A Surprising Story Behind Putin’s Love of Jews

A Surprising Story Behind Putin’s Love of Jews

In the midst of the horrific, unprovoked attack on the innocent people of Ukraine, Vladmir Putin is exposing himself as a cruel, power-hungry tyrant. In fact, one of the only good things we can say about Putin is that he is, surprisingly, not an antisemite. In fact, Israel’s prime minister is in Moscow right now attempting to broker peace between Russia and the Ukraine. Here is the surprising story behind Putin’s love of Jews.
[I apologize that yesterday I posted a story about Putin’s Jewish neighbors that was partially fake. It is true that Putin had neighbors as a child who were Orthodox Jews, and in fact the Putins and this family shared the same communal apartment and were very fond of each other. But the rest of the story was embellished and, it seems, made up.
Here is the actual story as it appeared in Putin’s 2000 autobiography First Person
In my family’s apartment there was practically no kitchen. It was just a square, dark hallway without windows. A gas burner stood on one side and a sink on the other. There was no room to move around.
Behind this so-called kitchen lived the neighbors, a family of three. And other neighbors, a middle-aged couple, were next door. The apartment was communal. And the Putins were squeezed into one room. By the standards of those days it was decent, though, because it measured about 20 meters square.
A Jewish family—an elderly couple and their daughter, Hava—lived in our communal apartment. Hava was a grown woman, but as the adults used to say, her life hadn’t turned out well. She had never married, and she still lived with her parents.
Her father was a tailor, and although he seemed quite elderly, he would stitch on his sewing machine for whole days at a time. They were religious Jews. They did not work on the Sabbath, and the old man would recite the Talmud, droning away. Once, I couldn’t hold back any longer and asked what he was chanting. He explained about the Talmud, and I immediately lost interest.
As is usually the case in a communal apartment, people clashed now and then. I always wanted to defend my parents, and speak up on their behalf. I should explain here that I got along very well with the elderly couple, and often played on their side of the apartment. Well, one day, when they were having words with my parents, I jumped in. My parents were furious. Their reaction came as a complete shock to me; it was incomprehensible. I was sticking up for them, and they shot back with, “Mind your own business!” Why? I just couldn’t understand it. Later, I realized that my parents considered my good rapport with the old couple, and the couple’s affection for me, much more important than those petty kitchen spats. After that incident, I never got involved in the kitchen quarrels again.
As soon as they started fighting, I simply went back into our room, or over to the old Jewish folks’ room. It didn’t matter to me which.

One comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this!

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