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Anti-religious Campaign Making No Headway Jewish Communists Complain

The anti-religious campaign is not making any headway, is the headline over a half-page article in the Yiddish Communist paper, the “Emess”, complaining that the attack upon “the counter-revolutionary Jewish clericalism” has not moved an inch.

In Vitebsk, says a report sent in by its Vitebsk correspondent, illustrated by a photograph of the Vitebsk Great Synagogue, which has been converted into a Workers’ Club, one might think that everybody is an atheist and that there is no further need of any anti-religious activity, because all the religious people have already died out. But that is by no means the case, he goes on. The sanctimonious crowd have not given up their weapons. The Vitebsk Rabbi Golberg is still at his work, and his followers are trying hard to trap the backward artisans, and even proletarians, in their net. The reason is that the Vitebsk Atheist League is inactive, because the atheist cells in the factories and other enterprises are dead. In several factories like “the Banner of Industrialisation”, there are no athsist cells even on paper. The Vitebsk Communist Party Committee, too, is taking no interest in the anti-religious work. No one is bothering about the anti-religious campaign. No reports have been issued, and no plan of campaign has been outlined. Nor are the trade unions in Vitebsk showing the slightest interest in the anti-religious work. There is apathy everywhere and an attitude of opportunism towards the anti-religious work that must stop. The Atheist League in the city must be made to revive its activity, and ensure the systematic organisation of atheist cells in the factories and stores. The Communist Party Committee must see to it that the work is done and must exercise its control over it.

Similar reports come from other centres. In Nikolaiev, says one report, hundreds of fresh Jewish workers and young people come into the factories and stores every day. Many of them come from the small towns, and often bring with them their reactionary beliefs and customs, and no one takes the trouble to eradicate them. There is a society called “Help” which employs 700 Jewish declassed, who all need enlightenment and education, but no one is attempting it.

In Dnieper Petrovsk, another correspondent writes, the Atheist League has dropped off to sleep, and must be awakened. There is no anti-religious activity being carried on among the Jewish workers. On the eve of the Jewish High Holy Days somebody remembers about it and for a day or two there is a spurt of activity, and then it is all forgotten again. There are many thousands of Jewish workers now in Dnieper Petrovsk and their number is literally growing from day to day, and yet the Atheists’ Council has not yet invited down a single instructor. There is not one Yiddish anti-religious publication available. Now, on the very eve of the Jewish High Holy Days, not one lecture has yet been delivered in Yiddish against religion.

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