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Full text of "Anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. Hearings, Ninetieth Congress, second session. June 19, 1968"

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JUNE 19, 1968 

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Committee on Internal Security 



JUu 9 1939 

27-407 WASHINGTON : 1969 

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United States House of Representatives 
(90th Congress, 2d Session) 

EDWIN B. WILLIS, Louisiana, Chairman 

JOE R POOL, Texas DEL CLAWSON, California 


JOHN C. CULVER, Iowa ALBERT W. WATSON, South Carolina 

Francis J. McNamara, Director 
Chester D. Smith, General Counsel 
Alfred M. Nittle, Counsel 


United States House of Reteesentatives 
(91st Congress, 1st Session) 

RICHARD H. ICHORD, Missouri, Chairman 



RICHARDSON PREYER, North Carolina ALBERT W. WATSON, South Carolina 


Donald G. Sanders, Chief Counsel 

Glenn Davis, Editorial Director 

Alfred M. Nittle, Counsel 



Synopsis 2197 

June 19, 1968 : 

Statement of Meir Kahane 2202 

Testimony of Harry Bronstein 2206 

Statement of Meir Kahane (resumed) 2220 

Index i 


The House Committee on ITn- American Activities is a standing 
committee of the House of Representatives, constituted as such by the 
rules of the House, adopted pursuant to Article I. section 5, of the 
Constitution of the United States which authorizes the House to deter- 
mine the rules of its proceedings. 


House Resolution 7. January 10. 1967. as amended April 3. 196S. by House 

Resolution 1099 


Sesolred. That the Rules of the House />f Representatives of the Eighty-ninth 
Congress, together with all applicable provisions; of the Legislative Reorganiza- 
tion Act of 1946. as amended, be. and they are hereby, adopted as the Rules of 
the House of Representatives of the Ninetieth Congress * * * 

****** m 

RrxE X 


1. There shall be elected by the House, at the commencement of each Congress. 

(s) Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine Members. 




19. Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(a) Un-Americ-an activities. 

(b) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommittee, 
is authorized to make from time to time investigatons of (1) the extent, charac- 
ter, and ot)jec-ts of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, 
(2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propa- 
ganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks 
the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution, and 
1 3 1 all other qu,estions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any 
necessary remedial legislation. 

The Committee on Un-American Activities shall report to the House ( or to the 
Clerk of the House if the House is not in session) the results of any such invessti- 
gation. together vrith such recommendations as it deems advisable. 

For the purpose of any such investigation, the Committee on Un-American 
Activities, or any subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such times 
and places within the United States, whether or not the House is sitting, has 
recessed, or has adjourned, to hold such hearings, to require the attendance of 
such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, and to 
take such testimony, as it deems necessary. Subpenas may be issued under the 
signature of the chairman of the committee or any subcommittee, or by any mem- 
ber designated by any such chairman, and may be .served by any person desig- 
nated by any such chairman or member. 


28. To assist the House in appraising the administration of the laws and in 
developing such amendments or related legislation as it may deem necessary, 
each standing committee of the House shall exercise continuous watchfulness of 
the execution by the administrative agencies concerned of any laws, the subject 
matter of which is within the jurisdiction of such committee : and. for that pur- 
pose, shall study all pertinent reports and data submitted to the House by the 
agencies in the executive branch of the Government. 


A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities held 
public hearings in Washington. D.C.. on June 19. 196S. to receive the 
testimony of Eabbis Meir Kahane and Harry Bronstein. 

The hearings were held pursuant to a committee resolution which 
authorized hearings relating to — 

the extent and character of Commimist propaganda and c-onsptratorial techniques 
employed within the United States to promote the objectiTes of the Commtmist 
Party in the United States and to advance the purposes of the world Commtmist 
movement by the dissemination of false and misleading information c-onceming 
Communist doctrine and practic-es in regard to religion and ethnic and minority 
groups * * *. 

