LONDON (Sep. 22)
Richard Crossman, Laborite member of the British Parliament, reporting on a recent visit to the Soviet Union, charged today that “the sufferings of the Jews of Kiev” during the Nazi occupation “have been expunged from Russian history as a topic which causes too much discomfort and arouses too much suppressed emotion.”
In a broadcast over the BBC, the member of the House of Commons said that he had wanted to visit Babi Yar, the gully outside of Kiev where the Nazis slaughtered more than 75, 000 Jewish men, women and children in one of the worst massacres of Russian Jews. He said that when he talked to his Russian hosts in Kiev, he had asked whether the Jews of Kiev had not suffered particularly at the hands of the Nazis. He said they replied with anger that the Jews of Russia were no different from anyone else.
His temper rising, Crossman reported, he asked “then why are they the only people who have to put their religion on their identity papers?” The reply was that “this does not make them any different. They have their own republic in Siberia and are represented on the Soviet Council of Ministers, so they are not different from the Georgians or anyone else.”
Crossman said he retorted that there was a difference, since the Georgia province was “the homeland of the Georgians while the Jews do not want to live in that confounded republic. ” His hosts commented, “well, that’s their own fault. ” By then, said the MP, he realized that the sufferings of the Russian Jews had been expunged from Russian history.