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February 01, 1963 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-02-01

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, February 1, 1963

Purely Commentary

USSR Jewry's 'Spiritual Strangulation'

'Disadvantaged' USSR
Jewry. . . . An expose
of the Apologists

By Philip ADL Honor for
Slomovitz the President

ligious group, as equal citizens — but are at the same time
deprived of their national and religious rights as a group, and
of full equality as individuals."
While "Jews are considered a Soviet nationality, official
doctrine has consistently denied the existence of a historic Jew-
ish people as an entity, and official practice has always sought
to discourage Soviet Jews from feeling themselves members of
that entity throughout the world." Decter declares:
"Soviet policy as a whole amounts to spiritual strangula-
tion — the deprivation of Soviet Jewry's natural right to
know the Jewish past and to participate in the Jewish present.
And without a past and a present, the future is precarious
Such is the status of a people that has played an important
role in the revolution, that is now deprived of basic cultural
rights, at whose youth a top-level Soviet leader is reported to
have uttered the edict: "Don't hire, don't fire, don't promote."
On the heels of the holocaust, it is another catastrophe, another

At the "Dinner for the Presi-
dent," scheduled for last night,

with President Kennedy as guest
In spite of the substantiated reports of the existence of a
of honor, in Washington, the
reign of terror against the Jews in the Soviet Union, there
President was to receive the
remain some doubting Thomases who question the truth of the
B n a i B r i t h Anti-Defamation
revelations. The doubters overlook the fact that many of the
Annual Award for "dis-
reports which expose the tragedies are from Soviet newspapers,
tinguished contributions to the
that they are in many instances based on the observations of
enrichment of our democratic
reputable. British and French correspondents and that there is
little cause for suspicion of the responsible sources.
The event marked the 50th
One of the most thorough analyses of the Russian-Jewish
anniversary of ADL. President
situation appears in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, the
Kennedy is the year's recipient
American quarterly review of the Council on Foreign Relations.
of a gold medallion for his "dedi-
Writing on "The Status of the Jews in the Soviet Union," Moshe
cation to democracy as reflected
Decter, the director of Jewish Minorities Research, presents
in his efforts to broaden the
facts that should be generally known for an understanding of
benefit of civil rights and to as-
sure the application of constitu-
the serious problem in which Russian Jewry has become involved
tional principles Of freedom to
as a result of the frightful conditions that were created by an
all Americans."
unfriendly government.
A nationwide televised broad-
Decter calls attention to the fact that, while Jews are A Defender of the Evil Doers
cast of the program was ar-
required to list their nationality as "Jewish" on their "internal
Yet, there still are defenders of the evil-doers.
ranged, featuring noted leaders
passports" they have been permitted, since 1959, to volunteer the
. An "open letter" has been addressed to us, and has been as speakers and entertainers.
nationality of their choice. "Despite the possibility thus provided received after its appearance in the Communist Freiheit. The
for Jews to `pass,'" he states, "2,268,000 people specified their author of the "Open Letter," paying compliments to this news-
nationality as Jewish (there are reasons to believe that the paper, is chagrined that we emphasize what he interprets as Jordan Paper Says
total number more closely approximates 3,000,000)."
unsubstantiated reports about Russian anti-Semitism. He com-
Forming 1.09 per cent of Russia's population, 472,000 gave plains that undependable London sources are used to spread Jewish Cemetery -
Yiddish as their mother tongue. They are described by Decter as anti-Russian propaganda.
Will Become Park
being vulnerable to attack as a religious group "and they have
So — let him now see that the reports come from vile, anti-
(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
come increasingly to be considered an alien group in a land Semitic Ukrainian and other Soviet newspapers, that the reporters
to The Jewish News)
JERUSALEM — Recurring re-
where they have resided for more than a thousand years."
are responsible British and American newspapermen, that the
ports of intentions of the Jor-
, But the Communist poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, in his charges against the USSR have not been refuted.
criticism in his poem "Babi Yar," tells Of the failure by Russia
The reason for this reference to the Freiheit is that there danian Government to turn the
to retain the memory of the tragedy at Babi Yar, where tens has been complaint from its quarters whenever there was talk sacred Jewish cemetery on Jor-
of thousands of Jews were buried alive by the Nazis in 1941, about the survival of only two American Yiddish daily news- dan-held Mount of Olives into a
