French Parley Appeals to Moscow on Jews; Russell Stresses Injustice
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French Parley Appeals to Moscow on Jews; Russell Stresses Injustice

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A one day conference on the situation of Soviet Jewry, attended by French progressive and left-wing leaders chosen for their known friendliness to the Soviet Union, appealed today to the new Soviet leadership to “revert to true Leninist principles” of equal treatment for all, without racial or religious distinctions.

The conference opened with a message from Lord Bertrand Russell who called particularly on the left-wing movements to make their voices heard on “the intolerable persecutions reserved to Soviet Jews.” Lord Russell twice appealed to Nikita Khrushchev when he was Premier on behalf of Russian Jewry, and has taken part in other protests for Soviet Jewry.

“Treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union causes great worries,” the British philosopher said in his cable. “It is intolerable that Communist party publications in a number of different Soviet Republics should contain anti-Semitic material comparable to that of Der Sturmer.” (The worst Jew-baiting publication of the Nazi-era in Germany.)

The philosopher added that “the denial of the usual cultural facilities, as well as the harassing and the charges of ‘parasitism’ which only serve as pretexts for anti-Semitic campaigns” in the Soviet Union “have made a strong impact on all those who oppose the cold war and are active in favor of international understanding.”

He asserted that it was a particular duty of leftist groups and organizations to speak out on the issue “so as not to let the cold war partisans have the exclusive moral responsibility for protests directed against the intolerable persecutions.”


Jacques Nanted, the rapporteur for the conference, then reported on a new Soviet publication which he said openly incited to hatred. He said it represented Jews as “the hereditary enemies” of the Ukrainians. He also described a short story, published in October 1963, in “Dniepro,” the organ of the Ukrainian Young Communist movement, which overtly and directly portrayed Jews as hating and despising their non-Jewish fellow-citizens “in the same way,” according to a review “as the thief hates and despises his victim.”

The rapporteur proceeded to describe a somber picture of cultural and educational discrimination affecting Russian Jews. He warned that some of the anti-Semitic innuendos which have appeared recently in the Soviet press were similar to the charges emanating from the “Doctors’ Trial” staged during the Stalin regime which sought to link Soviet Jews with “imperialist espionage.”

Daniel Mayer, chairman for the meeting, told the participants that “all persons here have been voluntarily chosen from among friends of Russia. None of those present harbors the slightest anti-Soviet or anti-Communist sentiments.” As such, said Mayer, the president of the International League for the Rights of Man, “it is our duty to help the new Soviet leaders to draw up a catalogue of their tasks in the spirit of a return to Leninist principles. It would be unacceptable that the planned return to Leninism should be realized in all fields but one–that of anti-Jewish discrimination.”

The former French Cabinet Minister stressed that the anti-Jewish measures could not be considered as falling entirely within the Soviet ideological war on religion because “as far as Jews are concerned, it is something far more complex–education, culture, and language–all that binds a man to his fellow human beings and to life itself.”

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