<h3>The Soviet Jewish Issue 25 Years ago and Now
Jews, Marxism and the Worker's Movement

George Lewis

A Catalogue of Shame: The Soviet Jewish Issue 25 Years ago and Now

First Published: Morning Freiheit, July 21, 1985.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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(George Lewis is the pen-name of one of the leaders of the progressive Jewish movement in Canada)

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Some twenty years ago, Trofim Kichko unveiled his “Judaism Without Embellishments.” Published in the Soviet Union, this book caused deep going consternation to all true socialists and friends of the Soviet Union. Here was a patent demonstration of anti-Semitism, profusely illustrated with cartoons, true copies of what Goebbels used in his anti-Jewish campaign.

Appearing at a time when “militant atheism” in Soviet society was set aside, when Yaroslavsky’s “Union of the Godless” was replaced by a more tolerant and practical attitude to practitioners of the various religions, it was disturbing when Judaism was selected for “special attention”.

Claiming to be a “scientific examination” of Judaism, Kichko’s opus deliberately distorted and wildly misquoted, aiming to portray Judaism as an unmitigated evil.

At that time, writing in the Canadian Jewish Outlook, I exposed Kichko’s book in an article aptly entitled “Anti-Semitism without Embellishments.”

Soon after, the Ideological Commission of the Soviet Communist Party condemned this book and ordered it withdrawn from circulation.

All of us greeted this decision, hoping that here we had an unusual aberration, a departure from the teachings of scientific socialism, an impermissible distortion of Lenin’s heritage.

However, alas, we were soon bitterly disappointed. Over the years important publishing houses such as the Novosti Publishers, Progress Publishers, the Academy of Science Publishing, as well as the most prestigious newspapers and magazines, all participated in the dissemination of a great variety of Kichko-like publications, all dedicated to “expose Jewish-Zionist perfidy”.

Referring to what they considered as enemies of peace and progress, using alternatively such terms as “of Jewish extraction” and “Zionists” these publications literally and repeatedly told Soviet people their sordid story, wantonly distorting history and manufacturing so-called evidence to prove their claims.

In the spring of this year, General David Dragunsky, writing in the prestigious Literaturnaia Gazeta, extolled the virtues of a book by Cesar Solodar. This book originally published in 1977, re-issued in 1980 and again in 1984, was disseminated in many languages, including Arabic. The first printing was in 200,000 copies. While at times pretending to “defend the Jewish people,” Solodar, in a number of articles originating all over Europe, viciously attacks Zionism, using fabricated “true” stories, and demonstrating a type of Jew-hatred hard to perceive.


It would take a many-page catalogue to list all of the types of publications we refer to, publications in newspapers, magazines and in book and pamphlet form. To show the continuity of this campaign I will list only a fraction of what has appeared over the years:

1960 “The Reactionary Essence of Judaism” by N. Schachnovsky
1964 “Modern Judaism and Zionism” by F.Mayatsky
1970 “Caution Zionism,” collection by Novosti Publishers
1971 “We Cannot Be silent” collection by Novosti Publishers
1972 “The Deceived Testify,” collection by Novosti publishers
1974 “Zionist Falsehoods,” by B.Bakanov
1977 “International Zionism,” by Korneyev and others
1977 “The Sword of David,” by Lev Korn
1980 “Israel: The Banality Behind The Myth,” by Lev Korneyev
1981 “Zionism: Enemy of peace and Social progress,” Volume 1
1983 “Zionism: Enemy of Peace and Social Progress,” Volume 2
1984 “Zionism: Enemy of Peace and Social Progress,” Volume 3
1984 “Enemy of Peace and Progress” by George Fyodorov.

Well, the apologists will ask us, What Is Wrong With Criticism Of Judaism Or Zionism? Seemingly an innocent question!

The apologists disregard some basic facts. At this time, with the world wide struggle for the minds of the people, for averting a nuclear war, why concentrate on religious differences, why especially depart completely from scientific Marxist analysis and embark on a distortion of Judaism while there is no one, apparently, who has the time to discuss the Islamism of a Khomeini. We will later deal with the legitimacy of their anti-Zionist “criticism.”


