ROME (May. 9)
A chilling firsthand account of anti-Semitism spreading through the Soviet Union has been given by the daughter of one of the victims of Stalin’s “Doctors’ Plot.”
A scenario reminiscent of that which existed 37 years ago is being re-enacted, said Natalia Rapoport, a pathologist who spoke in Milan last week.
She was promoting a book by her father, Jakov Rapoport, one of the doctors arrested for the alleged plot. Titled “The Lab Coat Plot,” it was published in the Soviet Union last year and has just appeared in Italy.
Rapoport said that after publication, she received a wave of hate mail and telephone calls from people saying there really was a Jewish plot to murder Stalin.
“Just a few days before I left for here, a proclamation which appeared all over Siberia was brought to the Jewish Cultural Center in Moscow, saying that the Doctors’ Plot is real and that Jews go into medicine because they can use it to kill,” she told her Milan audience.
Rapoport attributed the recent surge of popular anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union to the worsening economic situation there. “The people are terribly frustrated and are looking for a scapegoat,” she said.
“Jews are accused of having been the initiators of Communism with Marx and Trotsky, and therefore responsible for present and past misery.
“This sentiment has been openly declared and has become the banner of the political party Pamyat,” she said.
Rapoport claimed Pamyat, which is viciously anti-Semitic, has the support of the Soviet government, even though President Mikhail Gorbachev is not an anti-Semite, she said.
She explained the alleged Doctors’ Plot in 1953. The paranoid Stalin planned to stage a mass trial and execution in Red Square, organize a pogrom and, on the pretext of protecting the Jewish population, organize a mass deportation of Jews, Rapoport said.
Stalin died nine days before the trial was to start, and the doctors who survived were released from prison.