Eabbi Kahane, the first witness, identified himself as a writer and 
editor for the Jewish Press, which he described as 'Tihe large-st Anglo- 
Jewish newspaper in the country." The rabbi said he is one of the 
founders of "a group called the Jewish Defense League, which is cur- 
rently being organized to defend Jewish people against anti-Semitism 
and to defend this country against various extremist groups such as 
the Communists and the black nationalists, functioning at the present 

Eabbi Kahane testified that for a period of about 15 years he had 
made a study of communism and Soviet anti-Semitism. The rabbi 
stated that, prior to 1917, Eussia was the "heartland of the Jewish 
faith — seminaries, synagogues. This was what one could truly say was 
the flower of the Jewish people." "^\Tien the Soviets took over." he 
said, "there began an immediate campaign to do away with this." State- 
controlled institutions for Jews were established to replace the truly 
Jewish institutions. The rabbi said these institutions — 

were created for the very purix)se of doing away with the idea of Judaism. * * * 
Xo .Jewish child was allowed to study his faith, either in the government s<iiooL 
the public school, or in the privacy of his own home. 

At the same time, he is exposed to compulsory atheistic education in the schools. 
It is quite obvious that this is an unequal battle, an unfair battle, and this is a 
destruction of the Jewish soul. 

According to Eabbi Kahane. "The Communists did a very, very 
thorough job. "Within a decade, the greatness that had been Eussian 
Judaism had been destroyed." iETe continued: 

Jewish ritual is banned : synagogues have been dosed. One seminary, one sm all 
token which Khrushchev opened up again as jiart of this great myth, is ciosed. 
The youngest student at any time was 40 years old, and at no point were there 
more than 13 students. 

At this ]X)int Eabbi Kahane's testimony was interrupted so that 
Eabbi Bronstein might be heard by the committee. Eabbi Bronstein 
furnished the following information : He was bom in "Wyszkow. Po- 
land, in May 1911. At the end of 1933 he left Poland and emigrated 
to Canada. In 1940 he came to the United Stat^ and subsequently 



acquired citizenship. He is vice president of the Rabbinical Alliance 
of America and is president of Al Tidom, an organization whose pur- 
pose is "to aid Soviet Jews in their que-st for re gious, cultural, and 
informative material." He said he has made nine trips to the Soviet 
Union and to Poland, Rumania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugo- 
slovia. The first trip was in 1958, the last in 1967. The purpose of his 
travels was to train young men in the Jewish ritual of circumcision — a 
ritual of great significance to the Jews, but forbidden in the Soviet 
Union — and to strengthen the faith of his people. 

Rabbi Bronstein stated Jews in the Soviet Union were being per- 
secuted and oppressed. He asserted that "If the Soviet Union would 
open its doors today for an exodus, I can assure you a quarter of a 
million Jews would leave on foot * * *." He said students could not 
go to the synagogue because they were in school, and the working men 
could not go because of the 6-day work week. This is the reason, ac- 
cording to Rabbi Bronstein, that tourists in the Soviet Union see only 
old people in the synagogue. Nevertheless, "Despite all the propaganda 
and brainwashing, Jewish children today are seeking religion," and, 
he continued, "religion is a tremendous weapon against communism." 
As evidence of the persistence of Judaism, he cited the example of 
30,000 young men and women gathering in front of the central syna- 
gogue on a Jewish holiday to dance, sing, and pray. 

The witness urged that communication media such as the Voice of 
America or Radio Liberty be utilized to disseminate religious infor- 
mation which the Jews in Russia and satellite countries have been 
denied, as well as information on religious freedom in the United 

He said recent propaganda which declares communism compatible 
with religion is "the greatest lie." He cited examples to show the 
Soviets are becoming "more aggressive" against religion. "The Soviet 
Union today is one great prison, and they [Jews] are prisoners in that 
prison." The Jewish people have been denied the ritual of circum- 
cision, a cemetery in Moscow, the Hebrew alphabet, prayer books, Jew- 
ish calendars in order to recognize the holidays, the talis, and mat- 
zoth. They have also been denied their own Yiddish-language news- 
papers and theaters. 

