Canadian Sentiment on Soviet Jews Presented to Moscow Delegation
Menu JTA Search

Canadian Sentiment on Soviet Jews Presented to Moscow Delegation

Download PDF for this date

A Soviet parliamentary delegation visiting Canada under the chairmanship of Dimitri S. Polyansky, vice-chairman of the Moscow Government, has received a plea from the Toronto Telegram, one of the leading newspapers in the Dominion, for lifting restrictions against Russian Jews.

Under the heading "Let the Russians Heed this Call," The Telegram ran a four-column editorial yesterday, stating: "One obstacle to understanding (between Canada and the USSR) is anti-Semitism, the only area of Soviet life that appears to have escaped the liberalizing effects of the loosening of the Stalinist straitjacket. This is perplexing not only to Canadians but also to progressive Soviet citizens."

The editorial was addressed to the 11-man Soviet delegation which arrived for its official visit to Ottawa just as the newspaper here issued its call. The Soviet group came to Ottawa to repay a visit made to Moscow last year by a parliamentary delegation from Canada. Noting that Russian Jews must carry passports identifying them as Jews, the editorial protested the fact that Soviet citizens of the Jewish nationality do not receive rights equal with those given to other nationalities such as the Georgians, Ukrainians and Armenians, existing as "an ethnic and cultural group only in form, not in content."

The newspaper mentioned the denial to the Russian Jews of the rights to perpetuate and teach to their children the Jewish "languages, literature and value patterns." It complained against the "systematic dispossession" suffered by Russian Jewry in regard to cultural institutions and agencies. It called also for "compassionate" action to permit Soviet Jews separated from their families through the Nazi holocaust to rejoin their relatives abroad.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund