... and Me
(Copyright 1969, JTA Inc.)
SOVIET ANTI-SEMITISM: There is no fierce anti-Semitism today
in the Soviet Union as there was during the last years of the Stalin
regime. Nor is there the atmosphere of crude anti-Semitism propo-
gated by Khrushchev's cynical anti-Jewish remarks about the "Abra-
moviches" in the Soviet system. However, there is a good deal of
anti-Jewish discrimination which makes the Jews feel that they are
considered second-class citizens.
Stalin had planned to deport all Soviet Jews after World War II
to remote parts of Siberia-as he did the Volga Germans, Crimean
Tartars, and other small national minorities during the war because
they collaborated with the Nazis. He suffered from a mania that
Jews were plotting against him, and he instituted the notorious "Doc-
tors' Trial" which was supposed to have been the signal for the mass-
deportation of the Jews. The trial did not take place only because
Stalin died a few days before it was scheduled to open. The physicians,
arrested on a charge of "plotting" on Stalin's life, were released and
the deportation plan, which was a nightmare to Soviet Jewry, has
Khrushchev, who succeeded Stalin, did not revive the deportation
order, because there was substantial opposition to it on the part of
important leaders in the Kremlin, as there had been even when
Stalin was alive. However, Khrushchev did not hesitate to tell a dele-
gation of the Canadian Communist Party that he agreed with Stalin
that the Jews in USSR were a "risk" in case of a possible Soviet
war with the United States. He admitted that the Jews fought valiantly
against the Nazi armies on the Soviet battle fronts, but said that the
situation could be different in a war with the United States because
many Jews in the Soviet Union have relatives in the U.S.
THE KREMLIN POLICY: The present Soviet government is not
throwing any suspicion on its Jewish citizens but it continues to
maintain a policy of eliminating Jews from positions in "sensitive"
fields-except in nuclear physics where Jewish scientists are numer-
ous and needed. In this field even Khrushchev-during his visit to the
U.S.-openly admitted that Jews were making great contributions.
Jews in the Soviet Union today find themselves practically barred
from the foreign service and from advancement in the military ranks.
When I asked a Soviet spokesman in Moscow why Jews were not
given any posts in the ministry of foreign affairs and in the diplomatic
service, he denied that this was the case. He pointed out that the
chief of the department for Latin American countries in the ministry
was a Jew named Levi Mendelevitch. When I requested more Jewish
names, he could not produce them.
The same official tried to impress upon me his claim that there
was no discrimination against Jews with regard to leading positions
in the armed forces.
The policy of non-admission of Jews to "sensitive" fields in Soviet
life was being practiced not only by the government but also by the
Central Committee of the Communist Party.
KITCHEN ANTI-SEMITISM: Jewish Communist leaders in Mos-
cow naturally deny the existence of discrimination against Jews on
the part of the government. They also deny the existence of discrim-
ination in the treatment of Jewish culture, Jewish religion, admission
of Jewish students into universities-although they feel very uncom-
fortable when presented with irrefutable facts. They consider it a
deliberate attempt to defame the reputation of the Soviet government
when one speaks of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union or even of anti-
On the other hand, they admit that there is such a phenomenon
in the USSR which they brand as "kitchen anti-Semitism." One of the
Jewish Communist leaders was specific in explaining to me what is
meant by "kitchen anti-Semitism."
"As you know," he said, "we have a housing problem in our
country. We are building dwellings at a great tempo, and you can
see thousands of new apartment houses in Moscow. But the shortage
in housing is still acute. Many families still live in old buildings
where the kitchen is shared by all the tenants on the floor. Naturally,
when several women cook in the same kitchen, annoyances develop.
A non-Jewish woman can sometime, in arguing with a Jewish woman
in the kitchen, lose her temper and call the Jewish woman "Zhidow-
ska" (an extremely anti-Semitic insult to Jews). On the other hand,
the Jewish woman can hurl at her non-Jewish partner in the kitchen
the word "Katzapka," which is no less insulting to a non-Jew than
the word "Zhid" to a Jew. This we call "kitchen anti-Semitism."
A JEWISH VIEW: An ordinary Soviet Jew in the street, whom I
met in Kiev, when asked whether there is anti-Semitism in the Soviet
Union, especially in the Ukraine of which Kiev is the capital, gave a
"I don't know the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-
Jewish discrimination," he said. "To me they are both the same. If
by anti-Semitism you mean physical violence on Jews, then my ans-
wer is 'no.' There is no such anti-Semitism. But if you mean existence
of anti-Jewish feelings, then my answer is 'yes.' There is plenty of
anti-Jewish sentiment in the country."
"Jews," he continued, "get jobs now anywhere, because there is
a shortage of labor. I myself am of the retiring age, but was asked
to remain on my job because I am needed. I am a simple bookkeeper
in an industrial enterprise. I see the books, I see the wages, I see the
promotions. In our enterprise a Jew is seldom promoted, even if he
is very good at his work. He stands less chances of getting promoted
than a non-Jewish worker who is less qualified. And do you know
why? Because our director does not like Jews. He needs them as
workers but he does not like them. Would you call this anti-Semitism
or discrimination? To me they are both the same."
The voice of this Jew is the voice of many Jews today in the
USSR. They make no distinction between anti-Semitism and dis-
crimination. It may be considered by some as mere discrimination
when Jews are not advanced in their positions, or when they are
not admitted at all to certain "sensitive" positions. To the average
Jew in the country this is an expression of anti-Semitism. He wants
to be considered a citizen equal with other citizens. But he files not
feel that he is given full equality, although he does not fail to stress
that he has nothing to complain about with respect to making a living.
