NEW YORK (Aug. 6)
Of 85 Jewish literary and theatre figures working in Moscow after the war, at least 15 are not longer alive, as a result of Soviet persecution of Jewish culture, Moshe Broderzon, renowned Yiddish poet, declared yesterday in Warsaw following his return from the Soviet Union. He spent five and a half years in Soviet prisons.
A cable from Warsaw to the New York Times reported that Mr. Broderzon said he was arrested by the secret police in Moscow on April 21, 195 0, after the Soviet authorities closed the only Yiddish-language newspaper there, disbanded the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, and shut down the Jewish theatre studio where he had worked.
“We all knew what was happening,” he said. “We knew of the arrests of other Jewish writers and artists and lived in daily fear of our turn.” When it came he was held for nine months in two prisons in Moscow and interrogated nightly for eight of the nine months. His interrogators accused him of having said that anti-Semitism existed in the Soviet Union and he recalled that he told them “its true–there is anti-Semitism in Russia.” At the end of nine months he was sent to a camp in Taishet, Siberia, to serve his ten-year sentence.
He was freed last September. He carried back to Poland last week a notice from the Soviet Prosecutor General that the “proceedings against you have been terminated and in this matter you are now considered rehabilitated.” He and his wife fled to the Soviet Union in 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland. Both worked in the Yiddish theatre in Moscow and in 1940 the Russians made them Soviet citizens. Mr. Broderzon decided to stay on after the war because, he said, “I did not want to come back to the place where three and a half million members of my family had been lost.”