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Soviet Lauds Mikhoels; Was Called “jewish Spy” Under Stalin

June 22, 1956
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For the first time since his mysterious death in the Soviet Union in 1948–when he was accused of being a “Jewish bourgeouis nationalist” and an “agent of the American Jewish capitalists”–the name of Solomon Mikhoels, prominent Jewish actor in Moscow and president of the dissolved Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee there, reappeared today in a complimentary manner in a Soviet report disseminated here.

The report, distributed by the Soviet delegation to the United Nations, terms Mikhoels as “the great Jewish actor.” Apparently aiming to show that Jewish cultural life has not altogether been suppressed in the Soviet Union, the report, entitled “Jewish Artists Perform in Moscow, ” says that Jewish concerts are currently taking place in the Soviet capital and in other cities in the USSR and that they enjoy great success.

The report concentrates especially on Clara Vaga, whom it describes as a “singer of Jewish songs with the Latvian State Philharmonic Society of Riga,” and on Max Reznik-Martov, identified as “a monologist with the Latvia Philharmonic Society.” It stresses the fact that the latter “is a graduate of the Moscow Theatrical School, where he studied under Mikhoels,” and says that “his style of delivery is reminiscent of the great Jewish actor.”

The report says that Miss Vaga sang in Moscow “to full audiences” which appreciated the “ease with which she conveyed the unique flavor of Jewish folk songs.” It also states that the audience “enjoyed tremendously” selections from the works of Sholem Aleichem read by Reznik-Martov in Yiddish. It asserts that Vaga and Reznik-Martov “give as many as 20 concerts a month.”

The “Literaturnaya Gazeta” which arrived here from Moscow reports that the Soviet authorities have decided to rehabilitate Isaac Babel, noted Soviet Jewish author who “disappeared” in 1939 and who was very well known for his stories in the Russian language of Jewish life during and after the Soviet revolution. The Moscow publication reveals that the writers association in Moscow has established a committee to deal with Mr. Babel’s “literary heritage.”

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