The “colossal” achievements of the war against Judaism during the period of the five-year plan which has just been completed, are reviewed in the Yiddish anti-religious organ, “Apikoires,” here.
“Together with the colossal achievements in all branches of Soviet constructive work, there have been colossal achievements also in the anti-religious sphere,” it says. “We have carried on our work of liberating the masses from the reactionary yoke of religion and creating a new type of people.”
The paper dwells briefly on the results achieved by the anti-religious activity among the general population, and says that enormous as the success has been there, it has been proportionate among the Jewish population.
“The first five-year period,” it says, “was a period during which the Jewish workers in masses went away from religion and from the reactionary clergy. Anti-religion caught hold of the Jewish masses in the towns, in the Jewish townships and the Jewish villages.
“In these past five years more BatÃ© Medroshim and Synagogues were closed down than in all the previous years combined (since the Soviet Revolution in 1918).
“Hundreds of BatÃ© Medroshim and Synagogues were in these five years, converted into clubs, reading rooms, schools, kindergartens, artisan workshops and other useful institutions.
“We have won a complete victory during this time in the work of uprooting the Cheder, the reactionary medieval Jewish educational institution.
“All the children of Jewish workers now attend the Soviet schools, where anti-religious teaching has been strongly fortified in the last five-year period.
“The work of uprooting the old religious customs among the Jewish workers has made colossal progress. The overwhelming majority of the Jewish workers no longer think of observing the Sabbath or the Jewish religious festivals, or other religious customs with which the Jewish clergy darkened their minds. All these achievements did not come of themselves; they are the result of an arduous campaign of unmasking the reactionary essence of religion.
“In spite of these successes,” the editorial concludes, “the fight against religion must not slacken in the second five-year period; on the contrary, it must be strengthened.
“It is true that is is now easier to tear the Jewish masses away from religion than it was in the first five-year period, but the resistance of the class enemy is increasing, and so the fight, too. must increase.
“Open and concealed counter-revolutionary sabotage is often carried on under the cloak of religion. Our main attention must now be directed to conducting our anti-religious work among fresh sections of Jewish workers, whom it has not reached before. There are plenty of them in the townships and the villages. There are the masses of new Jewish workers who came not long ago from the Jewish small towns and have poured into the factories and works in the great cities, there are the great masses of Jewish artisans and other elements. To continue the antireligious work among these sections is our great task for the second five-year period.”