Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Jews Treated Better in Satellite Lands Than in Russia, Editor Finds

August 6, 1964
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Discrimination against Jews differs greatly in the satellite countries and in Russia, J.I. Fishbein, editor and publisher of The Sentinel, Chicago’s Jewish-English weekly for more than 53 years, told a press conference here today upon his return from a month-long tour of six East European countries where he visited Jewish communities.

“Each country is different but all differ completely with the attitude of the Soviet Union toward Jews,” he said. “In brief, they may be summed up as follows: In Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia, the Jews are not only allowed to lead a Jewish life, but are also given economic and moral assistance by their government to maintain it. Poland, for example, has only 30,000 Jews left out of a former 3,000,000, of which 8,000 live in Warsaw. Nevertheless, they have in many ways a more intensive Jewish cultural existence than we have in Chicago.

“In Hungary, where 110,000 Jews remain, there is a similar attitude. Jews occupy important places in the cultural, professional and economic life of the country. Few of them want to emigrate to Israel, because they feel secure. In Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, where 6,000 and 2,000 Jews, respectively, reside, there is also great freedom. Both of these communities, unfortunately, are being rapidly reduced to positions of being mere museums because of their dwindling Jewish populations, but their rights as Jews are carefully respected.”

Recommended from JTA