Soviet Envoy in U.S. Asked for Data on Jewish Cul Ture in USSR

The World Congress for Jewish Culture, which has its headquarters in New York, sent a memorandum today to Soviet Ambassador Georgi Zarubin in Washington, asking for information on the “condition of Jewish culture, Jewish book publishing, press and theater,” and the situation of Jewish writers and artists in the Soviet Union.

“We are cognizant that until 1948 there existed in the Soviet Union a variety of Jewish newspapers, publishing houses, theatres, schools and other Jewish cultural institutions,” the memorandum said. “In our records we have a list of about 450 Jewish writers, artists and actors who were prominent at that time. Since 1948, nothing further has been heard of their activities. Moreover, we are aware that the newspapers, periodicals and book publishing houses no longer exist. During these past years they have become silent and we have failed to find any work of these Jewish writers who have been productive for many years.

“Jewish cultural institutions and national organizations have made numerous inquiries regarding these writers and artists but they received no reply. We are encouraged to take note of the Geneva spirit and the negotiations between East and West. However, we are still deeply disturbed and concerned by the lack of response to our inquiries regarding the fate of Jewish culture in the Soviet Union. In our view, clarity in this matter is at this time in the interest of all of us.” the memorandum stressed.

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