of anti-semitism was not just the status of Jews as a minority, like blacks or Chinese in Europe--there's also a layer of jealousy. This jealousy, arising from the perception of Jews as economically successful competitors, spurred conspiracy theories. "Lucky Jew" is a relatively benign sounding example. More common prejudices were Jews as "lying" or "thieving" or, from a religious perspective, in league with the devil.

Anti-semitism runs deeper among Europeans, including Russians, I think, because Jews have been around them and those prejudices have evolved and become ingrained over a much longer period than with Chinese or Muslims.

IMHO, I don't think the modern Russian Orthodox church is any longer in the business of demonizing Jews. They're far more concerned about Catholics and Protestants these days.
1.23.2007 11:28pm
Bleepless (mail):
I once read about a speech given to a closed meeting of the Writers' Union in Moscow. The speaker went on a "creative mission" (a junket) to the Caucasus and got invited to a Cossack wedding, of which there is nothing more exciting. On his way there, a couple of people warned him against going. It seems they thought he was a Georgian. Then he went to Georgia, where he was beaten up on the street by some locals who thought he was an Armenian. Then he went to Riga, where nobody would speak to him at all, and returned to Moscow to find that he had been fired from the staff of the journal "Friendship of the Peoples" because he was Jewish.
1.23.2007 11:42pm
Tax Lawyer:
was Jewish; what struck me was her answer when I asked if she was. "No, I'm Russian,


While this may be a sign of racism, it may also simply be something "lost in translation." The Russian language (which I'm just starting to learn) has two words for "Russian" -- Русский (Russkiy)and Россиянин (Rossyanin). The first refers to ethinicity, and the second to something more akin to citizenship. In Russia, for centuries a multi-ethnic state, all Russians are Rossyanin, but they are not all Russkiy.

This is not to gainsay the serious point behind EV's old Soviet joke. Jew hatred in Russia and its sphere of influence is and has always been virulent and commonplace. But the student's response here may simply be a function of the fact that English has only one word for two concepts (we'd have to use a phrase like "ethnically Russian" to convey Russkiy).
1.24.2007 8:57am
The River Temoc (mail):
I don't think it's purely a function of Jewish people looking or acting a bit differently. Chinese people are visibly different as well, but they don't attract the enmity in Russia that Jewish people do.

In the Russian Far East, there are a lot of virulently anti-Chinese people. When I was in Khabarovsk last year, someone told me there were far too many Chinese people there. It was all reminiscent of the Minute Men on our side of the pond.

As a data point, I have had non-practicing Orthodox Russians tell me that they like Israel "because there are a lot of Russians there."
1.24.2007 9:48am
DustyR (mail) (www):
Hey, Eugene, while your on a joke, may I ask if you know the one about Stalin shaving? It was told to show how much love he had for his people? I read it somewhere, but can't remember it and have googled it to death over a period of months with no success.
1.24.2007 11:58am
KenPayne:
In a similar vein to Eugene's joke, also from the Soviet era:

What do you call a person who speaks three languages? A zionist.

What do you call a person who speaks two languages? A nationalist.

What do you call a person who speaks only Russian? An internationalist!
1.24.2007 1:19pm
Deoxy (mail):
"virulently anti-Chinese"
"far too many Chinese people"
"It was all reminiscent of the Minute Men on our side of the pond."

Only if "Chinese" analogizes to "ILLEGAL aliens".

Most of my (admittedly somewhat limited) contact with anyone associated with Minute Men showed no detectable racial reasons for their actions (there were a very few exceptions, of course, but they weren't "the norm" at all).

A better analogy would probably have been "white supremacists", which has little overlap with the Minute Men (from what I've seen).
1.24.2007 4:17pm
CLS (mail) (www):
I guess things never change very much. We could just as easily say what is Christian unity?

It is when a Baptist walks hand in hand with a Methodis, and a Presbyterian, and a Pentecostal and a Catholic to go beat up a homosexual.
1.24.2007 4:44pm
liberty (mail) (www):
"Most of my (admittedly somewhat limited) contact with anyone associated with Minute Men showed no detectable racial reasons for their actions"

Agreed. Many of them are hispanic themselves or have lived happily among hispanics their whole lives in Texas, AZ, NM... they just have anger about floods of illegals who don't seem to care about laws, and see crime and drugs and so forth pouring in. But that is really for another thread.
1.24.2007 4:46pm
Byomtov (mail):
How about the US? Either American or Jew?

Lev,

No. My point was that a Jew living in Warsaw in 1925 would not have been routinely considered a Pole in anything like the same way that a Jew living in New York is routinely considered an American.

The fundamental attitude is, thankfully, just totally different.
1.24.2007 5:51pm
Bleepless (mail):
Another Soviet-era joke: A worker in Moscow, during the height of Sino-Soviet tension, gets drunk and decides to get even. He goes stomping through the streets: "Hey, you! Are you Chinese?" "No, I'm Japanese." "Oh." More stomping: "Are you Chinese?" "No, I'm Kazak." "Oh." Stomping. "Are you Chinese?" "Yes, I am." Pow! "Take that, you dirty Jew!"
1.24.2007 10:34pm
PeteRR (mail):
In Soviet Russia, joke laughs at you!
1.25.2007 3:09am