French Jewry Appeals to Moscow for Equal Cultural Rights for Jews

The CRIF, the representative body of French Jewry, put French Jewry clearly on record for the first time today against Soviet anti-Semitism with unanimous approval of a resolution condemning recent death sentences imposed on Russian Jews for alleged economic crimes.

In the resolution, the unanimity of which was made possible by the absence of the organization’s Communist members, the CRIF sent wishes of prosperity and peace to Soviet Jewry and then noted “with emotion” that the “majority of persons condemned to death in Russia” for economic offenses were Jews, several of whom had already been executed.

The resolution noted the emphasis of the Soviet press on the Jewishness of the defendants and noted that the press campaign had been preceded by an earlier one branding synagogues as meeting places of “Zionist spies” which had led to the condemnation of Leningrad and Moscow Jewish community leaders on espionage charges in secret trials.

The CRIF appealed urgently to the Soviet authorities to accord the Soviet Jewish community the same rights enjoyed by other communities in cultural and religious activity as well as permitting contacts with Jewish communities outside of Russia. The resolution concluded with a demand for humanitarian application by Soviet officials of the right for dispersed Jewish families to reunite.

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