On his latest trip to the Soviet Union, Rabbi Bronstein twice en- 
countered the KGB.^ On the first occasion he was detained and in- 
terrogated for 214 hours. He was told his visa was not good for travel 
to a city he had visited and he was fined 50 rubles. The second incident 
occurred as he was preparing to depart from Kiev airport. He was 
picked up by three KGB agents, taken to a room, and interrogated. 
The KGB had a dossier on him "which weighed over a kilo, with pic- 
tures and statements and letters from Russian citizens," stating his 
purpose in the Soviet Union was not just as a mere tourist, but that 
he had come to organize an illegal exodus of Russian Jews. They also 
accused him of "taking illegal pictures from concentration camps and 
prisons, which was not true." The KGB confronted R^ibbi Bronstem 
with a list of the names of persons he had met during his nine visits 
to the Soviet Union. According to the rabbi, the fact most of the people ' 

^ Komitet Oosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti — Committee for State Security (Soviet secret, 
police) . I 


he had met during his visits had actually managed to leave the Soviet 
Union constituted proof to the KGB that he had come to organize an 
illegal exodus. According to the witness, the Soviets knew every- 
thing about him, not only his activity in the Soviet Union, but in the 
United States as well. He stated the Soviets "must have good sources 
of information in the United States." 

Tlie rabbi testified, "Tens of thousands of Jews have applied for 
exit permits to leave the Soviet Union, although the Soviet Union does 
deny this, but we know better." He said that the people he had talked 
with were anxious to leave the Soviet Union — he did not persuade 
them to go. 

Rabbi Bronstein informed the committee he has been declared 
persona non grata by the Soviet Union. 

Rabbi Kahane, resuming his testimony, furnished details about 50 
years of Jewish persecution at the hands of the Communists in the 
Soviet Union. He also pointed out specific situations wherein the 
Communist Party, U.S.A., has, as he put it, "hewed faithfully" to the 
Soviet line on the Jewish question. In the 1930's Soviet persecution 
of the Jewish people was largely ignored by the Conununists in the 
United States. During the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the Communists ap- 
pealed to the Jews in this country to stay neutral, even though they 
knew that adoption of that policy meant death to many Jews. During 
the war years Soviet anti-Semitism decreased but, resuming in 1948, 
it reached a peak in 1953. Throughout this period the CPUSA, includ- 
ing its Jewish section, declared the reports of the purges and persecu- 
tions were a lie — "a lie created by the Americans, by the imperialists, 
by the Zionists * * *." After Khrushchev admitted the reports were 
true, Rabbi Kahane stated, the "Communists didn't bat an eyelash." 
Today in the Soviet Union, anti-Semitism continues, and American 
Communists continue to reject or rationalize any report of such a 

Rabbi Kahane advised that the average age of a Russian rabbi is 70 
years. In a country which once boasted tens of thousands of syna- 
gogues, the Soviet Union had only 450 synagogues in 1956, and 7 years 
later there were only 96. Today there are only 64 synagogues remain- 
ing in a country with 3 million Jews. And, Rabbi Kahane said : 

Each of the remaining lonely synagogues stands alone, for Jewish congrega- 
tions are forbidden to maintain a central organization or a nationwide federation 
which would coordinate needs and standards and bolster religious beliefs. Need- 
less to say, no communication with foreign religious bodies is countenanced. 

And so the synagogues remain dying centers of a once-thriving religion, where 
old people sit beneath the eye of the inevitable synagogue informer, where the 
rabbi and the remaining devout sit motionless, fearful, watching their faith — 
and themselves — die. 



United States House of Representatives, 

Subcommittee of the 
Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington^ D.G. 


A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, 
pursuant to call, in Room 311, Cannon House Office Building, Wash- 
ington, D.C, at 10 a.m., Hon. Edwin E. Willis (chairman of the full 
committee) presiding. 

(Subcommittee members : Representatives William M. Tuck, of Vir- 
ginia, chairman ; Edwin E. Willis, of Louisiana, chairman of the full 
committee ; and Albert W. Watson, of South Carolina.) 

