Media Filter

Soviet Jews


20 minutes - English

He doesn’t believe in God, nor does he speak a word of either Hebrew or Yiddish.
But Lt. General Mikhail Milstein, a former intelligence chief of the Red Army, is officially considered a Russian of Jewish ‘nationality’. It is even marked in his passport.
In the Soviet Union, there are about 1,800,000 Jews formally identified by their religion. These Jewish ‘citizens’ include prominent journalists, professors, artists and musicians.
In the United States, Judaism is considered a religion. In Russia, it is seen as a nationality. Over the course of 30 years, 250,000 Soviet Jews have emigrated to Israel. Tens of thousands more wish to join them, but are unable to obtain exit visas from the government
60 Minutes went to the Soviet Union to find out whether Jews are discriminated against in Russian society.


William McClure

Associate Producer

Anne de Boismilon


Mike Wallace

First broadcast

CBS News, 60 Minutes