"points up the existence of a historic Jewish people, which papers: it, too — the Freiheit — is a daily Yiddish newspaper, public park site appeared again
Wednesday in the:. Jordanian
Soviet doctrine denies—and of Jewish history, which Soviet it contended.
policy prevents Jews from learning."
In the latest issue of American Jewish Archives, edited Daily Falastin.
The paper also reported that
An amazing - revelation in Decter's - article is that there by Dr. Jacob R. Marcus, appears a lengthy essay, "Pages From
ancient Jewish quarter in
exists "a whole 'underground' literature" pointing to "dis- My Stormy Life — An Autobiographical Sketch," by Melech
the Old City of Jerusalem, which
advantaged Soviet Jewry" as "its frequent leitmotif."
Epstein. This is a sort of confessional by a former Communist, was destroyed by the Arabs dur-
Jews in the -USSR are "deprived, of basic cultural rights," who worked intermittently for the Yiddish Forward and the
ing Israel's War of Independence,
Decter charges. While Hebrew was forbidden, Yiddish was their Freiheit; who, in his day; was responsible for encouraging the
would also be turned into a pub-
recognized language and they had newspapers, theaters, publish- anti-Zionist propaganda of the Communists in Palestine during
lic park.
ing houses, schools, until 1948. Then, "the whole vast array of the Arab riots — with the Communists at the time condoning the
institutions was forcibly closed." This was the result of Stalin's murders of Jews by Arabs. In his autobiographical sketch, Melech
purge. But there were no changes in the Stalin policy until 1959, Epstein atones for the past. He has this to say about the paper Lord Samuel Ill; Had
and since then only six books were published by writers long he once worked for and in which he had propagated his now Role in Palestine
repudiated Communist doctrines:
LONDON, (JTA) — Lord Her-
.Comparing the restrictions imposed' upon JeWs with facilities
"The Freiheit is being published as a tiny tabloid, its bert Sampel,: . formerSecretary
available to ethnic groups that are far smaller in number, Decter circulation no higher than a few thousand. It offers no program of State for Home Affairs, for-
points to the following:
for the Jewish people or for America. Its only mission is to mer member of parliament and
"Two -Striking examples are in order. The Maris and the defend, through distortion and plain untruth, the domestic first High Commissioner of Pales-
Yakuts are two tiny primitive Asian groups -which number
and foreign policies of the Kremlin and its Soviet bloc."
tine under the British Mandate,
504,000 and 236,000, respectively. In 1961 alone, Soviet printing
Enough said in judging a defense that emanates from the who has been ill since last week,
presses produced 2 books for the Maris and 144 for the Yakuts, Freiheit. The more recent expose of the spread of the "blood was reported to have had a more
in their own languages."
Lie" in Russia, the -mounting reports of a return to medievalism comfortable day but his condi-
The Yiddish literary bimonthly Soviet Heimland finally in a purportedly civilized society, the advice given Jews by tion was described as "more or
began to appear in 1961, but "this state of affairs is again to .Khrushchey to stay out of public life — all traceable to inspira- less the same." Members of Lord
be contrasted with the press available to the Maris and Yakuts... tions from an unfriendly government, are damning enough. Let Samuel's household said they
The former have 17 newspapers, the latter 28."
Melech Epstein's verdict also go down on the record in judging were "still anxious about his
Rights granted to other small USSR ethnic groups are the Communist propagandists.
condition." Lord Samuel is 92.
enumerated to show Jews are discriminated against. .
Accepting the fact that all religions .are "within the USSR
context of official anti-religious ideology;" Decter nevertheless
shows that "churches are permitted a wide range. of religious
publishing facilities," that Christian versions of the Bible have
been and are being published, but that "Judaism is perniitted
no publication facilities and no: publications;" that "not a single
Jewish religious book of any kind has • appeared in print - since
the early 1920s.''
The facts gathered by Decter are frightening. He states:
(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
tide of anti-Semitic develop- Fund for the Republic, asserted
"This policy of cultural and religious repression is. conducted
to The Jewish News)
ments in the Soviet Union as that more than 100 persons were
within the charged atmosphere of a virulent presS campaign
- WASHINGTON—The official fresh evidence of that problem executed in the Soviet Union
against Judaism. From it the image Of the • Jew emerges in
during 1962 for alleged econ-
traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes." He shows that in Russian Soviet organ Pravda Tuesday was revealed.
Sen. Kenneth B. Keating, omic crimes, "most of them
publications there are recurring charges that Jews are money defended death penalties im-
