NEW YORK (Nov. 24)
Former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, declared in an article appearing in the New York Times yesterday that the “anti-Jewish” line now being pursued in the Soviet press resulted from the establishment of Israel which he added, has “revived the attraction of Zionism for Jews in the Soviet Union.”
Gen. Smith asserted that the “Kremlin undoubtedly considers it necessary to warn them periodically that only unbound devotion to the Soviet state can bring them acceptance and salvation.” He added that the “current offensive, which transcends similar campaigns that have taken place in the Soviet Union, has deep roots in Russian chauvinism, with its traditional anti-Semitism as well as anti-foreignism.”
Concerning anti-Jewish violence in Russia, the former U.S. envoy wrote: “During my stay in the Soviet Union, the only reported violence against Jews was in the Ukraine, where latent anti-Semitism had been inflamed by the racial theories of the Germans during the war. This, however, was the work of anti-Soviet Ukrainian nationalists, and the government acted promptly, employing stern measures in an effort to suppress these illegal acts.
“However, many Jews were killed in the Ukraine in small-scale pogroms, and others felt unsafe in leaving their homes at night. There were reports, which I consider reliable, that this campaign became so widespread that the government has not been able to suppress it completely, and, as a result, many Ukrainian Jews migrated to the Asiatic Autonomous Jewish Oblast of Birobijan.”