Minsk Rabbis Publicly Deny Soviet Religious Persecution; Warn World Jewry Against Joining Instigator

A long statement signed by a number of the arrested rabbis at Minsk and issued by the Soviet foreign office through Tass, the official news agency, was made public here. The rabbis signing the statement included Menachem Gluskin, Yeshoua Zimbalist, Gerz Maisel, Gabriel Gabrielov, Osher Kershstein and Mendel Yarcho.

Addressing themselves “to all religious Jews,” the rabbis declare “we are informed that some rabbis abroad have joined the worst enemies of the Jewish people and Jewish religion in unjustified anti-Soviet attacks saying that the Soviet government persecutes the Jewish religion and the Jewish nation. We are furious that a Paris rabbi participated in a memorial with the famous instigator of Jewish pogroms in Czarist Russia, and a leader of blackguards, Metropoliton Evlogy, We are furious too at the appeal of the Pope for a crusade against the Soviet.

“We don’t understand how it is possible in the name of religion to issue an appeal which may lead to serious bloodshed and to try to present this criminal action against religion as a fight for religion. We understand that not protection of religion is what unites these people but other reasons. We didn’t forget and can’t forget the bloody deeds done to the Jews by the same who are now appealing allegedly for the protection of our religion.

“We don’t need such protection in the Soviet. We can’t separate our fate from the fate of the Jewish nation regarding which the Soviet government is the only one conducting an open fight against anti-Semitism. We are against the anti-religious and Godless propaganda of the Communist Party but justice requires, however, that we should say that the Communists are openly and severely fighting anti-Semites and expelling them from their ranks. We have to recall that the Soviet government inherited a country in which for hundreds of years extreme hatred toward the Jews was instigated. We didn’t forget and can’t forget the bloody pogroms of the pre-revolutionary era.

“It is a fact of great importance for the world that the head of the Communist party and of the Soviet government, Lenin, issued a decree in which anti-Semites were pronounced as enemies of all nations. And at the same time in Palestine under British rule it is yet possible for Arabs to make bloody pogroms on Jews. In Roumania and other countries Jewish pogroms are still occurring and open anti-Semitic agitation is rife while in Soviet Russia anti-Semitism is fought up to the courts.

“We also declare before the entire world that the only government which does everything to assist the pre-revolutionary persecuted and rightless nation to better organize its life is the Soviet government. It grants land to the Jews, provides them with tools in their new settlements and gives them rights equally with other nations to

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