Radio Moscow Broadcast Says All is Well with Soviet Jewry

“Jews, like all nations and races in the Soviet Union, have equal rights in all fields of economic, political, social and cultural endeavor,” Radio Moscow declared this week-end in a lengthy broadcast heard here.

The broadcast is the first in a long while to deal with Jews inside Russia and was prompted, according to the announcer, by queries from “American listeners” who had asked for information about Soviet Jews.

The broadcast Insisted that there were “Jews in every field of endeavor” in the USSR and cited the names of well known Jews to support this thesis. Among the Soviet Jews cited were: violinist David Oistrackh, singer Alexander Lvovitch, writer Ilya Ehrenburg and chess master Mikhail Botvinnik.

In the literary field, the announcer continued, “Jewish newspapers are published in the Jewish autonomous region of Birobijan,” a volume of Sholem Aleichem stories has sold over 165,000 copies and next year a complete six-volume collection of his works will appear (in connection with the centenary of his birth).

In the field of music, the broadcast said, Jewish singers are constantly offering concerts. Zynovy Shulman is a popular figure whose concerts are well attended and whose records are brought widely by the Russian public, the announcer said. One of Shulman’s records was played on the program–it was the first time in years that a Yiddish song was heard over Radio Moscow.

As far as religion is concerned, the commentator asserted that Jews were given all facilities to practice their religion. At this point a recording of part of last Rosh Hashanah’s address–in modern Hebrew–by Moscow Chief Rabbi M. Lewin was broadcast.

The program ended with a solemn announcement that “anti-Semitism is severely prosecuted in the Soviet Union as something very hostile to the Soviet order of society.”

NEXT STORY