Book on Soviet Jewry, Written by Jta’s Editor Emeritus, to Be Published Next Year
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Book on Soviet Jewry, Written by Jta’s Editor Emeritus, to Be Published Next Year

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Publication in 1971 of a major book on Soviet Jewry, by Boris Smolar, editor-in-chief (emeritus) of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, was announced here today by The Macmillan Company. The book is based on the author’s recent visit in the USSR, where he discussed all aspects of the Jewish problem with Soviet officials, editors, writers, students and with Jews from all walks of life. Mr. Smolar’s book is an analysis of the problems–current and future–faced by the Soviet’s 3 million Jews. Among the problems covered are whether the word “Jew” will ever be eliminated from Jewish identity documents; whether emigration of Jews will be permitted; whether the restrictions now practiced against Jews in some fields of Soviet life will ever be lifted, and how far the Soviet policy of assimilation of the Jews will go. He also discusses diverse views on what can be expected in Soviet-Israeli relations, including the opinions offered by a ranking Russian official. Mr. Smolar, who speaks and writes Russian fluently, was a war correspondent in Russia during the first World War. He witnessed the fall of the Czarist regime, the birth and fall of the Kerensky regime, the establishment of the Bolshevik regime and the pogroms on Jews under the Petlura regime in the Ukraine. In 1928, he was sent by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Pulitzer’s New York World as their special correspondent to Moscow and remained there for about two years. He was instrumental in the release of prominent rabbis from Soviet jails, for the restoration of full civil rights to hundreds of thousands of Jews who were deprived of their rights as former traders, and for the dissolution of the Yevsekzia, the Jewish section of the Communist Party, which was chiefly responsible for the bitter campaign against Jewish religion in the country.

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