British Stalinists and Soviet Jewry

INDIGNANT Stalinists such as Solly Sachs (Tribune, June 7) and Joseph Winter (Tribune June 21) obviously need a personal 20th Party Congress to correct their views on the Jewish problem in the Soviet Union. Their ideological approach is one long discarded by the Communist Party and the Left in this country.

They should perhaps ask themselves how repressions of Jews before President Nixon’s visit can be equated with the higher aspirations of Marxism. What sort of morality embalmed in Soviet law did the KGB obey in breaking down doors, muzzling a dog and threatening a 14-year-old boy with “breaking his fingers when they visited the flat of Vladimir Siepak last Friday? What sort of authority is it that wants to charge eminent sinologist, VitaIy Rubin, with treason to the motherland if he participate in an international scientific seminar in Moscow, sponsored by dismissed Jewish academics, which many foreign specialists hope to attend, including eight Nobel Prize winners.

Why do 150,000 Jews want to leave the Soviet Union if the Jewish problem does not exist? Why is the current emigration rate only 1200 a month enough to keep people sitting on their suitcases for the ten years? Why, if the Soviet Union wants detente, which means easier communications are all the telephone lines of Jewish activists in Moscow mysteriously “out of order”?

Why was the recent trial of Alexander Feldman in Kiev closed to his relatives and foreign correspondents? Why has Feldman been placed in an internal prison in his camo, following four sessions punishment cell?

If the names were changed, such situations would be recognised as part and parcel of the regimes that rule in Chile, Uganda and South Africa. However, these Injustices occur in the Soviet Union.

There are hundreds more specific questions on Soviet Jews that Mr Sachs and Mr Winter would be unable to answer satisfactorily. To do so would be to admit that their entire political lives have been mistaken sacrifices at the altar of the discredited aberrations of Stalinism.

Tribune 28 June 1974

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