Moscow (Sep. 7)
(J. T. A. Mail Service)
An issue of the “Komsomolskaia Pravda,” the organ of the Young Communist Leagues, is devoted to the fight against anti-Semitism. The issue contains articles by M. Larin, President of the Ozet, the Jewish Colonization Society, M. Smidovitch, the deputy for M. Kalinin, president of the Soviet Union, and by M. Semashko, Minister of Health.
M. Larin describes the position of the Jews under the Czar. enumerating the restrictions to which they were subjected the persecutions and the pogroms, and he points to the distinctive characteristics developed among the Jews as a result.
The anti-Semitic allegation that the Soviet Government is giving the Jews exceptionally favorable treatment, he declares, is untrue. “The Soviet Government suppresses the Jewish capitalist equally with the non-Jewish capitalists and supports the Jewish worker equally with the non Jewish worker. The Jews who were engaged in small trading and such activities were dispossessed and declassed by the Soviet Regime. Before the revolution, although the Jews were barred from working on the land, Jewish estate owners held two million desiatin of land. This land was seized equally with the land of non-Jews, and although two million desiatin of land were seized from Jews, the Jewish workers under the Land Settlement Plan have received so far only 400,000 desiatin.” Mr. Larin writes.
M. Smidovich says the Soviet Government gives the Jews no privileges. It is only giving facilities for the relief funds provided by foreign Jewish organizations to be used to the best advantage on behalf of the Jews of Russia. The Soviet Government gives the Jewish settlers no greater assistance than it gives the Russian or other settlers who go to Siberia or elsewhere to colonize. If the Jewish land settlement movement is carried to a successful conclusion, it will result in the productivization of the Jews and will lead to the eradication of one of the principal causes of anti-Semitism, he writes.
Health Minister Semashko declares that it must be made clear that in Soviet Russia there can be no Jewish question. To the Soviet Government, the workers of all nations are equal. “Under the Czar, Jews were persecuted as Jews. Today, Jewish workers are treated like any other workers.” M. Semashko describes his recent visit to the Jewish agricultural colonies and says. “The Jews are in this way engaging now in the principal branch of activity of our country. They are going on the land and becoming part of the land.”
Special attention was directed to anti-Semitism in the Communist party. The well known Russian journalist. Sosnowsky, quotes a letter written by Barkov, a member of the District Executive of the Communist Party, in which he says. “If you saw how many Jews there are here you would say ‘Kill the Jews and save Russia’ is 50 per cent, justified.”
“It would be foolish,” Sosnowsky writes, “to deny the existence of the Barkovs in the Communist Party, There are two kinds of anti-Semites among the Communists: Communists who parade their anti-Semitism openly and Communists who keep it quiet.
“Those Communists who tortured the Jewish boy Beirach, in the notorious Beirach case, belong to the first kind. The Barkovs belong to the second class. They are the kind of people who will never openly declare their anti-Semitism, because they fear that if they did they would be expelled from the party, but they are a thousand times more dangerous than the open anti-Semites. Outwardly pretending to be friendly to everybody, he is at heart a pogromist and counter-revolutionary.”
Sosnowsky quotes cases of whole groups of workers during the civil war in the Urals joining up with the Kolt-chak army and proceeds: “When the Russian and foreign White Guardists renew their attack upon the Soviet Union, their banners and their proclamations will without doubt bear the old slogan. ‘Kill the Jews and save Russia.’ Anti-Semitism will not be the least of the weapons employed by the counter-revolutionaries.
“It is not a question of one Barkov. With its membership of millions, the Communist Party cannot guard against such people coming into its ranks, especially if they hide their real feelings. Theirs is not the anti-Semitism of the uneducated people in the villages, which can be combated by means of education and enlightenment. When a member of the Party, a member of the District Committee of the Party, is infected with anti-Semitism, it must be fought without mercy.
“During the whole period of the Revolution anti-Semitism did not make such inroads in the Party as at present. The reasons may be what they will, but the fact remains and cannot be denied. We must rid our ranks of the anti-Semites,” he concludes.