LONDON (Apr. 5)
The Ideological Commission of the Soviet Communist Party this weekend criticized the publication by the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences of the anti-Semitic book, “Judaism Without Embellishment,” it was reported here today from Moscow. The book, which contains anti-Jewish caricatures reminiscent of Nazi propaganda, has already been attacked by Communist parties in various Western countries.
The statement, which was adopted at a special meeting of the Ideological Commission and was published in Pravda, organ of the USSR Communist Party, said that the book contained statements and illustrations that “may insult the feelings of believers and be interpreted in a spirit of anti-Semitism.”
The party announcement added that the book “contradicted the party’s Leninist policy on religious and nationality questions, and merely feeds anti-Soviet insinuations of our ideological foes who are trying at all costs to create a so-called Jewish question.” The statement reiterated, however, the official assertions that the Jews in the Soviet Union “are all respected in the same situation as other peoples.”
Pravda indicated that, after the furor caused by the book abroad, the Ideological Commission was specially convened to review the entire question of anti-religious literature.
The Sunday Observer today hailed the action of the Soviet authorities in moving with “unexampled speed” in reacting to the publication of the anti-Semitic book. In an editorial commenting on the statement concerning the book by the Ideological Commission of the Soviet Communist Party, the Observer expressed the hope that the action would “serve as a precedent” for the future. The Observer’s expert on Soviet affairs, Edward Crankshaw, said that the Communist Commission’s action “is an indication of how sensitive the Soviet Government is to charges of anti-Semitism.”
(Further condemnations of “Judaism Without Embellishment” were printed this weekend in the European press. In Paris, “France Observateur,” a left-wing newspaper, asserted that no one can deny now that anti-Semitism exists in the USSR. The Jewish Resistance Organization in France sent a protest against publication and dissemination of the book, to the Soviet War Veterans Organization. Two periodicals in Belgium, including one dominated by leftists, also voiced their protests.)