The opinion that in case of the overthrowal of the Soviet government, no fear of anti-Jewish pogroms is to be entertained was expressed by Alexander Kerensky, Menshevik leader, who signed the decree abolishing the legal disabilities of the Jews in Russia in 1917, prior to the Bolshevik Revolution.
Kerensky, in a press interview on his arrival in New York this week, stated: “The Jews are suppressed under the Soviet regime as are the other peoples of Russia. There are a few Jewish Commissars who have benefitted by the Soviet regime, but the overwhelming majority of Jews are ruined. Jews probably suffer more than anybody else because the desire for freedom is traditionally stronger with the Jews than with the others.”
Asked whether an overthrowal of the Soviet government would not be accompanied by anti-Jewish pogroms, as was the case during the attempts of Denikin and other White generals, Kerensky stated that there is no danger of a monarchistic restoration in Russia. “The fear that a monarchistic reaction would follow the overthrowal of the Soviet regime is purposely spread by the Bolsheviks themselves in order to tame the masses who are as afraid of Czarism as they are of poison. The truth of the matter is that Denikin’s movement was artificial and did not have the support of the masses. It was a result merely of foreign intervention. We do not desire any intervention and place our hope only in the Russian people itself. A movement which will have its origin in Russia and will be based on the peasantry will assume the same character as the February revolution of 1917 and will not be accompanied by pogroms,” he declared.
In reply to the question as to his opinion on the Jewish land settling work in Russia, Mr. Kerensky declared: “In essence I have nothing against part of the Jewish population proceeding to agriculture. I would like, however, that in this work there would also be equality on the other side, that is, that the Russian peasants should not be treated worse than the Jewish transmigrants.” Asked for further explanation, Mr. Kerensky stated: “It is generally known that in the Ukraine there is a great land hunger among the peasants. When the Ukrainian poor peasants need land they are sent to the Altai. The colonization of Jews in the Ukraine proper creates the impression of special privilege,” he said.