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P.e.n. Congress Assails Soviet Suppression of Jewish Culture

July 13, 1956
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 28th international congress of PEN (poets, essayists and novelists) clubs adopted a resolution today scoring Soviet suppression of Yiddish literature and the imprisonment and execution of Jewish writers.

The resolution, submitted by representatives of the Yiddish, Estonian and Latvian PEN centers, expressed grave concern at the “number of writers in various parts of the world still imprisoned in forced residence or in labor camps or prevented from publishing their works because of their opinions, race or language.” The resolution asked all PEN clubs and centers to work for the freeing of imprisoned writers and for aiding writers who were not imprisoned but were denied publication of their writings.

One of the sponsors of the resolution, Joseph Leftwich, representing the Yiddish PEN clubs, said that the document was intended to cover the liquidation of Yiddish literature in the USSR. He spoke of the disappearance and recent announcement of the execution of Russian Yiddish writers. His speech was greeted by a storm of applause from congress delegates and then the delegates stood in silence for one minute in memory of writers who had died in the circumstances described by Mr. Leftwich.

Jewish delegates to the congress were given a reception here last night by the British Jewish Tercentenary Council, acting in behalf of the Board of Deputies, Anglo-Jewish Association, British section of the World Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith and Jewish Book Council.

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