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Soviet Writer Blames Hitler for State of Jewish Culture in U.S.S.R.

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Soviet journalists now touring the United States were questioned closely on the fate of Jewish writers and Jewish culture in Russia at a press conference here last night. While the writers disclaimed any information about many of the Jewish writers about whom they were asked, they did say that David Bergelson had died in Moscow in 1947. They also disclaimed knowledge of the fate of Peretz Markish and Itzik Pfeffer.

They declared that three Yiddish-language publications now appear in the U.S.S. R., and that a Yiddish literary journal would soon make its appearance in Moscow. Boris Isakov, of “Internationalnaya Zhizn,” himself a Jew, told I. Shmulevitch of the Jewish Daily Forward that if Jewish culture did not flourish in Russia today, the blame was Hitler’s. He said that the destruction of a great portion of the Yiddish-shaking community had destroyed the base for the growth of such a culture. Meanwhile, Leon Crystal, head of the “Yiddish Writers Union, today invited the journalists to be guests of the union at a special meeting. They replied that they would try to fit a visit into their schedule.

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