Peace De Resistance Soviet Jews Never Had It So Good, Propaganda Material Telis Newsmen
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Peace De Resistance Soviet Jews Never Had It So Good, Propaganda Material Telis Newsmen

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American newsmen arriving with President Nixon’s entourage today were greeted by a smorgasbord of Soviet propaganda materials laid out on the long curving bar in the press center of the Intourist Hotel here. The materials included an English translation of the paperback edition of “On the Jewish Street” by Aron Vergelis, editor-in-chief of the Yiddish literary monthly “Sovietish Heimland,” and the Oct. 1971 edition of “Soviet Life,” an English-language monthly distributed by the Soviet government in the US, containing a handsomely illustrated feature story depicting “A Jewish Family.”

The article, by Irina Kalitenko, was framed by photographs showing a grandfatherly man in a yarmulka and tallis, looking, presumably, into a prayer book; a short-skirted young woman hugging a matronly, smiling mother-in-law; and a young boy blowing a horn. The caption described them as “workers” and “students.” The cover itself was illustrated with a photo of a pretty woman and two handsome men all elegantly dressed in the fashion of the British horsey set. It was not clear whether this too was supposed to illustrate a “Jewish family.”


The plane carrying American reporters accompanying President Nixon landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport before the Presidential plane. The newsmen were treated in a businesslike manner and were warned at the outset not to “wander around” without first registering at the Intourist Hotel. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reporter was luckier than some of his colleagues in finding his identity badge and other credentials waiting for him at the airport. The credentials of quite a few other newsmen were unaccountably delayed.

The Intourist Hotel is a modern, comfortably appointed hostelry in downtown Moscow. After watching a 15-minute telecast of President Nixon’s arrival in his 12th floor room, the JTA reporter visited the press center and its array of press releases, speech texts, books and magazines, mostly in English. The Vergelis book was translated by Mariam Katz from the original Yiddish issued last year by Novosti, the Soviet Union’s external press agency. After browsing a while, the JTA reporter was courteously asked by a pleasant-looking woman of about 35 if he wished a copy of the Vergelis book. Asked why she offered him that particular book, she replied in good English that the book was very popular.

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