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Italian Communist Senator Assails Moscow’s Policy on Soviet Jewry

September 21, 1966
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A leading member of the Communist Party of Italy, and one of the party’s founders, criticized the Soviet Union severely here last night for its oppressions against Jews in the Soviet Union, and called upon Moscow to restore to the USSR’s Jews the fullest religious and cultural rights guaranteed them by the Soviet constitution.

The statement was made by Senator Umberto Terracini at a ceremony, attended by invited Jews and non-Jews, launching the publication of a book highly critical of anti-Jewish oppressions in the Soviet Union, entitled "The Jews in the USSR."

Sen. Terracini, who is a Jew, made it clear that he was speaking "as a Communist, not as a Jew." As author of the book’s preface, the senator revealed that he had discussed the Russian Jewish situation with the Italian Communist Party’s principal leader, the late Pal-mero Togliatti. Furthermore, he revealed that Italian Communist leaders here "Frequently" discussed the situation of Soviet Jewry with their Soviet colleagues.

In his preface to the book, Sen. Terracini stated. "After the violent suppression of every cultural activity of the Jews in the Stalinist period, there was no restoration of legality in this field. The organization of the Jewish religion and the exercise of its cult remained, compared to other churches and other existing cults in the USSR, extremely restricted. It is difficult to give a valid explanation for the policy of discrimination still existing against Jews in Russia."

"The full restoration of the national status of Jewish collectivity must legally be accompanied, as far as the Jewish religion is concerned, by the establishment of rights equal with those enjoyed by other religions. It is necessary that, in this field, there be no delay as to the return of the full application of the Soviet Constitution’s right, bestowed on citizens, to an education for each citizen in his mother tongue, which in this case means Yiddish. The citizen must be given the right to worship according to his religion," the Italian Communist Senator demanded.

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