April 9, 1976 7
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Liquidation of Jewish Censors in At Moscow
present, none of the
By BORIS SMOLAR
(Editor-in-chief emeritus, JTA)
(Copyright 1976, JTA, Inc.)
PERMANENT HAIR REMOVAL
When the train crossed
the Iranian border into So- censors in the Soviet For-
viet Russia, and stopped at
one of the larger railway
Cursed is he of whom all e_
stations, a Soviet civilian
official entered the car men speak well.
where Podolsky sat and in-
formed him that there was
an especially urgent mes-
sage for him from Moscow.
He told him that the station
master had been instructed
to deliver it to him in person
and to wait for an imme-
diate reply for transmission
• WHY WAIT FOR YOURS • THE PRICE IS ALWAYS RIGHT
by telegraph to Moscow.
.• DEAL WITH THE MAN WHO CAN DELIVER
tin g of an foul
play, Podolsky left his trav-
eling bags on the train and
SOUVENIER BICENTENNIAL ELEPHANT
went down to the station
master's office to pick up
WITH EVERY NEW OR USED CAR PURCHASE
He never boarded that
train again. It left for
Moscow without him. He
vanished in that railway
station and was never
28585 Telegraph Road
heard from again. Later it
Southfield, Michigan 48075
became known that he had
(Telephone (313) 353-1300
been among those who
perished in the great liqui-
dation which Stalin had
(Editor's note: This is
one of the chapters of the
forthcoming book by Boris
Smolar, "In the Service of
My People," to be pub-
The chief censor in Mos-
cow in the 1930's, one of
three servicing foreign cor-
respondents, was a Jew. He
was thoroughly assimilated.
In the Czarist days, he had
studied philosophy in Switz-
erland, having fled Russia
because of his revolutionary news he would become ir-
ritated against the Jewish
After the Soviet Revolu- Communist publications
tion he returned to Russia, reporting it. He neverthe-
considering himself one of less passed the cables. He
the Bolsheviks who was liv- really had no choice, be-
ing in exile. Since he spoke cause he understood that
English, French and Ger- two days later the "Ernes"
man very fluently, he imme- and other Jewish-Soviet
diately found service in the newspapers would arrive
Foreign Commissariate. abroad thence the news
Because of his great erudi- would be transmitted to
tion, he was appointed chief America anyway.
It finally reached a point
His name was Yakov Po- some months, after my ar-
dolsky, a genuinely Jewish rival in Moscow that Podol-
name, which he had not sky concluded that the
changed, although he was "Ernes" and the other Jew-
far removed from Jewish ish Communist newspapers
interests. He was a very cul- in Kharkov and Minsk were
tured person; he never dis- more detrimental than use-
played the arrogance one ful to Soviet interests be-
often found among censors. cause they could not com-
Here and there he would ex- prehend that they were
punge a word or a phrase in providing anti-Soviet mate-
my cables. I had never en- rial to the outside world.
What had most unnerved
countered serious difficul-
ties with him, although he him was the fact that the
stood eminently vigilant in people in the Yevsekzia,
his solicitude of Communist Jewish section of the Com-
munist Party, began to ac-
From the first day I ar- cuse him before "higher in-
rived in Moscow, I reached ner circles" of passing anti-
a sort of understanding Soviet news for me. These
people conveniently failed to
"My duty," I stated, "is to mention that those news
send news. Yours is to en- items originated in their
sure that these news items own publications.
Eventually Podolsky was
are based on fact and that
they do not promulgate an- appointed Soviet Ambassa-
ti-Soviet propaganda. Now, dor to Vienna. That was a
what could be more valid very important post because
than facts reported in the Vienna, at that time, was
Jewish Communist press, or the diplomatic center of
those reported in the gen- Central Europe and all the
eral Soviet News publica- Balkan countries. After a
tions regarding matters per- period of service in Vienna,
taining to Jews? If you he was designated Soviet
didn't pass them their con- Ambassador to Iran, which
tents would, in any case be was a still more important
read by Jews all over the post, because of the corn-
world, because your news- mon border shared by So-
papers reach neighboring viet Russia and Iran; and,
non-Communist countries also because Iran was the
from where cables can be center from which the So-
transmitted freely to Amer- viets were contending with
ica." England for diplomatic in-
He acknowledged the fluence in the Moslem coun-
force of my argument and tries of the Middle East.
I left Moscow for Amer-
we arrived at an agreement
that he would pass all news, ica before Podolsky's ap-
even if it were detrimental pointment as Ambassador
to Soviet interests, provided to Vienna, and _then I
I showed him the Soviet heard nothing more about
newspapers which were the him. When I visited Mos-
sources of that news, includ- cow again after the war
ing Soviet-Jewish newspa- years, I met a number of
well-known Soviet writers
Jewish Communist pap- who had survived Stalin's
ers did not let a day go by insane years of mass liqui-
without reporting that some dation. I naturally in-
synagogue here or there had quired after people whom I
been converted into a club, had known years before,
or that in such and such a among them Podolsky.
town some Jews were ar- In 1938, when Stalin be-
rested because they had se- gan to eliminate Jews from
cretly celebrated a circumci- important positions, espe-
sion (which had been cially in diplomatic posts,
prohibited in Soviet Russia); Podolsky, who was then in
or that in some town an ille- Teheran, the capital of Iran,
gal Hebrew school had been received an urgent call to re-
turn to Moscow. Without
Every time I appeared wasting any time, the very
before Podolsky with a next day, Podolsky boarded
cable containing such a train to Moscow.
"MICHIGAN'S LARGEST BUICK-OPEL-HONDA DEALER"
TarflaRCIFF BUICK- OPEL,
- ""°,17 •1t-
••• ■ ••••
Its easier to remember where we don't go.
Our apologies to the Antarctica
For despite the tact we have the
world's largest fleet Of 7-17s.
And despite the tact we have
28.000 people who'\'e made
profession out of taking Americans
to foreign lands.
And despite the tact we have a
route structure that takes in
in 61 countries.
Theres still one continent we
don't fly to.
01. course. tastes may change
In whk - h case. we'll on
Antarctica to air travel.
Even as we opened every other
And take the apology hack and
start taking tourists.
America's airline to the world.
See vbur travel agent.