Subcommittee members present : Representatives Willis and Watson. 

Staff members present : Francis J. McNamara, director ; Chester D. 
Smith, general counsel; and Herbert Romerstein, investigator. 

The Chairman. The subcommittee will come to order. 

This subcommittee is convened this morning pursuant to a resolu- 
tion of the full committee dated March 8, 1967, which reads as follows : 

BE IT RESOLVED, That hearings by the Committee on Un-American Activi- 
ties or a subcommittee thereof, be held in Washington, D.C, or at such other 
place or places as the chairman may determine, on such date or dates as the 
chairman may designate, relating to the extent and character of Communist 
propaganda and conspiratorial techniques employed within the United States 
to promote the objectives of the Communist Party in the United States and to 
advance the purposes of the world Communist movement by the dissemination 
of false and misleading information concerning Communist doctrine and practices 
in regard to religion and ethnic and minority groups, the legislative purpose be- 
ing to provide factual information to aid the Congress in the enactment of any 
necessary remedial legislation pursuant to the mandate to the Committee by 
House Resolution 7 of January 10, 1967, and Public Law 601 of the 79th Congress. 

(The order of appointment of the subcommittee follows:) 

June 18, 1968. 
To : Mr. Francis J. McNamara, 
Director, Committee on Vn-Am,erican Activities. 

Pursuant to the provisions of the law and the Rules of this Committee, I 
hereby appoint a subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities, 
consisting of Honorable William M. Tuck, as Chairman, and myself, and Honor- 
able Albert W. Watson as associate members, to conduct hearings in Washing- 
ton, D.C, on Wednesday, June 19, 1968, as contemplated by the resolution 
adopted by the Committee on the 8th day of March, 1967, authorizing hearings 
concerning the extent and character of Communist propaganda and conspira- 
torial techniques employed within the United States to promote the objectives 
of the Communist Party and world Communism by the dissemination of false 
and misleading information concerning Communist doctrine and practices in 
regard to religion, and other matters under investigation by the Committee. 

Please make this action a matter of Committee record. 


27-407 O — 69 2 


If any member indicates his inability to serve, please notify me. 
Given under my hand this 18th day of June, 1968. 

/s/ Edwin E. Willis 
Edwin E. Willis, 
Chairman, Committee on Vn-American Activities. 


Mr, Smith. Identify yourself for the record, stating your full 
name, address, and date and place of birth. 

Rabbi Kahane. Meir Kahane, 233-20 139th Avenue, Rosedale, New 
York. I was bom on August 1, 1932, in Brooklyn, New York. 

Mr. Smith. How long have you been a rabbi ? 

Rabbi Kahane. Since 1956. 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi, please give the committee a brief resume of your 
activities over the years beyond those of a purely religious nature. 

Rabbi Kahane. I have been a writer and editor for the Jewish Press, 
which is the largest Anglo- Jewish newspaper in the country. 

During that time, I have specialized in a series of articles on "Com- 
munism V. Judaism." I have also authored a book entitled The 
Jewish /Stake in Vietnam, which defends the position of this country 
in that Southeast Asian country. 

I am also one of the founders of a group called the Jewish Defense 
League, which is currently being organized to defend Jewish people 
against anti-Semitism and to defend this country against various 
extremist groups such as the Communists and the black nationalists, 
functioning at the present time. 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi, for a period of time, have you made a study of 
Soviet Communist policy and practice in regard to religion, partic- 
ularly as it has affected Jews in the Soviet Union and any other East 
European nation? 

Rabbi Kahane. Yes, I have, for a period of approximately 15 years. 

Mr. Smith. Have you, in addition, also made a study of the position 
taken by the Communist Party, U.S.A., and other Communist organi- 
zations in the United States on the subject of Communist persecution 
of Jews and Soviet anti-Semitism? 

Rabbi Kahane. Yes, I have. 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi, please give the committee an outline of your find- 
ings and those of others who can speak with authority about Soviet 
policies and practices regarding the Jewish religion. 

