Tag Archives: Cold War

Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry: The Beginning

9 Nov

By Brandon Springer

AS THE SOVIET UNION BEGAN TO CRUMBLE in the late 1980s, a group of Jews in Boulder organized to aid and resettle Soviet Jews who faced increasing discrimination from the Soviet state and refusal of their requests to emigrate (earning them the label of “refuseniks”). These Jewish Boulderites called themselves Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry.

Listen to the first in a series of podcasts about the history of Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry.

Over the past year, interns and students from the University of Colorado, along with volunteers from the Maria Rogers Oral History Program, collected interviews with volunteers and organizers for BASJ as well as with new Americans resettled by the organization. Nearly 20 interviews have been conducted with these individuals.

Judge Murray Richtel during a trip to the former Soviet Union

The interviews ranged from the original founders of BASJ—attorneys Bill and Sara-Jane Cohen and Judge Murray Richtel—to some of the first board members; from families that served as “anchor families” to Soviet émigrés (providing them with guidance and advice on adapting to American culture and life) to professional and volunteer ESL tutors who taught English to the new Americans. In addition, of course, many of the interviews documented the lives of the Soviet Jewish émigrés themselves. Continue reading

Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant: See the Movie, Hear the Interviews

16 Apr

Two members of our oral history program traveled to the Southwest Oral History Association conference last week to give a presentation about our collection of oral histories about the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant. You can watch an introductory movie about the stories of Rocky Flats here: http://vimeo.com/10986262

Rocky Flats, located on the outskirts of Denver, was a key part of the nuclear weapons complex charged with implementing the nuclear deterrence policy of the United States in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. The plant, opened in the early 1950s, manufactured the plutonium pit that is the explosive detonator of a hydrogen bomb.

Initially, the plant was greeted as a boon to the regional economy. Workers at all levels flocked to the plant: it was at the leading edge of Continue reading

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