Jews in Soviet Union Reported As Being Under Heavy Pressure

“The Jews in the Soviet Union are under heavier pressure than usual these days,” the Sunday Observer reported today. “Khruschev himself, with his emotional anti-Semitism, is determined to make them keep their heads down,” the report stressed. “The whole muddled policy, which treats Russian Jewry with utmost suspicion because of its affiliations with world Jewry while, at the same time, refusing to give Jews a chance to become completely absorbed, finds expression in intermittent persecution.”

The report, written by Edward Crankshaw, noted expert on Soviet affairs, says that the Soviet law of last year, decreeing the death penalty for large scale “economic crimes,” was conceived as part of an Anti-Jewish campaign. Mr. Crankshaw pointed out that in the recent wave of death sentences, resulting from many Soviet trials for “currency speculation,” not only the sentences but also the evidence were “so arranged as to emphasize the Jewish blood of the principal accused, when this was not evident.”

“Because of this fact,” he declared, “some Western observers have come to the conclusion” that the 1961 decree was part of an anti-Jewish effort aimed at “the Soviet man in the street, above all in White Russia and Ukrainia, where anti-Semitism is bitter and endemic.”

“In a drive against financial racketeering, it is the easiest thing in the world to make Jewry a scapegoat, and to make examples of individual Jews. This is all the more so, when local police chiefs and party secretaries, who are sometimes bitter anti-Semites, are given a chance to let off steam under the general head of a drive against corruption,” Mr. Crankshaw concluded.

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