LONDON (Oct. 20)
A “show trial” for two Jews charged with “economic crimes” was demanded today by Izvestia, the official organ of the Soviet Government. The newspaper, accusing two Moscow men, identified as Roifman and Shakerman (without first names) pointed out that the arrested men have “Jewish names” but denied that the arrests indicated anti-Semitism.
According to Izvestia, the two men had embezzled 3,000,000 rubles ($3,300,000) worth of state property, hoarding the returns, including “200 pounds of gold, precious stones and platinum” found in their possession. Roifman, according to Izvestia, was the head of a state-owned clothing factory in Moscow, while Shakerman was his “secret adviser.”
Calling for a “show” trial to be conducted by the country’s chief prosecutor, Procurator-General Roman A. Rudenko, Izvestia demanded the death sentence for the two men, whom it called “ringleaders” of a criminal gang. Referring to repeated charges voiced abroad about officially condoned anti-Semitism in the USSR, the government organ declared:
“We mention the Jewish names of people in this ring because we do not pay attention to the malicious slander that is stirred up from time to time in the Western press. It is not Jews or Russians or Tatars or Ukrainians who will be tried. Simply criminals will be tried.”