MONTREAL (Oct. 23)
Twenty-two prominent persons in this city, most of them non-Jews, have protested to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa over the “persecution and discrimination” suffered by the Jews in the Soviet Union.
In a letter to the Soviet envoy, the text of which was released here today, the group, including a number of university professors, said it was concerned because “the persecution of religious, racial and cultural minorities is a great breeding ground of hatred and enmity between nations.”
Prof. Charles Taylor of McGill University, who headed the group, told a press conference that it was the feeling of the signers that a constant stream of opinion along these lines will, in the long run, have its effect on the Russians. He said that, in the past, some small changes had been made under Western pressure, such as the withdrawal of the notoriously anti-Semitic book “Judaism Without Embellishment.”
The letter to the Soviet envoy pointed out that, under Stalin, the cultural institutions of Soviet Jews were destroyed, and that “desalinization, which rectified other injustices in the Soviet Union, did virtually nothing” for the Jews in the USSR.
(The last Jewish house of prayer serving the 1,000 Jews in the Russian city of Pinsk has been closed down by the Soviet authorities, it was reported in New York today by Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry.)