Out of Line: Grow­ing Up Soviet

Tina Grim­berg
  • Review
By – March 2, 2012
This mem­oir tells about life in the Sovi­et Union dur­ing the Com­mu­nist era. Tina Grim­berg grew up in Kiev, the cap­i­tal of the Ukraine, in a tiny flat with her par­ents and her old­er sis­ter. She explains that, for over 70 years the world was divid­ed into two parts, East and West, or the Com­mu­nist Bloc and the Free World. This book tells about her life behind the Iron Cur­tain. After the fall of the Czar, dur­ing the Com­mu­nist Rev­o­lu­tion in 1917, the Com­mu­nist took over and for­bade all reli­gion. Tina and her fam­i­ly were Jew­ish, but they were not allowed to prac­tice their reli­gion, even speak­ing Yid­dish out­side of the home meant trou­ble. Although the Iron Cur­tain is gone, her mem­o­ries of that time remain. In the West every­one assumed that com­mu­nism was a great evil. Grim­berg reports that there were cer­tain­ly aspects that were bad, evil even, but it wasn’t all gray and drea­ry. For small chil­dren, it was a stim­u­lat­ing place with love of fam­i­ly strong, along with the end­less line­ups in the cold. It also meant try­ing to escape the all-see­ing eyes, whether they belonged to the old ladies in their babushkas who guard­ed every court­yard, or to the Sovi­et state that mon­i­tored every step its cit­i­zens took. In the 1970’s the Sovi­et Union, often referred to as Rus­sia, agreed to allow cer­tain unde­sir­ables” (Jews and some minori­ties) to leave. Tina, then 15 years old, and her fam­i­ly were spon­sored by kind strangers in Indi­ana, who helped the fam­i­ly set­tle in the Unit­ed States. This sub­ject of life behind the Iron Cur­tain is rarely told for chil­dren and the book is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed. For ages 8 – 12 years.
Bar­bara Sil­ver­man had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s Uni­ver­si­ty. She worked as a children’s librar­i­an at the Cor­pus Christi Pub­lic Libraries and at the Cor­pus Christi ISD before retir­ing. She worked as a vol­un­teer at the Astor Juda­ic Library of the Lawrence Fam­i­ly JCC in La Jol­la, CA. Sad­ly, Bar­bara passed away is 2012.

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