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Molotov Queried on Fate of “missing” Jewish Writers in Russia

Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov was urged today by Adolph Held, chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee, to break “the walls of silence” surrounding the fate of prominent Jewish writers, artists and cultural leaders “who disappeared from public view in your country.” The message from Mr. Held was delivered to the Soviet UN delegation here.

The appeal to Mr. Molotov was augmented by a letter written by the Jewish Labor Committee on August 31, 1955 to Soviet Ambassador Georgi N. Zarubin, in which the JLC pointed out that it has, ever since the end of World War II, attempted to ascertain the fate of 68 Jewish writers whose names were given to Soviet and American authorities. In both the letters to Mr. Molotov and Ambassador Zarubin, Mr. Held complained that all pleas have met with silence from Soviet authorities.

Mr. Held told Mr. Molotov that this silence “belies recent attempts on the part of your government to gain the impression that there is sincerity in the published statements that your government desires tranquility in the world. It is difficult for us to accept such proclamations in view of the repeated refusals by your government to reopen the Jewish press, cultural institutions and to reveal the fate of the Jewish writers artists and cultural leaders whose names have been supplied time and again by us and other interested parties.

“Certainly,” Mr. Held continued in his letter to Mr. Molotov, “in the spirit of the United Nations, you must take this occasion to answer, once and for all, the doubts that have been sown in the hearts of all those concerned with human dignity as a result of the continued walls of silence your government has built every time we have made our requests.”

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