LONDON (Apr. 10)
General Johan Yakir, Jewish hero of the Soviet armed forces who was executed in a Stalin purge in 1936, has now been officially rehabilitated as one of the USSR’s “great men,” according to a dispatch from Moscow received here today. Gen. Yakir is one of a number of Soviet heroes whose lives are depicted glowingly in a new movie just released by the Soviet Film Unit for Documentaries. The film is entitled “Lives of Great Men.”
Jonah Yakir, who was born and brought up in Kishinev, entered the Bolshevik army as a youth and, by 1918, had become a general. He was hailed widely by the Soviet leaders for his victory over White Guard anti-Bolsheviks in the Battle of Zhitomir, in 1918. However, in 1936, he, along with Soviet Marshal Tukhachevsky and other high officers of the Soviet army, was accused by the Stalin apparatus of having had treasonous dealings with the Nazi regime in Germany. All, including Yakir, were executed, after a show trial typical of the Stalin purges.