Cheerful Memories/Troubled Years: A Story of a Refusenik’s Family in Leningrad and its Struggle for Immigration to Israel

Cheerful Memories/Troubled Years: A Story of a Refusenik’s Family in Leningrad and its Struggle for Immigration to Israel

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Aba & Ida Taratuta

Cherry Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781644690437 (hardcover) / 9781644690444 (paper)
Pages: approx. 210 pp.; 52 illus.
Publication Date: August 2019

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This book captures the story of the Taratuta family and their struggle to flee the hardships of the USSR and repatriate to Israel in the late twentieth century. The narrative follows the lives of three family members, Aba, his wife Ida, and their son Misha, as they endure countless struggles throughout their journey to freedom. Tense moments ensue as the refuseniks print copies of forbidden Zionist literature and textbooks, publicly support those detained in prison and the Gulag, organize scientific and legal seminars in their apartment, receive Western visitors, and secretly partake in weekly Hebrew lessons. Well-recognized in the West as central players in the Soviet Jewish movement in Leningrad throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Taratutas underwent constant surveillance by the KGB until they were finally able to repatriate to Israel. In spite of their hardships, the family attempted to live a life of normalcy and to cherish moments of happiness and togetherness. 


Aba and Ida Taratuta were among the leaders of the struggle for freedom in Leningrad in the former USSR during the 1970s and 1980s. They were well known in the West and had constant contact with foreign movements for Soviet Jewry.


Table of Contents

From the Academic Editor, Michael Beizer
From the Authors

1. Grandmother Ida
2. Grandfather Aba
3. Father Misha
4. Hebrew
Leonid Fridkin: How I Studied Hebrew
5. Samizdat (Underground Literature)
6. Demonstrations: December 24, 1975
7. Telephone
8. Seminars
9. Unsanctioned Exhibition
10. Pesach 1977
11. Warning
12. Visits to Places of Detention
13. Search
14. Interrogation in the Prosecutor’s Office
15. Jewish Library
16. KGB Interrogation, 1982
17. Burglary
18. Contacts with the West
19. Three Demonstrations in 1987
20. Not by Zionism Alone…
21. Israel

Afterword
Appendix
Index