An authoritative report on the persecution of Jewish cultural leaders and the firing of Jews from important posts in the Soviet Union during the 1949-52 period is published in the current issue of the British Communist journal “World News,” which appeared here today. The article was written by Prof. Hyman Levy, outstanding scientist, philosopher and Marxist, who investigated charges of mistreatment of Jews in the USSR when he visited that country last October:
Prof Levy reported that Russian Jews regard the years from 1949 to 1952 as the “black years” in which many Jews were dismissed from their jobs; Jewish poets and writers arrested charged with treason and executed, and Yiddish disappeared from the street and the market place. The Jewish population became tense and nervous, Prof Levy declared.
Reporting that he found difficulty in contacting “special people” whom he had wanted to interview on this subject, Prof. Levy said that he found such testimony unnecessary since individual Jews gave him all the information he needed. Relatives of cultural workers who had been liquidated explained the procedure that was followed in those years.
“Shortly after his arrest,” Prof. Levy wrote, “the immediate relatives of the arrested man would be deported to some distant place and there set to work and often at low wages. Finally the husband would be shot, perhaps after torture to try to force him to confess or incriminate others. In this way, practically the whole of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee was liquidated,” Prof. Levy charged, “and this procedure was carried through by the secret police under the direct authority of (Lavrenti) Beria and with the agreement of Stalin himself.”
In the same article, Prof. Levy reported that the delegation to the USSR, of which he was a member, was satisfied that the crimes had now been admitted, the dead publicly rehabilitated and the survivors restored to freedom, However, the delegation regretted the continuing absence of Yiddish publications, the cutting of the Soviet Encyclopedia’s reference to Jews from 160 columns in 1932 to four columns in 1952. Soviet Communist Party secretary Suslov told the British Communists delegation that unless there was a specific demand for the reinstatement of Jewish newspapers and Jewish theatres “these things will not be reinstituted.”
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.