After centuries of fighting for survival, Jews in Western European countries were finally granted citizenship in the 19th century. However, Eastern European countries like Russia were still encouraging violent pogroms and antisemitism towards their Jewish populations.

Following the brutal events of World War Two, Jews in the Soviet Union attempted to escape their dire situation by applying for immigration to Israel. Unfortunately, these attempts were blocked by leader of the U.S.S.R, Joseph Stalin.

Enraged by the many injustices they faced, Jewish activists like Anatoly Shcharansky (later, Natan Sharansky) fought to help free the Jews of the Soviet Union, and in turn propelled the movement that successfully dissolved the Soviet Union in 1991.

About The Jewish Story: Understand three thousand years of Jewish history in these short videos based on the book Letters to Auntie Fori: The 5,000-Year History of the Jewish People and Their Faith by the renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert. Learn the Jewish story from the ancient Israelites of the Bible to Hellenization, the Jews of the Middle Ages to modern day, and more.

About Unpacked: We provide nuanced insights by unpacking all things Jewish. People are complex and complicated — yet we’re constantly being pushed to oversimplify our world. At Unpacked we know that being complex makes us more interesting. Because of this, we break the world down with nuance and insight to drive your curiosity and challenge your thinking.