The situation in White Russia with regard to the anti-Semitic incidents there is not of an alarming nature, an investigation concluded by the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency shows. The number of anti-Jewish incidents is admittedly increasing, due to the present difficult economic situation. Hooligan elements, formerly cowed by iron repression, when many pogromists were summarily executed, are now regaining their courage, because there has been some let-up in the drastic measures.
Anti-Semitism is rising in the factories where the non-Jews view the entrance of Jews in industry as an intrusion. In schools where there are teachers who taught under the former Czarist regime, the minds of the pupils are poisoned by these teachers against their Jewish fellow-students.
The Soviet Government is taking a firm stand against anti-Semitism. The Communist press and the Soviet courts view anti-Semitism as equivalent to counter-revolutionary activities.
Rumors that pogroms occurred in White Russia, emanating from Riga and other points, should be taken with a grain of salt, the correspondent states.
An investigation commission, studying the question of anti-Semitism in the coal mines at Lugansk, was told by the secretary of the local Comsomol. Communist youth organization, that “the Jews must be driven out because they spread disease.” The commission visited the homes of the Jewish miners, where they learned that the charges of unsanitary conditions that had been brought against them were false.
An investigation made by the correspondent of the Barshay case in the glass factory, Octiabr, substantiated the facts previously reported. Miss Barshay, who is unable to speak Russian, made no complaints against those who maltreated her. The matter was disclosed by a non-Jewish girl, a roommate of Miss Barshay. When the investigation was started, Miss Barshay’s room mate sought to withdraw her charges. The Communist workers of the factory offered the explanation (Continued on Page 4)
that they took no action in the matter, because they viewed the case as mere hooliganism, not as anti-Semitism.
The editor of the paper, Communist, in Bobruisk, explained that his paper did not publish the facts because the documents were not received in time, thus giving the Mnisk paper, “Robotchi,” the opportunity of publishing the news first. Non-Communists interviewed by the correspondent expressed the opinion that the Communists were reluctant to make a fuss over the case until the district committee of the Communist party compelled them to do so.
The Communist press in White Russia continues to denounce the two Jewish workers, Bodanin and Tofenko, who sought to avenge Miss Barshay by pouring boiling glass over some of her attackers. The newspapers demand that they be tried together with the anti-Semites. The date of their trial is to be announced in a few days.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.