Jewish Life in Soviet Russia Pictured by Moscow Jew Reaching London
Menu JTA Search

Jewish Life in Soviet Russia Pictured by Moscow Jew Reaching London

Download PDF for this date

A many-sided account of Jewish life in Soviet Russia under wartime conditions was given here today to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by a Soviet Jew who reached Britain from Moscow on an important mission, together with a number of other Soviet officials.

“The Germans,” he said, “are making a great effort to reach the Soviet population with anti-Semitic propaganda through the radio and by dropping leaflets from airplanes over Moscow and other Soviet cities. Their activities, however, are fruitless. The Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda is either ignored or ridiculed by the Soviet people.”

Relating how the Jews in Moscow spent Passover, the Soviet Jewish official stated that the problem of matzohs did not exist in Moscow this year. “One can now buy matzohs all year round in the Government cooperative stores,” he said. He added that a number of Jewish cooperative restaurants are now open in Moscow serving Jewish traditional dishes. They are always crowded with guests, he stated.


“As to the attitude toward Zionism,” the Moscow official continued, “there is no doubt that the Jews in the Soviet Union sympathize with the Jewish workers in Palestine. I did not meet any Zionists among the Soviet Jews and I believe that there are none in our country, since no Jew seeks to emigrate from the U.S.S.R. to Palestine. The Jews in Moscow have little information about the actual state of affairs in Palestine, except that they are under the impression that there is constant friction between the Jews and the Arabs there as a result 84, instigation by foreign forces.

“All able-bodied Jews remained in Moscow on war jobs during the difficult days which our capital faced,” he related. “Many of them took up positions on barricades and in civil defense services during the time when the enemy was at the gates of the city. It is impossible to give any figures on the number of Jews fighting in the ranks of the Red Army, but the total is very large and they are fighting with great courage and heroism. One can also find many Jewish doctors, engineers and technicians at the front. Every Jews in the U.S.S.R. feels that he has something to fight for, and is contributing his share to the war effort with great zeal and devotion.”

The Soviet Jewish official also spoke of the synagogues which he said are functioning undisturbed throughout Soviet Russia. He emphasized that Jews are playing an important part in the development of Soviet science, art and inventions.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund