Stalin's Secret Pogrom?

By Eric Wallberg, NorthStar Compass, October 2004

If you are in a mood for some gregarious propaganda of the Cold War variety, read the 530-page book entitled “Stalin's Secret Pogrom”(The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Ant-Fascist Committees) edited by Rubenstein and Naumov (2001)—this could pique your interest. After reading the entire work, its easy to conclude that the book is little more than an anti-Soviet, anti-Stalin hatchet job, masquerading as objective scholarship in which omissions are of far greater import than the inclusions. Even the title of the book is a blatant lie, since one needs only read the contents, put out by the bourgeois propagandists themselves no less, to see that the defendants were put on trial for, among other things, slanderously accusing the Soviet Government of practicing anti-Semitism. It was not a trial or pogrom against Jews for being Jews, it was a trial of Zionist Jews who accused the Soviet Government, among other things of being Anti-Semitic. The Soviet Government always punished any anti-Semitism and unfounded accusations of the same, not promoting it.

(By the latest information from comrades in the leading Communist Parties of Russia —it has been exposed now that although Trotsky had written this accusation, it was not made known until now. Trotsky and his followers accused the Soviet Government and Stalin in particular of talking an active part and condoning the Holocaust against the Jews, together with Hitler!!! History proved otherwise—but now that there is no longer the Soviet Union and the present leadership of Putin of course shall keep mum on this accusation—it is in the interest of US Imperialism and Israeli Imperialism to renew these lies! Editor of NSC)

The deceptive aspects of the title is also evident the fact that Stalin is barely mentioned throughout the whole book and the entire text. There is an implicit, but unproven assumption, that Stalin is behind the curtains, somewhere pulling strings, when there is no evidence of any and he never even makes an appearance in this drama.

The facts with respect to the book's contents are relatively straightforward.

During World War II Stalin and the CC CPSU approved of a Committee of Jews to aid in the anti-fascist cause by enlisting support, primarily financial, from Jews throughout the world. Two of the leading members of this committee, Mikhoels and Fefer actually made a trip to the United States during 1943 and met with influential American Jews and other potential financial backers. Despite the committee's justifiable creation, evidence came to light after World War II ended that these men and 13 others members of the committee conveyed classified information regarding the Soviet Union's economy, industry, and culture to foreign agents, engaged in espionage, and that these members offered the US Jewish leaders to create a Jewish Republic in Crimea, so that Zionists and American imperialists could use this as a “beachhead” to dismember the Soviet Union, spread nationalistic propaganda, accuse the Soviet Union and the CC CPSU of being anti-Semitic, thus transforming the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee into a center of nationalistic activity in which Zionist propaganda sought to shift the allegiances of Soviet Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel etc.

This book's failings are particularly noteworthy.

FIRST, nearly the entire work focuses on one denial of guilt after another by the 15 defendants, despite the fact that they had already confessed to multiple crimes years earlier during the preliminary investigations, and also with foreign correspondents present. Readers are not allowed to read these confessions and would never ever know that they existed, were it not for the fact that the examining officers kept referring to them and the defendants giving lame excuses for having admitted to the confessions contained therein and their signatures to them.

SECOND, believe it or not the reader is not even given access to the indictment prior to reading the transcript. Did you ever try to read a trial transcript without even knowing what the trial was all about, or what the defendants were accused of having done? Talk about the mental strain. These editors try to mask their intentional duplicity by tossing in the following ridiculous footnote on page 75:

“The indictment was 45 pages long and recounted a full list of crimes ascribed to the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee as a whole and to individuals in particular. The text of the indictment, dated March 31, 1952, can be found in the archives of Genneral Volkogonov in the manuscript division of the US Library of Congress, Washington, DC.”

Imagine! The reader is supposed to search out the indictment for himself, assuming it can even be found. These Editors could not have found space for a 45-page indictment, which goes to the heart of the trial, but they found space for hundreds of pages for the defendants denials, justifications and obfuscations? It is quite apparent that the Editors did not want the readers to know the full particulars regarding what the defendants were accused of having committed. They were too busy trying to make the Soviet government appear anti-Semitic and suppressive.

FINALLY, and particularly very egregious, is the fact that the 42 volumes of Soviet preliminary investigation materials that are available, but never revealed, in which the evidence against, and confessions of the defendants are clearly exposed. Almost none of this is presented to the reader of course for obvious reasons, even though, it is repeatedly referred to by the defendants and by the presiding Soviet trial judge and officers. These Editors had absolutely NO intention of presenting any or all of the data corroborating the defendant's guilt! They were far more interested in making sure that the readers only read the repeated denials in the trial itself.

Interestingly enough, although the trial reeks with denials, there is very conclusive evidence that is not denied by the accused as they confess to particular acts and also, they did testify against each other. Much to the latter's chagrin and dismay.

In light of all of this, and the fact that this book was well funded by a whole series of capitalist foundations, its central message is fully understandable. That this book will never ever win a prize for neutrality or objectivity is manifest.