By Robert Levy
Ana Pauker, while she is remembered in any respect, is regarded as the puppet of Soviet communism in Romania, blindly imposing the main brutal and repressive Stalinist regime. Robert Levy's new biography alterations the image dramatically, revealing a girl of exceptional power, ruled by way of clash and contradiction excess of by way of dogmatism. Telling the tale of Pauker's adolescence in an more and more anti-Semitic surroundings, her dedication to a progressive occupation, and her upward push within the Romanian Communist stream, Levy makes no try and whitewash Pauker's existence and activities, yet quite explores each contour of the advanced character he stumbled on expressed in lots of newly obtainable archival records.
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Additional resources for Ana Pauker: The Rise and Fall of a Jewish Communist
The continual expulsions from the villages,” he added, “led to the impoverishment of the Jewish masses, and to a degradation and deterioration of their character. The insecurity at times caused certain Jews to be more grabbing and more predatory, seeking illicit proﬁts, and thus providing new pretexts for xenophobia. 47 The arendas¸i became a Romanian institution when absentee landowning in the country escalated from the mid–nineteenth century on, as the boyars, who preferred to live in Bucharest and other European capitals, increasingly leased their estates to tenant contractors.
26 The foreign traders in Romania were overwhelmingly Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, and Serbs during the ﬁrst half of the nineteenth century. 28 Barred from owning land (since 1830) and from entering nearly all professions (until 1919), the Jews were forced to engage in trading, moneylending, and particularly artisan work. 7 percent of the population in the Moldavian capital of Ias¸i by the end of the century). They often were the only people with trade contacts abroad. Moreover, newly constituted Jewish entrepreneurs owned most of Bukovinian industry, particularly lumber.
This was true even of the wealthy girls with private tutors and of those attending hederim, where sewing was standard on the girls’ curriculum. 16 At ﬁrst glance it would seem that, despite signiﬁcant variations, Ana Rabinsohn’s experience roughly conformed with this scenario. That her grandfather ignored traditional precepts and tutored Ana as a young child and that she may have gone to a boys’ heder brieﬂy was unexceptional. Nor was the curriculum at either the primary or professional schools she attended in any way unique, for her instruction in both practical skills and scholarly subjects ﬁt the current pattern of Jewish female schooling.
Ana Pauker: The Rise and Fall of a Jewish Communist by Robert Levy