NEW YORK (Jun. 13)
The Soviet Government ” is pushing the Soviet Jew deeper into the pit of second-class citizenship, whether he is a Jew who practices his religion or who long ago left the synagogue,” the current issue of the Saturday Evening Post says in a firsthand report depicting the campaign inside Russia against Jewish religious and cultural institutions.
“This means,” the report emphasizes, “that many thousands of non-religious Jews who want nothing more than the right to be counted as normal members of Soviet society are forced into a life, with special liabilities. The report is written by Rowland Evans Jr., member of the editorial staff of the New York Herald Tribune.
Enumerating the discriminations practiced against Jews in the Soviet Union today, the report says that “the heart of tragedy” for Russian Jews today is the fact that while Khrushchev renounces the terrible excesses of Stalin against all the people in Russia, the Jews are still singled out for special abuse.
“For most Russians, life is getting somewhat better; for the Jew it is becoming intolerable,” Mr. Evans stresses. He adds that the Soviet Government is embarrassed by the searchlight of world opinion on its discrimination against Jews, and explains why the Moscow rulers do not permit Jews to leave the country.
The report also explains why Jews are being made the scapegoats by the Soviet authorities for economic crimes which are now developing in the Soviet Union. The Soviet economy, the report says, has moved from a bare subsistence society to a more advanced level, an enormous “grey market” in illegal disposition of desired products has developed. Someone must juggle the figures to conceal these illegal transactions “and that someone often turns out to be the accountant or clerk,” many of whom are Jewish.
Because they are Jewish, they risk severe reprisals from their chiefs–the managers who profit most from the grey market–if they refuse to conceal the illegal transactions “and so some of them do cooperate.” Adopting the scapegoat approach “for the disease of the grey market,” the Soviet state is turning its investigative and prosecuting powers “on the Jew who clerks for the factory manager, who keeps the books for the collective farm, or who does the accounting for the manager of the wool combine.”
The trials for thievery, speculation and other economic crimes, in which a number of Russian Jews have already been executed, are in full swing, Mr. Evans reported, and the example serves as a warning for the real profiteers higher up on the Soviet economic ladder.