LONDON (Jan. 14)
The trial of the nine doctors arrested in Moscow on the charge that they took orders from Jewish organizations abroad to kill top Soviet officials will open within two weeks, according to indications from the Soviet capital reaching here today.
A report from Sweden today says the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet carries a statement from a Swedish professor who treated Gen. A. Zhdanov, leading member of the Politbureau whose death in 1948 is now attributed to the nine arrested doctors. The Swedish physician says that Zhdanov died of an incurable cancer. The arrested doctors in Moscow are accused of giving an incorrect diagnosis of his illness and of prescribing a drug harmful to him.
The Zionist Federation of Britain today announced that it was making arrangements for a mass meeting in the East End of London to protest against “the anti-Jewish campaign behind the Iron Curtain. ” The East End of London is a Jewish-populated district to which many of the inhabitants originally came as refugees from Czarist terror.
An emergency meeting of the officers of the Anglo-Jewish Association was held here last night to consider the situation resulting from the charges in Moscow that “Jewish terrorist doctors” had “plotted,” on instructions from the Joint Distribution Committee, to murder top Soviet leaders. In a statement issued by Ewen Montague, the A.J.A. expressed “its horror at the virulent anti-Semitic trends which are becoming daily more pronounced in the Iron Curtain countries.
“Yesterday’s news from Moscow underlines the fact that the Kremlin itself is leading the hunt,” Mr. Montague stated. “Anglo-Jewry views with foreboding the future of Its co-religionists behind the Iron Curtain. Although the Communists may argue that the accusations are anti-Zionist rather than anti-Semitic, it is undeniable that this new wave of persecution will give freer expression to the latent anti-Semitism which is endemic in Eastern Europe.”
The Manchester Guardian, commenting on the Moscow charges today, states: “It remains to be seen whether the alleged criminals will be, as in Prague, identified not merely as Zionists but also as Jews, and what purposes the anti-Zionist campaign will be made to serve at home and abroad. ” The newspaper also notes that “so far the new anti-Semitism seems to be not a doctrine of racial superiority but a means of doing away with likely ‘cosmopolitans.’ In any case, the outlook is disturbing.”
The London Times expressed the opinion that the effect of the charges “will undoubtedly be to put ordinary Russians, Ukrainians and others on guard against the Jews within the Soviet Union, and Jews will probably be removed from positions of trust. They are more likely to be suspected than ever before of international leanings.”