48-Friday, January 17, 1969
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
An FDR Concession to Anti-Semites
Revealed in Official Archives' Data
By MILTON FRIEDMAN
(Copyright 1969, JTA, Inc.)
WASHINGTON - President
Franklin D. Roosevelt f o u n d
"understandable" certain com-
plaints of the Nazis against Ger-
man Jewry, according to official
United States archives kept secret
for 26 years.
Roosevelt told an anti-Semitic
French general at the 1943 Casa-
blanca conference that Roosevelt's
proposal to limit the number of
North African Jews in the profes-
sions would "eliminate the specific
and understandable complaints
which the Germans bore toward
the Jews in Germany, namely,
that while they represented a
small part of the population, over
50 per cent of the lawyers, doctors,
schoolteachers, college professors,
etc., in Germany, were Jews."
This disclosure provides new
facts for the current examination
of President Roosevelt's ambiva-
lent response to the Jewish plight
during World War II. The latest
revelation was discovered in the
routine release by the State De-
partment of White House archives
on the Casablanca Conference.
The references to the Jews are
found buried in the depths of
memoranda for the President's
files. They were made in the
course of the secret meetings be-
tween President Roosevelt, his
special assistant, the late Harry
L. Hopkins, and French generals
and Moroccan Arab leaders.
On Jan. 17, 1943, Roosevelt in-
vited Gen. Charles A. Nogues, the
French resident-general at Rabat,
to the President's Casablanca
villa. Among those present were
Roosevelt's son, Elliott, then an
Air Corps officer; Gen. George S.
Patton Jr., commander of U.S.
armored forces in North Africa, Germans bore towards the Jews in
and Robert D. Murphy, special Germany, namely, that while they
representative of the President on represented a small part of the
the staff of the U.S. Commander- population, over 50 per cent of the
lawyers, doctors, schoolteachers,
In-Chief for North Africa.
Murphy was recently in the college professors, etc., in Ger
news when he was named by many, were Jews."
This exchange took place on
President-elect Richard M. Nixon
the very day that the Jewish
to advise on the transition of Ad-
people looked to the Casablanca
ministrations. A veteran of the
conference for efforts to help the
State Department, he is counsel-
Jews then being liquidated in
ing Nixon on diplomatic matters.
Europe and to aid the persecuted
At the 1943 meeting, Murphy
Jews just liberated in North
remarked to the President and
Gen. Nogues that "the Jews in
Having disposed of the Jewish
North Africa were very much dis-
appointed that the war of libera- question, Mr. Roosevelt asked Gen.
tion had not immediately resulted Nogues' advice on whether to in-
in their being given their complete vite the Sultan of Morocco, Mo-
hammed Ben Youssef, to call on
Roosevelt replied that "the him for dinner. Both Nogues and
Patton replied that it would be "a
whole Jewish problem should be
studied very carefully" and "the most gracious thing for the Presi-
to do, and that it would de-
number of Jews engaged in the
practice of the professions (law, finitely cement relations between
medicine, etc.) should be de- the Arabs and ourselves."
Roosevelt was told that "among-
finitely limited to the percentage
that the Jewish population in st the Arabs no higher compliment
North Africa bears to the whole can be paid than to invite one to
of the North African popula- break bread." Gen. Nogues said it
was "equivalent to becoming one's
The President said. "Such a blood brother or fighting a cam-
plan would therefore permit the paign with him."
Concern for Arab sensibilities
Jews to engage in the professions,
and would present an unanswer- was also displayed at another his-
able argument that they were be- toric point in the war when Roose-
velt welcomed the ruler of Saudi
ing given their full rights."
To the foregoing, No g u e s Arabia aboard a United States
"agreed generally," stating that warship. It was then that the
"it would be a sad thing for the President listened to the Arab
French to win in war merely to view on Palestine and reassured
open the way for the Jews to con- the Arabs on American policy to-
trol the professions and the busi- ward Jewish aspirations.
On Jan. 17, 1943, Gen. Henri
ness world of North Africa."
Giraud, commander of the
Roosevelt t o 1 d Nogues that
armies in North Africa,
Roosevelt's plan "would further
was received by Roosevelt at
eliminate the specific and under-
Casablanca. The President ques-
standable complaints which the
tioned the general on "the Jew-
ish situation in Algeria," this
Mandel Succeeds Agnew
was discussed at some length.
The President set forth to-
Giraud his views as he had done
in this connection to Nogues.
G r and Vizier el-Mokhri of
Morocco met with Hopkins, the
Vice President-elect Spiro T. Agnew tendered his resignation as
governor of Maryland in Annapolis at a special sessions of the
legislature. House Speaker Marvin Mandel (left) was elected to
President's top assistant, on Jan.
23, 1943. The Grand Vizier said the
Jews had been "well treated by
the Moslems." He added that the
Sultan refused a request by the
German Armistice Commission to
treat the Jews as they were then
dealt with by the S.S. (Elite
Guard) in Germany. But "some
Jews thought that the arrival of
United States troops would mean
the placing of Jews in positions of
authority over the Moslems. "This
must not be," said the Grand
Vizier. He asserted that "there is
no Jewish question in Morocco
and will be none if matters are
left as they are now."
Hopkins replied that Roosevelt
honored the Sultan as - a "great
man" and "feels there is no reason
to change the present Government
of Morocco and has no intention of
forcing other changes."
Test your Vocabulary and ingenuity! And to verify results consult solution by turning page upside down.
9. chicken coop
19. and Challahs
1. hearty appetite
3. son of
4. (he) will be
7. weak (fern; pl.)
23. (they) will talk
34. (It) started
1 8 .. h w 0 00 rt
CecilZe J. Altman
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