Mayor Lindsay Calls for International Body to Secure Release of Soviet Jewry
Menu JTA Search

Mayor Lindsay Calls for International Body to Secure Release of Soviet Jewry

Download PDF for this date

More than 5,000 attending a garment center rally to mark the anniversary of the execution of 84 Soviet Jewish writers on August 12,1952 and to protest the imprisonment of Jewish writers in the Soviet Union today, heard Mayor John V. Lindsay call for establishment of an international committee to secure the release of Soviet Jews and admonish Americans “to petition the Soviet government to let its people go – to emigrate to Israel if they wish.” The demonstration was organized by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry.

In a declaration marking the anniversary today, the World Jewish Cultural Congress deplored the fact that although 17 years had passed since the executions, the graves of the Jewish martyrs were still unknown and unmarked and the majority of the Jewish writers and artists who had fallen victim to Stalinist tyranny had not been rehabilitated.

The declaration deplored the failure of the Soviet regime to express regrets and to condemn the assassinations and noted that those guilty of the crime were still unpunished.

Mayor Lindsay told the garment center audience that what was happening in the Soviet Union “is part of the campaign which has sent more than 200 Yiddish writers and artists to their death in the last gasps of Stalinist bloodshed and which has send hundreds of other Jews to silent, anonymous deaths.” He added that “today, mercifully, the bloodshed has stopped, but the intimidation, the harassment of Jews within the Soviet Union continues.”


City finance administrator Fioravante G. Perretta called on the UN Human Rights Commission to condemn the liquidation of Jewish writers and artists in the Soviet Union. He told the rally that “cultural pogroms were as much a violation of human rights as those perpetrated by the czars.”

Mr. Perrotta asserted that “fighting for the release of those Soviet writers and artists now imprisoned and condemning the death of those assassinated, has no partisan barriers, no religious or racial frontiers and no time limit.”

Abraham Beame, former City Controller, also addressed the gathering and said that Americans demanded that the Jews of the Soviet Union be permitted to emigrate to freedom elsewhere. Others who addressed the meeting included Simeon Golar, New York City Human Rights Commissioner, and Rabbi David Golovensky, former president of the New York Board of Rabbis.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund