Soviet Yiddish Literary Circles Stirred by Charge Emes’ Editor, Litvakov, Supports Menshevism

A direct accusation charging Moshe Litvakov, editor of the Moscow Emes, the chief Yiddish Communist paper in Russia and long the dictator of Yiddish literature here, with spreading Menshevism and “national democratism” in Soviet Yiddish literature today created a veritable sensation in the entire Yiddish press of Russia.

The charge against Litvakov was made in an editorial in the monthly Minsk Shtern in connection with the forthcoming All-Soviet convention of Yiddish proletarian writers. Calling upon the approaching convention to put an end to Litvakovism, the paper openly charges Litvakov with five sins of commission and omission.

According to the paper Litvakov has for many years been guilty of hampering the development of proletarian literature, has compromised Yiddish writers and critics, has stimulated Menshevik and national democratic literature, has ignored public opinion and has fought self-criticism in literature.

These serious charges against Litvakov emanate from former leaders of the Jewish section of the Communist Party in Minsk but the sentiments are partly shared by Jewish writers in Moscow and Charkov who have always felt Litvakov’s dictatorship but have never dared to fight it.

Tho Moscow Association of Yiddish Proletarian Writers has been placed in an uncomfortable position. While they have not yet joined the revolt against Litvakov they have refrained from taking his side although they admit that he has hampered the activities of the Association.

On the other hand, the Emes, Litvakov’s paper, demands that the Association should take an unequivocal stand in this matter and characterizes the revolt against Litvakov as irresponsible, demagogic noise. The Emes admits that Litvakov has many faults but claims he does not merit such “slandering”.

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