"We would then like to have you discuss propaganda on that subject 
distributed in the United States by Communist groups for the purpose 
of advancing world communism by misleading the American people, 
trying to keep them from learning the truth about Soviet anti-Semi- 
tism and persecution of the Jews. 

Rabbi Kahane. I would like at this point very, very briefly to give 
an outline of the history of the Jews of Russia in the last 50 years 
since the Communist regime took power. 

In general, I can state that in these 50 years the Jews of the Soviet 
Union have suffered a determmed governmental policy to wipe out 
Judaism as a faith and the Jewish people as a definite entity. 

Beginning with the early years of Communist rule in the Soviet 
Union, the Communists were faced with a very definite body of 
Jews, a very large body of Jews who were tied to their faith. 


Russia, prior to 1917, was the heartland of the Jewish faith — sem- 
inaries, synagogues. This was what one could truly say was the flower 
of the Jewish people. 

When the Soviets took over, there began an immediate campaign 
to do away with this. What was done at first was to establish a Jewish 
Communist section, whose purpose was to establish media in Yiddish, 
which at that time was the basic language of Russian Jews, for the 
dual purpose of having the Jews feel grateful to the new regime for 
its recognition and aid as well as using these media for the purpose 
of propaganda and indoctrination in communism. Thus, Yiddish lan- 
guage newspapers, theaters, book publishing firms, and secular schools 
were created. 

To the gullible, the Soviets appeared determined to preserve the 
Jewish identity. After all, when, in the entire history of exile, had 
any government done so much to back and set up Jewish institutions ? 

But, of course, these were not Jewish institutions. 

These were institutions for Jews, and the distinction between the two 
is quite critical. These Jewish institutions were created for the very 
purpose of doing away with the idea of Judaism. Yiddish was to be 
used to do away with the Yid. 

Within a brief period of years, all of the previously existing truly 
Jewish institutions, Yeshivas, the institutions of Jewish learning had 
been abolished. No Jewish child was allowed to study his faith, either 
in the government school, the public school, or in the privacy of his 
own home. 

The Communists did a very, very thorough job. Within a decade, the 
greatness that had been Russian Judaism had been destroyed. 

I would like to supply for the record at this point a very, very brief 
letter written in 1929 by the leading rabbi of his time. Rabbi Yesroel 
Meir Hacohen. He was undoubtedly the leading rabbi of his time who 
wrote of the tragedy that was happening to Russian Jews. (See 
page 2222.) 

At this point, I would just like to pause and comment on this last 
paragraph. The crying out to public opinion is one of the functions 
that this committee is serving at this moment. 

I would like to give my own personal thanks and the thanks of 
Jews of this country to this committee for offering an opportunity to 
bring to the public the plight of the Soviet Jewry, the immense myth 
that the Soviets are trying to propagate that this is not true and to show 
the American people, both Jew and non-Jew, how the representatives 
of the various Communist powers, whether it is Soviet Russia or China, 
follow this line. 

All that I have said occurred in the early years of communism. In 
the later years, things went from bad to worse. 

The Soviet Union was not content to do away with Jewish culture. 
Blatant anti-Semitism and physical destruction of Jews took place. 

From 1936 to 1939, the Jewish communal institutions which had 
been established by the Communists to indoctrinate Jews were deemed 
to be unnecessary any longer. Even these were done away with. In that 
period of time and immediately preceding the Hitler-Stalin Pact, 
Jewish intellectuals and Jewish leaders were murdered. There was, at 
this point, no Jewish communal institution within the Soviet Union. 

In 1939 Stalin concluded his infamous pact with Hitler. Because 


of this pact, Communists throughout the world began a massive cam- 
paign against war. They attempted to use all possible means to keep 
the Western Allies and especially this country from joining the battle 
against nazism and fascism. 

Because of this, there is no doubt that countless Jews died — count- 
less Jews who might have been saved, died. Needless to say, by June 
22, 1941, when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, there was a radical, 
overnight change of policy. 

