Reviews

In this article, based notably on statistics and on a selection of Tajik-Persian-language narratives by émigrés from Central Asia, M. Zand skims over the expansion of Hebrew and Judeo-Tajik language teachings in Samarqand, Tashkent and Bukhara, and he evokes the restriction and repression measures taken from 1921 onwards in the Turkistan and Bukhara Republics against Judaic confessional education. Special paragraphs are then devoted to the Bukharan Jewish Teachers’ Seminary, in Tashkent from 1919 to 1930, in Kokand till 1936. The activity of theatrical amateur groups and first professional companies is also evoked, with numerous continuities from the late Tsarist period to the eve of Red Terror, as well as Judeo-Tajik press and literary production in verse and prose. In this field, the author reminds the continuing dominance of drama through central themes like women issues and the settling of Jews on land, and the concomitant expansion of short story and documentary story writing ― the predominant theme of which was the participation of Central Asian Jews in the revolution and Soviet life. The adoption of Latin alphabet for Judeo-Tajik as a means for destruction of pre-Soviet literature in Hebrew script is perfectly well explained. The author’s narrative ends up with the launching of overall repression in 1936-8. With the conversion of Central Asian languages from the Roman to the Cyrillic alphabet, Judeo-Tajik was left unconverted, which entailed that it was doomed to disappear as a language of publishing and instruction. A short, elusive paragraph is devoted to the timid cultural and confessional revival of the Perestroika period.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-5.2.B-458