Communist Anti-Semitism

January 5, 1953

Report Outline
Danger Signals for Soviet and Sattelite Jews
Traditional Insecurity of Jews in East Europe
Treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union
Position of Jews in Satellite States

Danger Signals for Soviet and Sattelite Jews

Behind the Iron Curtain, where Red regimes assert that they have outlawed all forms of racial prejudice, East European Jews once more find themselves a threatened minority. In postwar years, the Kremlin has manifested steadily increasing suspicion and distrust of Jews. The trend has been evidenced in removal of Jews from influential posts, in propaganda attacking Zionist ideas, and in mounting satellite barriers against emigration to Israel. In this perspective, the recent Prague trial of persons accused of participation in an “international Zionist conspiracy” stands as a stark warning to every Jew under Communist rule. By joining- treason charges with alleged crimes of economic sabotage, the instigators of the November proceedings in Czechoslovakia have served notice that Jews in the Soviet satellite countries can expect blame for all manner of Communist shortcomings and failures.

Similar proceedings against already disgraced Jewish Communist leaders in other Red satellites—notably Ana Pauker, former foreign minister of Rumania, and Wladys-law Gomulka, former deputy premier of Poland—have been widely forecast for the early future. In Hungary, Matyos Rakosi, Communist premier of the Budapest government since July 1952, and his two chief lieutenants, E. Geroe and Josef Revai, are Jews. All three so far have maintained power in the local hierarchy despite recent purges in the Hungarian Communist Party which have included expulsion of substanial numbers of Jews. The Hungarian situation suggests that Communists of Jewish faith will be tolerated so long as—but only so long as—their services remain indispensable or particularly useful to the Kremlin.

Public Purge of Jewish Communists at Prague

The 14 high-ranking Communist defendants in the Prague trial confessed at length to charges of treason, sabotage, and espionage in the pattern first established by the Moscow purge trials of 1936. All were convicted of plotting “to liquidate the people's democratic system, to restore capitalism, tear Czechoslovakia from its firm alliance with the Soviet Union and take it into the camp of [Western] imperialism.” They were described as “Trotskyite, Titoite, Zionist, bourgeois-nationalist enemies and traitors.”

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