Every Jew in Russia, whether poor or not, will have matzoth for Passover, an investigation shows. The investigation established that there is not a single city in which the Jews are not provided with sufficient matzoth. The matzoth bakeries are functioning freely and unmolested, even in the smallest townships.
Thus far the campaign to get matzoth is everywhere stronger than the anti-Passover campaign, and is conducted under the colloquial slogan of “pawn your last shirt and get matzoth.” The local Communists are manifesting great tolerance, since the Central Committee of the League of the Godless in Moscow gave order to avoid administrative pressure in the anti-Passover campaign.
Many local government cooperative stores are making exceptions for the Jews and giving them a two-months’ supply of flour on their bread cards to enable them to bake matzoth. In the townships of White Russia and Ukrainia, it is reported that among those who are ordering matzoths are members of the local soviets as well as a great many artisans, including those who a week ago turned over their religious articles for the industrialization fund.
The Jewish Communist press reports particular activity in the matzoth campaign in White Russia, adding that in several townships the clericals are endeavoring to influence the school children to bring home again the religious articles that they collected and kept in the school buildings.
The Minsk “Oktiabre” reports from Turov and other townships in the Mozir region that delegates to the local soviets are buying matzoth despite the fact that they themselves have previously carried on ani-Passover agitation. The Moscow “Emes” expresses itself as dissatisfied with the government cooperatives in Briansk and other cities, where flour is being granted for matzoth-baking purposes.
The Charkov “Shtern” tells of provincial Jewish workers and artisans who ask whether it is really necessary to fight Passover. They query, says the “Shtern,” “isn’t Passover a revolutionary holiday, the time when the Jews freed themselves from slavery? Is it not a mistake for Communists to ask the Jewish workers to denounce such a holiday?”
Replying to these questions, the “Shtern” says: “Passover is not a redemption holiday but a slavery holiday, by means of which the religious leaders, aim, through the invented story of the exodus from Egypt, to enslave the Jews to the belief that only God can help them from slavery and not that the people should help themselves. Thus Passover is a holiday of religious propaganda.”
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.