London (Aug. 5)
The Soviet Government was requested here today to give the “fullest explanation” of the crimes against Jews committed in the USSR during the last few years and to state publicly whether any measures are being taken to restore Jewish cultural activities in the USSR.
The demand came from Jewish Communists in England and was published in the “Jewish Clarion.” a Communist publication. It emphasized that condemnation of the crimes against Jews in the Soviet Union is not enough. “Our responsibility to ourselves and the future of our work as Jewish Communists requires that we call for the fullest details of what occurred and the fullest explanation of how such things could come about in the land of Socialism,” the publication asserted.
“We have to ask, moreover, for full information on the steps being taken to correct the abuses and prevent their recurrence,” the Jewish Communist organ continued “And there can hardly be anywhere a Jewish Socialist, Communist, progressive, or citizen without a political label, who isn’t waiting impatiently to know in particular what steps, further than those already reported, are being taken to restore Jewish cultural activities and institutions in the Soviet Union.”
The Clarion’s editorial was prompted by a letter to if from a leading member of the Communist Party, Professor Hyman Levy, a philosopher and mathematician, who asserted: “If 24 Jewish writers had merely been imprisoned in the United States, we would have shouted to the high heavens about such a criminal action. When they are shot in the Soviet Union and the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee is liquidated, all you can tell us is that it is an abuse arising from the cult of the individual.”
In the history of struggle, Prof, Levy went on the 24 Jewish intellectuals who faced the firing squad are nothing and another will be produced for each of them. “But these 24 are martyrs who have died for the cause of Socialism, martyred on Socialist soil for the right to Jewish cultural freedom in a Socialist country.” he pointed out. He then went on to say:
“We are being fobbed off with superficial explanations–cult of the individual and breaches of the law by the Beria gang. Are we now to depend on the good faith of the individuals who have exposed this that history won’t repeat itself? Since it must take some time for a social atmosphere, once poisoned, to clear itself, the future of Socialism cannot rest securely in the hands of individuals. If Soviet law has been re-established, are the Soviet people, and we also, to have the records of the Beria trial and the dossier of evidence?”