Little Hope Seen for Jewish Communities Behind Iron Curtain
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Little Hope Seen for Jewish Communities Behind Iron Curtain

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Jews in the Soviet satellite states face a gloomy future in which there is very little chance for the “organic integration of Jewish communities into the life around them,” according to a study, “The Jews in the Soviet Satellites,” sponsored by the American Jewish Committee and being published tomorrow by the Syracuse University Press.

The four authors of the study declare that “cultural autonomy for the Jewish minority is impossible. Emigration, the only way out, was and still is prohibited outright or is being frustrated by the impossible regulations of the satellites. Yet, a general exodus is the only way for Jewish survival.”

Although all groups suffer under Communism, the authors report, Jews appear to have been hardest hit because the Red governments were able to use traditional anti-Semitic feeling, a legacy from the days of Nazi occupation and before, as a weapon to stir up widespread feeling against them.

The book points out that the security of Jews in all Soviet satellites practically disappeared with the destruction of any democratic form of government.

“Jewish hopes collapsed with the destruction of democracy,” the authors explain. “Restitution claims clashed with the vested interests of the nationalizing bureaucracy. Restitution laws were first sabotaged, then revised, and finally abolished…Large sections of the Jewish population became unemployed and destitute…anti-Semitism nourished by new social antagonisms, sprang up again… Vicious, Soviet-sponsored campaigns against ‘Jewish nationalism’and ‘cosmopolitanism’ reinforced anti-Semitic moods inherited from the past.”

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