LONDON (Aug. 19)
Tass, the official Soviet news agency, today issued a heated denial of the existence of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, and contrasted the life of Jews in Russia with that of Negroes in the United States. Tass said that allegations by “some United States Senators” concerning maltreatment of Soviet Jews were attempts “to divert world public opinion from America’s own race troubles.”
“Some” U. S. quarters,” Tass said, “have made it a habit to resort to insinuations against the USSR every time there is an outburst of racist terror in the United States.” Comparing the lot of Jews in the USSR with Negroes in the United States, Tass asked: “Are they (the Jews) attacked by police dogs (in Russia) or are the Negroes of Texas or Alabama? Are they (the Jews) being lynched?”
Attempting to answer charges that Russian Jews are singled out and harshly punished for alleged “economic crimes,” Tass said: “Some people who are sentenced by Soviet courts from time to time for different crimes are Jews. It is common knowledge that criminals in any multinational state may be of different nationalities. They may include Jews, too. The same happens in the United States.
Tass insisted that the Soviet Union was among the few countries without the “so-called Jewish problem.” adding that Jews were granted absolutely equal rights with other citizens after the 1917 Soviet revolution. The statement declared that, while Jews represented only 1.08 per cent of the Soviet population, 20 Jewish scientists were among the 131 winners of Lenin prizes in science and technology this year. It also said that five of the 28 new members of the Soviet Academy of Sciences were Jewish.