Executed anti-fascists remembered

A memorial was held for 13 Jewish anti-fascists executed by a Soviet military firing squad 55 years ago.

Sunday’s commemoration of the members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee was held at the Donskoe Cemetery in Moscow, where they are buried.

Communist leader Joseph Stalin, fearing that the members of the committee were agents of the “world Jewish plot,” ordered the killing by the Supreme Court’s Military Collegium firing squad on Aug. 12, 1952. Only a few years earlier Stalin had called the committee a “leading group of Soviet Yiddish-language culture.”

At the memorial, a former member of the Supreme Court’s Military Collegium, now a member of Russian Jewish Congress, Grigiry Kroshner, apologized for his predecessors’ decision. He called it “a black spot on the court’s history.”

Arseny Roginsky, a member of the human rights group Memorial, said xenophobia was on the rise in Russia. He called for erecting monuments to the victims of communist terror and said schoolbooks should include chapters on Soviet terror and ethnic cleansing.

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