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Khrushchev Expresses Distrust of Soviet Jews; Reveals Ban in Crimea

December 14, 1956
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The distrust which Nikita Khrushchev, the head of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, displays towards the Jews of the USSR, was emphasized openly during a two-hour conference between him and a delegation of the Canadian Labor Progressive Party which took place in his office in Moscow, B. Salzberg, a member of the delegation, reports today in the pro-Communist Yiddish newspaper “Morning Freiheit.”

Mr. Salzberg emphasized that the conference was devoted primarily to the question of the treatment of Jews in the USSR and that Khrushchev attempted to prove that present Soviet policy with regard to Jews is in accordance with Communist Party theory concerning national minorities. “However,” Mr. Salzberg reports, “to my regret I must say that his arguments impressed me just to the contrary and our differences of opinion came-out in open nakedness.”

Khrushchev admitted in the course of the conversation that he was in agreement with Stalin that Crimea, where there were many Jewish settlements prior to the occupation on that territory by the Nazis, should no longer be a center for Jewish colonization. This he said, was motivated by the fear that in case of war the region would become a war center against the Soviet Union.

He also admitted that Solomon Lozowski, world-known Moscow leader of the Red Trade Union International, has been liquidated “innocently” because he was involved in the alleged demand by Soviet Jewish writers that Jews be permitted to return to their Crimean settlements from which they were evacuated as the Nazis approached the territory.

Denying that he is an anti-Semite and that the Communist Party in Russia is pursuing an anti-Jewish policy Khrushchev said that his daughter-in-law is Jewish and that many Jews in the Soviet Union today occupy high-positions. At the same time, he stated that he is against permitting Jews in Russia to have their own schools, and enumerated the following “negative aspects” of Soviet Jewry:

1. Of the thousands of Soviet tourists abroad, only three did not return to the Soviet Union, and all three were Jews.

2. During the incorporation of a part of Rumania in the, USSR, many Jews chose to go to “reactionary” Rumania rather than to remain on the spot and become Soviet citizens.

3. Wherever a Jew settles, he immediately establishes a synagogue.

Mr. Salzberg concludes his report with a expression of concern over Khrushchev’s opinions on Jews. “They express prejudice against the Jews as a nation,” he emphasized “and remind (us) slightly of Stalin’s approach to certain national minorities during the war whom he deported because of the sins of individuals.”

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