Soviet Charged with Distorting the Truth of Jewish Situation in Russia

An official Soviet organ–the Moscow News–was charged here today with “distorting the truth” about the situation of the Jews in the Soviet Union by publishing data which gives a false picture on the condition of Soviet Jewry. The charge was made in a public statement by the Jewish Labor Committee issued by Adolph Held, its national chairman.

Mr. Held said that Soviet claims that more than 7,500 Jews were elected to local government offices in the Soviet Union “is nothing to boast about. A closer look at the facts,” he said, “shows that as of 1960 more than 1,800,000 such deputies were elected. The so-called ‘large’ number which the Soviets claim comes to less than one-half of one per cent of the total of elected deputies.”

“Then,” Mr. Held continued, “the Soviets say that although Jews are 1.1 per cent of the population, they rank third in the number of students. They cite a figure of some 420,000 Jews as having either secondary or specialized education. The fact of the matter is that Jews today represent 3.1 per cent of all students in higher education. This must be contrasted with the year 1935 when their proportion was 13.5 per cent. During this same 27-year period, the Jewish proportion of the total population decreased merely from 1.6 per cent to 1.1 per cent. There is a quota system for Jews in all of the higher educational institutions within the Soviet Union.”

“The handful of important Jews in Soviet life alluded to by the Moscow News, the economic czar Veniamin Dymshits, Ilya Ehrenberg and the world famous scientists cannot cover up the large areas of discrimination against Jews,” the JLC chairman stressed. “None of these men have ever identified themselves as a Jew in any way. Ilya Ehrenberg applauded the Hitler-Soviet Pact!”

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