NEW YORK (Nov. 19)
Replying to a Tass statement made in Moscow, quoting him about his evaluation of the situation of the Jews in the Soviet Union, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today:
“The reference in the Tass statement to my previous statement that there is no anti-Semitism against individual, Jews in the Soviet Union is correct.
“There is no persecution of individual Jews in the USSR and the Jews are treated as equal citizens, although economically there may be some discrimination against Jews and although they are practically excluded from certain categories as, for instance, the foreign service. Bue such situations exist in other countries too, and this alone would not represent a serious problem. The real problem of Soviet Jewry is one of discrimination against them as a group both religiously and nationally.
“As a religious group, they are denied facilities which other religious groups, like the Orthodox Church or the Moslem minorities, possess. There are by far, not enough synagogues. With the exception of the small yeshiva in Moscow, there is no possibility to train rabbis; there is no religious literature, etc.
“As a national minority (the Jews in Russia are recognized as a nationality), they have practically none of the facilities which other nationalities possess–namely their own schools, their own press, their own theatre, their own literature.
ADVISES WAITING FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS; SUMMARIZES SOVIET-JEWISH PROBLEM
“Lately, there was some improvement indicated by the appearance of a Yiddish journal and the preparation of the publication of a few books of living Yiddish writers. Just because of this slight improvement which raised great hopes among many Jews the shock was all the greater when we learned about the arrest of the Jewish leaders in Leningrad and Moscow.
“Nevertheless, I am not sure if this indicates a radical change to the worse of the Jewish situation in the Soviet Union and we have to wait for further developments before we can pass judgment.
“To sum up the Soviet-Jewish problem, it is, in my opinion, not one of racial anti-Semitism against individual Jews but a problem of discrimination against the Jewish community as a minority which would be condemned to disintegration if the present policy should continue for a long time. And as this concerns nearly 3,000,000 Jews. Jewish public opinion will have to continue to press for a change in the present policy and to demand that the Jewish minority get the same facilities and rights which other minorities in the Soviet Union possess.”