Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

October 7, 2014

Me and my great-uncle

Filed under: Jewish question — louisproyect @ 2:16 pm

I know absolutely nothing about the dude except that he was my maternal grandmother’s brother and a soldier in the Russian army. With his EuroAsian features that I obviously inherited, I have to wonder if some woman on that side of the family got raped by a Cossack in the nineteenth century.



  1. Lenin was 1/4 Kalmyk. My grandfather looked like a Russian interbred with an Uzbek or Tatar, yet the DNA testing does not confirm this! There are 3 DNA tests you can take, but they don’t necessarily agree! The guy does look a lot like you. One thing that was a surprise is that I am 1 1/2 % Neanderthal. But that is pretty average for Europeans.

    Comment by Peter Myers — October 7, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

  2. My bubby told me about how they had to hide the women from the “cowboys” when they’d ride into town… but one would hope that Cossack genes would leave you looking a little more studly. Oh well.

    Comment by godoggo — October 8, 2014 @ 2:15 am

  3. The other day I watched this super 2012 documentary (unfortunately, so far only in Russian without subtitles) about the great Soviet conductor and violist Rudolf Barshai (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krgBooHhLmc). It turns out that Barshai’s parents were a Russian Jewish man and the daughter of a Krasnodar Cossack ataman. But these particular Cossacks were Jewish, too, so to speak, because the ataman had converted to the Subbotniks sect, and then his whole village had converted along with him (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subbotniks). So the ataman was immensely pleased when his daughter, the belle of the village, found a proper Jewish boy to marry. I don’t know whether this touching story is relevant to your own family history, but it just goes to show that even Cossacks come in all shapes and sizes.

    Comment by hecksinductionhour — October 8, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

  4. Huh. This is interesting, and surprising to me.

    Comment by godoggo — October 9, 2014 @ 3:31 am

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