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March 27, 1964 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-03-27

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Friday, March 27, 1964 — THE D ETROIT JEWISH NEWS -

French Communists Slamming
Soviet Union for Anti-Semitic
Pamphlet; Excuse liejected

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

PARIS—Attacks on the Soviet
Union over the publication of an
anti-Semitic pamphlet reached a
new peak Wednesday among
French Communist and pro-
Soviet groups.
The target of the unprece-
dented criticisms was "Judaism
Without Embellishment" pub-
lished last year in Kiev by the
Ukrainian Academy of Science,
which has been condemned in
the West as an incitement to
anti-Semitism. The pamphlet
contains caricatures of Jews
reminiscent of those which ap-
peared in the Nazi paper, "Der
The highlight of the new de-
nunciations was the rejection by
Neue •Presse, the Yiddish lan-
guage newspaper of the Jewish
section of the French Communist
party, of a reply sent to it by
Nov o s t y, the Soviet press
agency. The Neue Presse, in the
first such sharp criticism of
Soviet policy ever made by a
Communist unit anywhere in
the world, had denounced the
pamphlet and sent a request to
Novosty for an explanation of
how it came to be published
under formal Soviet auspices.
The Novosty reply was not
printed by Neue Presse in its
entirety. The published por-
tions indicated that Novosty
had replied that T. Kichko,
writer of the pamphlet, had
acted under the rights guaran-
teed by the Soviet constitution
to conduct antireligious pro-
paganda just as the same con-
stitution guaranteed the rights
of religious worship.
Novosty conceded that Kichko
had not "carried out his task in
the best way. The Novosty reply
also emphasized that the pam-
phlet was being used to stir up
anti-Soviet propaganda.
Rejecting the reply, Neue
Presse declared, "We maintain
that the pamphlet ought to be
withdrawn immediately from cir-
culation as harmful to the USSR,
that an investigation ought to
be made as to how it was pos-
sible that the pamphlet and its
cartoons could have appeared,
and that proper measures ought
to be taken to see that such
pamphlets should not be permit-
ted to appear in the Soviet
Union." The demands were with-
out precedent in Communist
Pressing its attack, Neu e
Presse also featured a criticism
published Tuesday in L'Huma-
nite, the official organ of the
French Communist party, • which
had reprinted the original Neue
Presse attack on the pamphlet in
another precedent-making deve-
lopment in Communist party
relations with the Soviet Union.
Neue Presse printed a photo-
graphic reproduction of the
L'Humanite article in its front
Another extraordinary deve-
lopment in the spreading con-
troversy was the joining in on
criticisms of the Soviets by
the Movement for P e ace
a n d Against Anti-Semitism
(MRAP), which has previously
followed an undeviating policy
of defending the USSR and
permitting criticism of the
The MRAP announced it was
asking competent Soviet authori-
ties for information on the pam-
The morning newspaper Liber-
ation, which also follows the
Communist party line, not only
published a statement of support
of MRAP but also asked that
those responsible for publication
and distribution of the pamphlet
be punished "in accordance with
Soviet laws against the promo-

tion of racism."
The newspaper called for sen-
tences of one to three years in
labor camps or two to five years
of forced labor for the perpetra-
In another development, a
mass meeting called by Jewish
writers and journalists here
Tuesday night adopted a resolu-
tion calling on the Soviet Union
to confiscate all copies of the
volume and to take action
against the author. An official of
the organization, France-USSR,
set up to advance favorable rela-
tions between the two countries,
announced that the issue would
be taken up with Alexei Ad-
jubei, son-in-law of Premier
Khrushchev and editor of
Izvestia, the official organ of
the government, who is coming
to Paris Monday as a guest of
the organization.
Officials of the organiza-
tion indicated they would
take up other Soviet religious
issues with Adjubei. These
were presumed to include the
problem of the Soviet harass-
ment of Russian Jews seeking
matzoth for Passover and the
entire Soviet anti - religious
campaign. The organization
also may ask for approval for
a delegation to visit the Soviet
Union on the religious issues.
Criticism of the Soviet Union
spread to other French groups
usually friendly to the Soviet
Union. L'Express, a left-wing
weekly which usually supports
the official Soviet line, pub-
lished a severely critical two-
-'age review of "Judaism With-
out Embellishment."
The newspaper has a circula-
tion of 250,000 mostly among
France's leading intellectuals. It
reprinted three of the cartoons
from the Kiev booklet, describ-
ing them as "worthy of Der
L'Express also discussed the
latest anti-Jewish developments
in Russia, describing in detail
the "economic trials" in which
many Jews have been condemn-
ed to death and executed as
"innocent scapegoats."
Le Monde, the influential
daily newspaper, also review-
ed the Soviet pamphlet, ask-
ing: "Can Jews read without
fear the book printed by the
Ukrainian Academy, in which
synagogues are described as
dens of black-marketeers and
in which the cartoons recall
those published by the Nazis
during the war?"
Other French dailies and
weeklies also discussed the
pamphlet, stressing particularly
the stand taken by the "Neue
A number of French Jewish
Communist leaders associated
themselves earlier this month
with a personal letter to Soviet
Premier Khrushchev protesting
the difficulties created by So-
viet authorities for Russian
Jews seeking matzoth for Pass-
The letter, prepared by CRIF,
the central Jewish community
organization of France, asked
the Soviet premier to take im-
mediate action to enable Rus-
sian Jews to obtain matzoth and
threatened to make the letter
public if no reply was received
in two weeks.
The Neue Presse has twice
published editorials criticizing
the official Soviet policy on
In its March 1'7 issue, Neue
Presse published a front-page
editorial entitled, "We Con-
demn," a denunciation of
"Judaism Without Embellish-
The editorial declared that "a
progressive person, Jew as well

as non-Jew, condemns any car-
toon, from whatever source,
which is liable to spread hatred
or incite anti-Semitism. We have
seen cartoons of the pamphlet
in the newspapers and it caused
us indignation."
The editorial added that it
was "permissible" to "propagate
free-thinking ideas in an en-
lightened way and to express
one's thoughts about religious
prejudices, but it is not per-
missible to go to extremes."
The Neue Presse letter to No-
vosti, asking it for information
was published by the newspaper.

"The information about a
a pamphlet that is supposed
to have appeared in Kiev,
with an ugly cartoon on the

front page reminiscent of
other cartoons of an anti-Sem-
itic character, has caused un-
derstandable in di gn a tion
among all progressive people
and particularly among the
Jewish masses and it is being
used for increased anti-Soviet
propaganda," the letter said.
"We therefore ask you to get
in touch with competent circles
as soon as possible and inform
us as to the entire truth about
this pamphlet—whether it ac-

tually appeared in Kiev and, if
so, what the views are of the
Soviet authorities about it, and
what measures will be taken so
that propaganda on free thought
should not degenerate into
something which is liable to in-
crease anti-Semitic attitudes as
well as anti-Soviet propaganda,"
the letter requested.
Novosty specializes in dissem-
inating information about the

Jewish situation in Russia and
in refuting charges of anti-Sem-
itism in the Soviet Union. The
effects of the anticipated split
are likely to be felt widely
within all liberal and Commu-
nist groups in West Europe
which will likely be pushed into
taking a more energetic stand
in demanding abrogation of the
open anti - Semitism of the USSR.
(Related Story, Page 9)

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