Sholom Asch, Jewish Author, Clashes with Communists at Ozet Banquet in Moscow

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Sholom Asch, famous American Jewish novelist, found himself in sharp conflict with the Communists at a banquet given in his honor Tuesday night upon his arrival in Moscow on his way to tour the Jewish colonies.

The banquet was given by the Ozet, the society sponsoring the Jewish back-to-land movement in Russia. M. Litwakoff, editor of the Communist daily, “Emes”, who acted as toast-master, criticized the guest of honor for his frequently expressed defiance of the Communist doctrine with regard to literature. The toastmaster said that the Communists admit that Asch is a great novelist, but the trouble is that “he thinks more of himself than the masses think of him.” As proof of this Litwakoff quoted a few passages from an open letter Asch had addressed some time ago to Marshal Jozef Pilsudski, Prime Minister of Poland.

Mr. Asch rose and banged on the table declaring: “Either Litwakoff stops speaking or I leave!” The banquet was thrown into tumult which lasted for half an hour. The chairmanship was taken over by R. Weinstein. When the excitement had subsided Mr. Asch declared that Russia was dear to him, but he is far from supporting a class theory.

The incident was much talked of throughout the city today.

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