Historian praises World ORTs book, The Hope and the Illusion


18 January 2008 Historian praises World ORTs book, The Hope and the Illusion The Hope and the Illusion, World ORTs book about its role in the re-settling of Jews in regions of the Soviet Union between the wars, has been praised in the academic publication, East European Jewish Affairs. Dr Claire Le Foll, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the International Centre for Russian and East European Jewish Studies, wrote: this album, accompanied by the CD-ROM, is a priceless contribution to the writing of the history of the 20th century because it assembles original material and sheds light at the same time on the history of European Jewry, of the Soviet Union and of photography. The book contains previously unpublished photographic and documentary evidence of the ultimately tragic attempt at Jewish autonomy in south Ukraine, the Crimea and Birobidzhan between 1924 and 1938 and World ORTs material support for the project. Dr Le Foll, who was a Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouths School of Languages and Area Studies when her review was published, said that The Hope and Illusion gave a comprehensive and lively account of this extraordinary adventure, which ended tragically. It mirrors the dynamism and high level of the scholarly research carried out in Russia with regard to the history of Jews in Eastern Europe, she wrote. In addition, the CD-ROM was a valuable source of historical documents for historians and amateurs alike and the photo album gave a marvellous account of the different styles emerging in the history of Russian photography, bringing together examples of realistic, almost ethnographical pictures of the worker in his surroundings, and instances of aesthetical, posed and reworked photographs, almost like paintings. The book, CD-ROM and accompanying website (http://www.ozet.ort.spb.ru/) are the result of two years work by staff at the St Petersburg ORT de Gunzburg Centre and World ORT professionals in London.