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August 14, 1987 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I ()PINION I

I LUIN 1 LIN 1 b I

16

Pollard's Accusation

In a letter from prison, the convicted
spy for Israel charges that he and his
wife were unfairly repudiated and
abandoned.

24

CLOSE-UP

Artistic
Paradise

Relig ious News Se rvice

SUSAN WEINGARDEN
The Jewish community
has a healthy
contingent studying
the fine arts at
idyllic Interlochen.

2

INSIDE WASHINGTON

Limiting The PACs

Soldiers in Moscow: Russia's solution to the "Jewish problem" was the suppression and obliteration of all
traces of Jewish culture.

Soviet Night Of Murdered Poets
Reverberates After 35 Years

SHEILA LEVIN, CAROL SAIVETZ and
JOEL J. SPRAYREGEN

0

n the night of Aug. 12, 1952,
24 leading Jewish poets, writers
and intellectual figures were ex-
ecuted in the basement of Moscow's
notorious Lubianka Prison. These were not
random executions, but the culmination of
a calculated campaign to eradicate Jewish
life in the Soviet Union.
In his despair for the murdered poets,
Chaim . Grade, their wartime comrade,
wrote: "The young have forgotten you and
me and the hour of our grief . . . your dark-
ly murdered tongue, silenced by a
hangman's noose is no longer heard . . ."
That poetic prophecy, written after the
executions, must not be allowed to be
fulfilled. The repercussions of Aug. 12, and
of the entire 1948-1953 period, when the
Soviet government effectively demolished
the remnants of the Jewish community,
provoked Soviet Jews to fight to retain their
Jewish identity. In the void created by the
destruction of Jewish life, the Soviet
government did not take into account the
determined and obdurate nature of the
Jewish people.
When World War II was over, two
million Soviet Jews had perished. The
three million surviving Jews were physical-
ly and psychologically depleted.
This resurgence of p9pular anti-Semitism
left Russian Jews with little more than
their inherent will to survive. It was in this

Levin, Saivetz and Sprayregen prepared this piece
for the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.

atmosphere that Soviet Jews began to
rebuild their lives. But they had hardly any
time before the Cold War, with its atten-
dant suspicions and tensions, evolved.
The Cold War engendered in the Soviet
Union a fear of anything Western and a
concomitant attempt to prove that things
Soviet, and Russian were best. The Soviet
campaign against "rootless
cosmopolitanism" was a natural outgrowth
of this new perspective. At first, the cam-
paign was directed at all those whose
outlook and preferences were for Western
and international ideas. However, as the
propaganda became more extensive, anti-
Jewish sentiments emerged. Soviet
authorities saw the trait of
"cosmopolitanism" as a contemptible
Jewish attribute. The scene was set for the
period that came to be known as the "Black
Years" — 1948-1953, with the purges and
repressions which would follow.
Jewish communal and religious institu-
tions had been destroyed long before the
war. In 1942, the Soviet government
organized the Jewish Anti-Fascist Commit-
tee to enlist wartime support from Jews in
the West. The Yiddish writers and artists
selected by Stalin to lead the committee
became victims of the terror of the Black
Years. Solomon Mikhoels, director of the
Moscow Yiddish State Theater and an ac-
tor whose characterizations of King Lear
and Tevye were legendary, had been nam-
ed chairman of the committee.
The writers who joined with Mikhoels
in the work of the committee had, from the
early days of the Soviet state, joined
wholeheartedly in the seemingly messianic
work of building a new social order, and of

Continued on Page 12

JAMES DAVID BESSER
The U.S. Senate is considering a bill
that would limit campaign
contributions of political action
committees.

41

Concert In The Park

The Jewish community's annual
outdoor Yiddish concert drew
hundreds of fans to Shepherd Park.

Lab Wars

JAMES DAVID BESSER
Philosopher Jeremy Rifkin has been
jousting with the scientific community
in an effort to humanize our
technological world.

ENTERTAINMENT

Queen Of
The Deejays

CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ
New York has been
taken by storm by a
former Detroiter who
leads the Big Apple's
platter-spinners.

DEPARTMENTS

32
36
40
42
50
52

55
66
72
76
79
106

Inside Washington
Synagogue
Business
Seniors
For Women
BBYO

Entertainment
Cooking
Engagements
Births
Single Life
Obituaries

CANDLELIGHTING

August 14, 1987

8:16 p.m.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

7

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