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Anti-jewish Speech by Communist Leader Stirs Indignation in Canada

An anti-Jewish speech delivered at a meeting of the Ontario Communist Party by a leader of the party, who was introduced under the party name Yakir, has provoked indignation in the press here following publication of the full text of his speech, which was circulated to all Communist clubs in Ontario “for information purposes.”

The speech, which follows the line of the anti- Jewish interview given by Nikita S. Khrushchev, Soviet Premier, in Moscow to the French newspaper Le Figaro last April, was devoted to the fact that Jews are leaving the Communist Party en masse in protest against the suppression of Jewish cultural life in the Soviet Union. Declaring that Jews, more than other people, have acquired “bad traits” because of the abnormal situation in which they lived for 2,000 years, the Canadian Communist leader said:

“Why have Jews come to the party and have gone away? Jewish working people, who have come to Canada 30-40 years ago, came from Eastern European countries where they were oppressed socially and nationally without rights, lived in poverty. It was natural that they should pin their hopes for a better life in the revolutionary struggle to change their conditions of life for the better, and they joined in the fighting ranks. And living in Canada at that time in conditions of poverty and exploitation, they continued their struggle through the Communist Party.

“With the beginning of the second world war, Canada entered a period of war and post war prosperity and large sections of Jewish workers took to business, opened up small shops, and in time they regrouped themselves socially. Things here were not too bad; they became prosperous.

“Why did non-Jewish workers fail to become prosperous? We know from experience that in the capitalist countries Jews have been discriminated against, have not been permitted into the basic industries of the countries. The Jew remained therefore, in the light industries and in commerce. A miner cannot open up a mine in his house, an automobile worker cannot establish in his home an automobile plant. It takes millions to do it, apart from this.

“A needle trades worker can indeed put up a sewing machine in his cellar, and he has a shop. A Jewish peddler takes a suitcase with small articles, goes from door to door trying to sell, and he is already a merchant. A Jew has historic inclinations to commerce, and in prosperity years he worked himself up. A wage earner in the basic industries can never, in the years of crisis or in the years of prosperity, become well-to-do. At present the largest part of the Jews no longer belong to the working class, engaged in production of goods, in factories and plants.

“It is, therefore, understandable, why they left the party. A party of Communists is not a charitable institution. Since they no longer belong to the working class, they don’t any more see in the party the defender of their social interests. Correct is the principle; with the change in the social position, the social outlook and thinking also changes.

“For a considerable time they were thinking of leaving the party. They didn’t have enough “courage” for such a step. The more “courageous” had left before. They were waiting for such an opportunity and such an opportunity arrived. Jewish culture in the Soviet Union. Behind this screen they found it possible to hide petty ambitions, the truth, their cowardice, and they left.”

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