The death of a Jewish scientist who was one of the Soviet Union’s topmost nuclear experts was announced yesterday in Moscow, according to dispatches received here today. The dispatches point up the fact that 10 per cent of all scientists in the USSR are Jewish.
A black-bordered item on page one of yesterday’s Pravda, official organ of the Communist Party of the USSR, announced the “tragic death” of Dr. Natan Aronovich Yavlinsky. A doctor of physics and mathematical science, Dr. Yavlinsky, known as a Jew, was head of a laboratory at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy in Moscow. In April, 1958, he was one of a team of scientists awarded the Lenin and State prizes for “highly valuable studies of powerful impulse discharges in a gas, to obtain unusually high temperatures needed for thermonuclear processes.”
His death, according to the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, occurred July 28. No details were given, however, of the reason for his death, and there was no indication whether death might have been due to an accident connected with Dr. Yavlinsky’s researches into further nuclear processes. In connection with Dr. Yavlinsky’s death, it was noted by foreign circles in Moscow that 10 per cent of the Soviet scientists are Jewish, although Jews compose only about 1 per cent of the USSR population.
It has long been known that Soviet Jewish scientists are playing a very important role in the Soviet development of nuclear science. This has been admitted even by Khruschev when he was asked on the discriminations now being practiced in Russia against Jews.
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.