In this lesson, students use primary and secondary sources to examine life under Stalinist Soviet Union, before, during and after World War II. This resource helps support Florida’s State K-12 Holocaust Education Mandate.
Born in 1949, under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, Tatiana Menaker grew up in communist Soviet Union (now the Russian Federation), witnessing first-hand the inequalities that occurred under Stalin’s rule. “Refuseniks,” Tatiana and her family applied for permission to emigrate and became “Refuseniks” when they were denied permission to emigrate. Eventually, Tatiana engineered a plan that would allow her and her family to escape the Soviet Union.
Lily Tang Williams was born in communist China during Mao Zedong’s rule. She witnessed Mao’s Cultural Revolution first hand as she was growing up. She was a member of the Young Pioneers and the Red Guard, but yearned to come to the United States to learn about and live in a democracy. In 1988, she was able to come to the United States for schooling and was granted asylum status.