Some 75 years ago, the notorious Russian antisemite, Pavel Khrushevan, achieved notoriety by publicising what he claimed were the minutes of the World Zionist Congress held in Basle in 1897. Recognized the world over as a crude forgery, this document became known as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” It became a cornerstone of antisemitic propaganda over the years. Its claim that the Jews conspired to dominate the world was used by the Tsarist pogromists, the Nazi Germans, as well, as I write this, by Mr. Keegstra, the Canadian now on trial for disseminating “hatred of the Jewish people.” According to the “protocols” Jews, Zionists, through the control of the banks and the press, set out to rule the world.

Chimes in Mr. Lev Korn in his “Sword of David” (page 22);

“Once the Jewish money lenders and tax farmers have accumulated their millions, they became bankers, industrialists, the owners of monopolies. United by their religious beliefs, business interests, the Jewish Servants of the Golden Calf... uncrowned kings of business, turned into an international bourgeoisie, their contacts not limited by the borders of their respective ’homelands’ their ideal was unlimited sovereignity of world capital.” (note – all emphasis in this article is mine G.L.)

Could the above be considered a legitimate attack on capitalism? Since when do disciples of Lenin attack capitalists, not as a class, but on the basis of their religion or nationality?

As a further elaboration of the thesis of the nefarious ̶Jewish domination,” writing in the Red Star, the multi-million circulation organ of the Red Army, Korneyev wrote that:

“Of the 165 of the largest ’Merchants of Death’ in the West, 158 are controlled or are directly owned by the pro-Zionist Bourgeoisie of Jewish Extraction.” As soon as this claim appeared, this writer spent hours in the Toronto Robarts reference library. I carefully examined the records of the directorates of such companies as General Dynamics, Lockheed Aircraft, MacDonell Douglas, Rockwell International and Hughes Aircraft, all among the main arms suppliers of the Pentagon. Among the hundreds of chiefs and vice-presidents of these concerns, each in charge of some company branch, I could find only isolated mention of Jews who were officers of these concerns. There is no doubt that wealthy American Jews are involved with some of the arms producing companies. However to maintain that Jews control nearly all of the arms-makers and the 200 billion a year trade in arms, is a deliberate invention of antisemites.

Khrushevan in his “protocols” maintains that equally crucial to the Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world is “the control and the manipulation of the press”.

So, in his “Enemy of Peace and Progress” (page 12) George Fyodorov proclaims that:

“To make effective use of the political structure and economic potential of the United States, the Jewish Bourgeoisie is seeking to gain control over the U.S. Media... Zionists control 70% of U.S. Periodicals and 80% of Television Programs”.

While Jewish-American capitalists are undoubtedly involved in the operations of the media, Mr. Fyodorov does not bother to tell us where he obtained these startling statistics. However the intention is obvious, Jewish-American capitalists seek to control the media not for the mundane reason of obtaining more profits Rather is this part of the conspiracy to control the media, as part of the plan for world domination.

Fyodorov is not really original. Students of history will remember that when Nazism flourished in Germany, “Jew control of the media and culture” was decried on a daily basis.


Apologists for the above described type of “literature” ask us: The Soviet writers referred to simply criticise Zionism, why not? People in the Marxist ranks have for generations criticised and differed with the nationalist outlook of the Zionists. However here we witness a total distortion of the history of the birth of Zionism, and even more important, it is for their nefarious purposes, presented by these writers as an evil and a menace to the world, in its threats, only second to the warlike U.S. imperialists. We who have come from the “shtetlech” of Europe know how the first Zionist groups were born. Volume 16 of the Encyclopedia Americana in a long essay on Zionism, states:

“The Zionist movement arose under the impact of antisemitism in Germany, Austria, and France, simultaneously with the anti-Jewish programs of the governments of Russia and Roumania.”

Compare this with Mr. Korneyev’s “history.” On the very first page of his “International Zionism”, he writes; “The history of Zionism from the very moment of its inception and to this day, is indivisible from the history of imperialism.” And to further emphasize this distortion of history, we are told in “Caution Zionism” (page 11-12): “Zionism emerged as an appendage of Imperialist ideology”.

