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3 Jews Sentenced to Death with 11 Others for “economic Contra-revolution”

The death sentence pronounced by the Soviet court of Astrakhan on fourteen persons, charged with “economic contra-revolution,” included three Jews, Jacob Bloch, Aron Vishnepolsky and Chazkel Zaslavski. The trial attracted wide attention as the largest held in Soviet Russia, with 129 defendants before the court. The charge brought was that the defendants were guilty of encouraging private trading in Astrakhan, center of the Russian fish industry. The three Jews sentenced are fish traders.

Among the 109 given varying sentences are a number of Jewish former traders. Bela Kaplun, a Jewish trader, was among the six acquitted.

Appeal against the verdict can be made within seventy-two hours. Although in official Soviet circles it is admitted that the sentences imposed were severe, no change in the sentences is expected.

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