LONDON (Apr. 29)
Two Soviet Jews committed suicide in the course of an investigation in Odessa preceding a mass trial of “economic criminals” which resulted in death sentences for at least two other Jews, according to Soviet newspapers received here today. There are suspicions that the two who allegedly took their own lives may have died as a result of torture during the investigation–or, possibly, may have been murdered by the interrogators.
The two alleged suicides were named as Yacov Nukihimovitch and Nochum Klarfeld. Those sentenced to death were Falik Fuks and Benjamin Gulko. Some of the facts about the alleged suicides and the death sentences came from Literaturnya Ukraina, a literary magazine published in the Ukraine. Other facts emerged from Pravda Ukraina, the official organ of the Communist Party of Ukrainia.
The reports are full of allusions which can be interpreted only as anti-Semitic in intent. While all the accused had been charged with “currency speculation, ” there are references to charges that some of them “enriched themselves through Schechita”–there by pointing up their Jewishness. All the Jewish names are underscored in the reports.