Should one really want to comprehend the obscene lies and falsehoods permeating this type of “literature”, should one wish to see the grossest example of anti-Semitic incitement, one should read and re-read the following “gem” from the pen of P. Bakanov, who in his “Zionist falsehoods” writes (page 49) as follows:

“A manual of religious instructions in Secondary Schools (in Israel – G.L.) explains in all seriousness why Non-Jews ought to be slaves of Jews, Because it says Jews are the light of the human race and were specially created to pay homage to the creator. Because of this they (the Jews – G.L.) deserve to have slaves and these must be Non-Jews.’ ”

Neither Bakanov nor any living soul can find in Israel’s Secondary schools this type of a text-book. It is the old adage – repeat a lie many times and soon someone will grow to accept it. This group of Soviet publicists frequently, to show even-handedness. quote from speeches of leaders of the Israel Communist Party, selecting quotations which they believe points up their presentation of Zionism, the threat and the menace.

Let us suggest to these gentlemen to read from an interview given in September 1983 to the U.S. Communist Party organ “Political Affairs” by Wolf Erlick, a member of the Political Bureau of the CP, of Israel. He declared:

“We do not put all who believe themselves Zionists into one camp. We differentiate among them. We fight against the Begin Government. We fight against its policy, against aggression and terror against the Arab population. But at the same time we see throughout the history of this century, there were always Zionists who opposed this line and wanted some understanding with the Arab population.

“We believe that in spite of all our ideological differences it is possible to reach a political agreement which would be an objective basis for cooperation. We therefore do all in our power to cooperate with this section of the Zionists”.


It is impossible to amply illustrate the depraved depth of the considerable number of these people who “specialize” in this late-20th century anti-Semitism.

A number of them have now-concluded that the Tsarist anti-Jewish pogroms were in reality “an expression of the class struggle”. In his “Class Essence of Zionism” Korneyev writes:

“As the Russian lawyer. A.S. Shmakov noted in his “Freedom and the Jews” in 1906, the Book rich in facts (sic), The Jewish pogroms particularly in the Russian empire at the beginning of the 20th century, were frequently provoked by armed agents of the Russian and Ukrainian Zionists, who often opened fire on the forces of safeguarding order and on peaceful citizens, thus causing bloody repressions”.

So who is this lawyer whom Soviet specialist Korneyev quotes so approvingly? He is Shmakov, a well known Russian anti-semite, who in 1912 volunteered to take part in the infamous Beilis trial, where this Jewish resident of Kiev was charged with killing a young gentile to use his blood for rituals. Even for the Tsar’s justice this was too much, Beilis was acquitted.

May we ask, while on the subject of pogroms, if Korneyev ever read Vladimir Lenin’s description of the Bialostok pogrom. Writing in VPERIOD (Forward) in 1906, Lenin declared:

̶-;The old familiar picture. The police organize the pogrom. The police instigates it. Leaflets are printed in the government printing offices calling for a massacre of Jews. When the pogrom begins, the police is inactive. The troops look on at the exploits of the Black Hundred”

Who is right? Korneyev-Shmakov or Lenin?


After the appearance of ever new pillars in the edifice of this new anti-semitism, we hoped in vain that some Ideological Commission will halt this pollution of socialism.

To our grief, on June 6th 1983, with great fanfare and proclamations in Pravda, of the formation of this new Committee was announced. Chaired by David Dragunsky and with Solodar, Zimanas and others of this ilk as members, here was an organ of official war against the Jewish people.

Now there started a new and vicious attack. Repeatedly, Zionists have, according to newly found documents collaborated with Hitler before the Nazis came to power and have participated in the decimation of the Jewish people. Using as an excuse the much disputed “Transfer agreement” deal, under which some wealthier Jews were allowed to escape from Germany before the “Final solution” was decided upon, Zionists the world over are branded as Nazi helpers. Thus Dragunsky committee declared:

“The members of the Anti-Zionist Committee demonstrated convincingly, on the basis of archive materials found recently in the USSR and in other countries that had it not been for the Zionist-Nazi Alliance, the number of Jews annihilated by the nazis could have been fewer.”

Enough said. The pollution of socialism grinds on, when and where will it stop?

(Translated by I. Malenky)