CCCP Passport

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

The first time my father explained to me what it was like to live under the anti-Semitic persecution of the Soviet Union (and the first time I learned what anti-Semitism was), he showed me his passport. At first glance, it looked, to me, like any other passport. I noticed his name, signature, and, on the second page, a photo of my sixteen year old father. He drew my attention to where one would put their nationality. Rather than seeing Ukraine, however, the word "yevrey" was written, meaning Jew. In the Soviet Union, Jews weren't Ukrainian, nor were they Russian; they were merely Jews, alienated from their own country, and the opportunities it has to offer. When he was disqualified from pursuing higher education purely due to his heritage, my father fled the Soviet Union in search of a better life in America. I don't know why he kept his passport after arriving in America, but perhaps it was to impart to me the ever present potential for peril that a Jew faces.

Year: 1993

– David Doktorman

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant