MUNICH (Aug. 28)
A detailed study of the liquidation of Jewish life in the Soviet Union was published here today by the Institute for the Study of the U. S. S. R. as part of a series of studies of persecutions of national minorities by the Soviet Government.
The study, entitled “Genocide in the U.S.S. R.,” opens with the assertion that “Soviet Communist policy in regard to the Jewish question has always been guided by one ultimate aim–liquidation of the Jews as a national community and their assimilation as units in other national groups of the Soviet state.”
In practice, the study establishes, this policy of liquidation has not been followed consistently. It has zigzagged back and forth and has been marked by periods of retreat which contributed to the development of processes directly opposed to the ultimate goal. “Since such retreats were based upon utilitarian or tactical considerations and slowed down the process of liquidation and assimilation, they led in the end to the application of measures involving genocide,” the study points out.
The study reviews in detail the ups and downs of the Soviet policy toward Jewish culture and presents numerous facts showing how, in addition to executing several hundred Jewish writers and cultural leaders in the Soviet Union, Soviet authorities also liquidated all Jewish cultural and scientific institutions in the newly annexed territories of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Eastern Galicia, Bukovina and Bessarabia. It brings out the fact that the latest edition of the Large Soviet Encyclopedia defines Yiddish as the “former” language of Russian Jews.
The study also reveals that “harsh measures of repression” were taken against Polish Jews who stubbornly refused to become Soviet citizens. It estimates that about 600,000 of them were forcibly evacuated to the Urals and Siberia from territories annexed from Poland. It also refers to data published by the Joint Distribution Committee estimating that between a fifth and a third of the refugees perished.
Dwelling on the present “final state of liquidation” of Jewish communal and cultural life in the U.S. S. R., the study comes to the conclusion that “it is very probable that the tragedy of the Russian Jews is coming to an end before our eyes.” At the same time, the study points out that linguistic assimilation has not killed the national consciousness of the majority of Jews in the Soviet Union.
“At all events the anti-Semitic measures of recent years, such as the staging of the ‘doctors trial,’ the mass removal of Jews from responsible positions in the state, economic, military and party apparatus, the threat of the introduction of a percentage ratio in the universities, and finally the existence of the State of Israel, to which all Jews are attracted, are factors which are impeding the efforts of the Communists to extinguish the national and religious ties of Soviet Jewry,” the study emphasizes.