First Published: Morning Freiheit, May 11, 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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It is painful and humiliating to be compelled to return once again to the continuing demonstrations oi rank and vulgar anti-Semitism in seemingly responsible organs of the press in the U.S.S.R. One of the greatest achievements of the October Revolution which replaced the “prison of nations,” the Czarist Empire, with 16 Soviet Republics, was the establishment by law and by governmental forms of equality of all nationalities inhabiting the land. Specific laws were promulgated providing harsh punishment for any individuals or groups preaching any form of racism, including anti-Semitism.
The ideology of the revolution regarding racism was clearly expressed by Lenin in March of 1919, in a speech directed against the forces of counter-revolution who sought to misdirect the people, turn them from the struggle against the Czarist system to anti-Jewish pogroms. In his usual crystal clear presentation, Lenin told the peoples of Russia that:
“Among the Jews there are working people and they form the majority. They are our brothers, who like us, are oppressed by capital; they are our comrades in the struggle for Socialism. Among the Jews there are kulaks, exploiters and capitalists just as there are among the Russians and among peoples of all nations. The capitalists strive to sow and foment hatred between workers of different nations, different races ... Rich Jews, like rich Russians and the rich of all countries, are in alliance to oppress, crush, rob and disunite the workers, Shame on the accursed Czarism which tortured and persecuted Jews. Shame on those who foment hatred towards other nations...”
Some time ago, under the caption “Ideology and Practice of Rapaciousness,” the widely circulated Soviet journal Ogonyok, directed mainly at the young, and published by Pravda in millions of copies, carried an article by one, Dimitri Zhukov.
Ostensibly a review of a pamphlet written by an official of the Communist Party of Israel, this article is, in fact, one of the crudest attacks upon the Jewish people. This essence of the calumny cannot be obscured by Zhukov’s very transparent stratagem of making Zionism “the villain of the piece.”
The Kichkos, Yevseyevs, Bolshakovs and Zhukovs, as well as others who present themselves to the Soviet people and to the world as “objective students of the origin and basis of Zionism,” have in fact, long departed from legitimate critical analysis of Zionism as a social phenomenon and as a political entity. They have (as some Zionists wish it would be) made the words Zionist and Jew interchangeable and proceed ever more openly to heap upon Jews the most vicious calumnies. It is they who trample underfoot the ideology of the Russian revolution and its leader Lenin.
In his Ogonyok article, Mr. Zhukov surpasses Kichko and his other colleagues. He actually undertakes a defense and justification of anti-Semitism. He writes:
“At the end of the past century most of the Jewish population in the developed countries occupied solid positions among the petty-bourgeois strata.”
To fortify this canard that “all Jews were rich” Mr. Zhukov tells us that:
“According to the German historian W. Sombart ’in every place where it is possible to make a comparison, the Jews are three or four times richer than the Christians.’”
As to Czarist Russia where most Jews lived in abject poverty, Mr. Zhukov tells us that:
“In Southern and Western Russia, the Jewish merchants held in their hands the whole trade in bread, sugar, animals and all public inns. Only 0.9% of the Jewish population belonged to the proletariat”.
Here we have it. Mr. Zhukov “the scientist” based his contentions upon “the German historian W. Sombart.” It is of little importance, to him as a Soviet writer, that Sombart was a Nazi, decorated by Hitler for his work in providing “theoretical grounds” for crematoria solutions of the Jewish question.
Mr. Zhukov “the historian,” forgets Lenin’s statement that in Russia “among the Jews there are working people and they form the majority.” (My emphasis G.L.).
The Ogonyok writer deserts Lenin in favor of the Protocols of Zion. He hoists the shopworn slogan of anti-Semites everywhere that, “all Jews are rich and they seek to dominate the world.”
Mr. Zhukov having explained to us that not only in Western Europe but also in Russia the Jews were in the main, the rich, then accuses Zionism of deliberately misrepresenting natural hatred by the poor Gentiles of the rich Jews by dubbing it as anti-Semitism. Here we have a downright criminal distortion. With utterly false statistics this “historian” sets out to prove that it was only natural and in reality justified that Christians who were the poor should hate the Jews who were the rich. He places upon the shoddy shoulders of race hatred and anti-Semitism the historic mantle of the class struggle. The article in Ogonyok is replete with racist poison. The inescapable problem that faces this observer is not simply that there are in the U.S.S.R. writers of the Zhukov persuasion, but what is basic is: How can such anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist and anti-socialist racism be allowed to appear again in Soviet publications?
We, in common with all friends of the Socialist world, know that Soviet citizens accused of “propagating anti-Soviet ideology” have been tried and where found guilty, sent to prison. Considering the freedom enjoyed by the Kichkos, Yevseyevs and Zhukovs, are we to assume that the anti-Semitic writings of these individuals are considered by responsible Soviet organs as being in line with Leninist ideology?
In good conscience, we are obliged and entitled to ask why is this group of rabid anti-Semites allowed to publish, again and again, scurrilous attacks upon Use Jewish people.
We are entitled to and we do ask, why are these men not brought into the Soviet courts of justice, together with the editors who allow them the use of the pages of their publications? Once and for all let it be clear. Those of us who are pro-Socialists and who have dedicated our lives to the struggle to abolish exploitation of man by man and to the achievement of a world brotherhood of man are not to be labeled as anti-Soviet when we frankly call for the uprooting of this poisonous weed in Soviet society. On the contrary, it is the Yevseyevs, the Kichkos and the Zhukovs who feed and nurture the anti-Socialist and anti-Soviet forces, everywhere, the reactionary Zionists among them.
The two camps in the world, the camp of capitalism in crisis and the growing camp of world Socialism confront each other in the struggle for the mind of man. The Zhukov brand of race-hate disseminated by Ogonyok makes it more difficult for millions to accept the ideas Socialism.
The Zhukovs desecrate the graves of the countless sons of our people, Jews who have given their lives in the struggles for the victory of the Russian revolution, in the struggles for freedom everywhere. Zhukov’s writings are an unspeakable insult to the hundreds of sons of the Jewish people who have had the title of Hero of the Soviet Union bestowed upon them for their part in the struggle against Hitlerism.