LONDON (Aug. 2)
Preparations were underway today in London and in other western European communities to mark the 15th anniversary on August 12 of the execution of the Jewish writers and intellectuals in Moscow and other Soviet cities during the Stalin-directed terror against Soviet Jews.
The Jewish intellectuals were charged with treachery, crimes against the state and party and “contacts with criminal elements abroad.” The 1952 executions were the climax of an anti-Jewish campaign which began in 1948 against Soviet intellectuals, scholars and writers with Jewish-sounding names. Even now, details of the interrogations and tortures to which the victims were subjected, are not fully known, nor is there information available as to where the victims were buried.
Some of the victims were “rehabilitated” by announcements that a particular individual was “a victim of the Stalin personality cult.” The 1952 executions did not mark the end of the campaign. In 1953, a group of physicians, most of them Jews, were arrested in the “Doctors Plot” and reportedly confessed to plans to poison Soviet leaders. Only the death of Stalin in March, 1963 ended the officially-sponsored anti-Jewish campaign. The doctors who survived were released and their civil rights restored but succeeding Soviet regimes have never formally condemned the campaign, other than issuance of vague references to “Stalin’s personality cult.”