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U.S. Jewish Groups Ask Moscow to Restore Rights of Soviet Jewry

August 12, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Five major Jewish cultural organizations today called upon the Soviet Government to adopt and put into effect a three-point program for the restoration to the Jews of Soviet Russia of their rights which were abrogated by Stalin. They submitted their appeal to Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko, who is now in New York.

The statement was issued as Jews throughout the free world prepared to observe the sixth anniversary of the execution on August 12, 1952 of 24 leading Soviet Jewish intellectuals, following a secret “trial” on trumped-up charges. The trial, the Jewish groups charged today, “climaxed a campaign of cultural genocide against Soviet Jewry initiated in 1948,” which was preceded by a “ban on Hebrew instruction and literature in the early 1920’s.” The groups proposed that the Soviet Government take immediate steps:

1. To lift the discriminatory prohibition and ban on Jewish cultural life, Jewish literature and press, and permit the Soviet Jews the freedom to live creatively and re-establish Jewish cultural and community life; Yiddish and Hebrew publications and schools.

2. To permit the Soviet Jews to have contact with their relatives and brethren throughout the world.

3. To grant the right to emigrate to those Soviet Jews who desire it, in line with the principles of the UN Charter.

“For the lives that have been destroyed there can be no reparation,” the statement said, “but at least their reputations can be rehabilitated and an end made to the campaign of cultural genocide.” The statement was signed by: Congress For Jewish Culture, H. Leivick, chairman; Hebrew P.E.N. Club, Isaac Rivkind, vice president; Histadruth Ivrit of America, Morris B. Newman, for the praesidium; Yiddish P.E.N. Club, Dr. Shlomo Bickel, chairman, and Yiddish Writers Union, Chuna Gottesfeld, president.

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