Tel-Aviv, 1957.  leaves: ill., including one folding. 17x23,5 cm. In original cloth with small drawing of flag. Rubbed, small damage of bookworm in front cover and minor wormhole throughout copy.
Photobook relating to the VI World Festival of Youth and Students organized in Moscow. For Soviet Jewish people, it became an important milestone in strengthening links with their Western Asian
The Soviet Union was the first country to legally recognize the State of Israel de jure. Soon it switched sides in the Arab–Israeli conflict by the late 1950s. In 1957, the USSR held the World Festival of
Youth and Students – and the participation of Israel in this event was vague enough.
The Israeli delegation consisted of 200 people, but they were two different “delegations” of 100 people each. The Soviet Union accepted Jewish and Arab youth, who shared the views of the
socialist MAPAI and MAPAM Parties, as well as Communists, to join the delegation. Communists carried badges and flags with six-pointed stars while representatives of the kibbutz movement had badges depicting a seven-branched candlestick. They hardly communicated during the entire festival and their groups never mixed. Soviet Jews quickly figured out who was who. Notes with expressions of love for the forefathers’ land were passed exclusively to the “Zionist half”, but it was risky in general.
Soviet media were instructed not to advertise the participation of Israelis in the festival. The authorities tried to keep contacts between Soviet Jews and them to a minimum and confiscated information
brochures about the State of Israel because of “Zionist propaganda”. Although it was possible to be arrested for suspicious contacts with foreigners, excited and enthusiastic Soviet Jews awaited delegates at rail stations they went through. Some pictures show Israelis that tired of the journey by train, had started to dance on a platform and rallied crowds of passersby. In Moscow, Soviet people gathered around Israeli hostel or vehicles and communicated with Israelis using notes or books.
This edition reproduced numerous postcards with notes, wishes and congratulations that the delegates took home. Photographs feature how vehicles of the delegation are going on a wide Garden ring along crowds of Soviet people standing on the street, looking out the windows, sitting on roofs and waving to guests. The delegates are shown during an opening ceremony at the Luzhniki Stadium, during dance performances and rehearsals. According to symbols shown, both Communist and Zionist groups are portrayed but pictures of Communists prevail.
The foreword reads: “Members of the three kibbutz organizations and three Zionist-socialist workers [political] parties suddenly found themselves engrossed in being Israeli and Jewish emissaries”.
Worldcat shows copies located in Stanford, Ohio, Michigan, Yeshiva, Florida, Johns Hopkins, Florida Atlantic Universities and Hebrew Union College.