worshipers, Jewish religiouS rites are mocked, there are posed on Jews for economic New York Republican, declared Jews." He cited a Soviet law
accusations of drunkenness in synagogues, of brawling and crimes and accused Attorney in the Senate that the United "branding as treason any un-
departure" from
"speculation." Jews are instigated to inform on fellow Jews General Robert E. Kennedy of States Government "should authorized
leave no stone unturned in the Russia and described "the un-
in the form of recantations. Even non-religions Communist "maliciouS falsifications."
The article in Pravda, broad- United Nations and elsewhere happy story" of a Jewish woman
Jewish children "are held up to public obloquy." There are
assaults on private prayer meetings and Jews are constantly casted from Moscow, referred to publicize and document the in Russia "sentenced to be shot
to a New York speech by Ken- infamy of Soviet anti-Semitism." last February for 'currency
depicted as class enemies.
"Sniall wonder," Decter writes, "that — in the . absence nedy who charged that Soviet He indicated support of the de- manipulation' after a prior
of a consistent educational campaign against anti-Semitism, such civil rights guarantees protect- mand of the Jewish War Veter- three-year sentence in Siberia
for trying to escape to Israel
as was conducted in Lenin's time — an assault upon the Jewish ing minorities had gone "the ans for speedy action.
Sen. Hugh Scott, Pennsyl- long after seeing her two daugh-
religion will be sensed, by Jews and non-Jews alike, as an assault way of a New Year's resolution."
The Pravda article by N. vania Republican, called on ters murdered by the Nazis."
upon the entire Jewish group."
Katz charged at the press con-
The new charg e s of "capitalist" corruptions by Jews and Vladimirov said that Kennedy Russia to conform with its ob-
the public trials are described as publicity with an "ominous "sheds tears over the bitter lot ligations under the Universal ference that Soviet authorities
significance:" "It informs the conditioned Soviet reader that of those in the Soviet Union Declaration of Human Rights. have done nothing to apprehend
the government thinks the tiny community of Jews, which con- who do not want to live by He listed various anti-Semitic or punish local officials in two
stitutes little more than one per cent of the population, is honest labor but scheme plun- actions in Russia and said that cities in the Uzbek Republic
responsible for nearly two-thirds — and in some areas 100 per dering of Socialist property, while other nations, including where tales of "blood rituals"
cent — of the economic crimes that warrant capital punishment. embezzlement, taking of bribes the United States, "are called lead to savage riots in 1961 and
upon to answer charges of 1962 against the Jews of those
Anti-Semitic feelings are exacerbated. From many cities come and currency speculation."
Pravda said the real reasons racism within national borders, cities.
reports of grumbling on the food queues: 'The Jews are respon-
sible for the shortages.' Western travelers who were in Vilna behind the Kennedy remarks the USSR — by the peculiar
during and immediately after a major economic trial in February, were that "imperialism". was standard of international double 2 Israelis Get Atom
1962 — where all eight accused were Jews, four of them receiving "frightened" by Communism's morality which has too long
capital punishment and four lengthy prison terms — reported advances and the rise of racial been to its advantage—seems Research Grants
The International Agency for
that the authorities mobilized the entire population to attend minorities against oppression. exempt from this obligation."
_Details in support of the Atomic. Energy has awarded re-
what was universally called the 'Jewish show trial.' The atmos- The Soviet paper indicated that
phere of fright in the Jewish communities may be imagined." Kennedy, by criticizing Soviet Senatorial charges came from search contracts totaling $13,000
Decter maintains that "Soviet policy places the Jews in an treatment of Jews, was trying, two sources—Attorney General to two Israel scientists, Prof. Mi-
inextricable vise. They are allowed neither to assimilate, nor live to confuse the true issue of president Label Katz at a press chael Anbar of the Weizmann
Robert Kennedy in a speech Institute, who is also on adviser
a full Jewish life, nor to emigrate (as many would wish) to Israel world human rights.
in New York and B'nai B'rith to the Israel Atomic Energy
or any other place where they might live freely as Jews." And Action by U.S. Urged
Commission, and Dr. Yitzhak
WASHINGTON, (JTA)—Two conference in Washington.
while the authorities want Jews to assimilate, "they irrationally
Kennedy, speaking at a tenth Amar of the Agricultural Re-
fear the full penetration of Soviet life which assimilation implies. Senators' demanded that action
"So the Jews are formally recognized as a nationality, as a re- I be taken to deal with the rising anniversary conference of the search Station.


Pravda Accuses Robert Kennedy of
Falsifying Reports on Executions;
enators Urge Action Against Bias

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