During the war, for obvious reasons, the Soviets played down anti- 
Semitism and they created a puppet Jewish anti-Fascist committee in 
order to consolidate Jewish opinion for the backing of the Soviet 
Union against Hitler. 

After the war, this committee was completely liquidated. Every 
person on it was killed. Soviet anti-Semitism reached its peak in 
1953 with a blatantly anti-Semitic plot against doctors. 

At this point, let me make it clear that communism and fascism 
have ceased to be meaningful differences. Communism and fascism 
both use the same methods. 

The Chairman. May I suggest this question to you : For years 
the Communists in Moscow took the position that religion was an 

Now, as you have indicated, I think you called it a myth that in the 
last 2 years or so they are now saying that commmiism is compatible 
with religion. You dispute that. In other words, the policy is incon- 
sistent with the practice ; is that not true ? 

Rabbi Kahane. Definitely so, and this particular policy within 
the past 2 years is not a meaningful policy, not in any manner or 
means. Any serious student of commmiism knows that communism 
moves forward, moves backward, zigs and zags, but never changes its 
basic policy. 

There is an incompatibility between Judaism or any other faith 
and communism. 

The Soviet attacks upon Jews have continued to this present day. 
Within the Soviet Union at this present moment, Judaism is gasping 
for breath. There are no schools to teach Judaism. No Jewish child 
under 16 is allowed to be taught privately in his own home anything 
of the Jewish faith. 

At the same time, he is exposed to compulsory atheistic education 
in the schools. It is quite obvious that this is an unequal battle, an un- 
fair battle, and this is a destruction of the Jewish soul. 

Jewish ritual is banned; synagogues have been closed. One semi- 
nary, one small token which Khrushchev opened up again as part 
of this great myth, is closed. The youngest student at any time was 
40 years old, and at no point were there more than 13 students. 

Finally, I would like to say one thing: There are those who say 
that communism persecutes all faiths. This is quite true. Certainly, 
we join with other faiths in condemning the persecution, the blatant 
persecution of Baptists, the Witnesses, and various other groups. 

However, let me add this final point in this particular session : The 
Jewish people not only suffer a discrimination of their faith, but they 
suffer more than others. 

Wliereas other faiths are allowed token seminaries, the training of 
priests and ministers, the Jews are allowed none. 


Where other faiths have a federation which allows priests and 
ministers to have contact with each other in different cities, the Jews 
have none. 

Whereas other faiths have had bibles printed, the Jews have had 

Whereas other faiths have had permission to send representatives 
of their faith to world conferences, Jews have not had that oppor- 
tunity. And at this point let me just make one cormnent about what I 
consider the imfortunate propaganda which the Communists will 
make use of in the visits at this moment of the Chief Rabbi of Moscow. 

Chief Rabbi Levin is a wonderful Jew, a Jew who bears upon his 
shoulders the yoke of 3 million Soviet Jews. 

What he says here he must say, but in no way if he says anything 
to indicate that the stories that we have heard of persecution of Jews 
is not true — in no way is this correct. 

His visit will be used for propaganda purposes. I sympathize with 
Rabbi Levin, but I want you to know that the Jews of America realize 
why he was sent. It is a tragedy. In no way — in no way does this mean 
any lessening of the persecution of the Soviet Jew. 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi, could you address yourself to the type of propa- 
ganda being put out within the United States to advance world com- 
munism, as to its meaning and what it really is? 

Rabbi Kahane. I think one of the most blatant examples of this 
deals with a very, very recent problem and that is that of the sudden 
and intense blatant rise in anti-Semitism in Poland, a Soviet satellite. 

The evidence is indisputable that the purge of Jews is an anti- 
Semitic purge. The leader of this purge. Interior Minister Morcza, 
is an anti-Semite with roots going far, far back to the early forties, 
when, as a partisan, he fought together with Jewish partisans against 
the Nazis. The evidence is indisputable. 

Nevertheless, on May 12 [1968], Ths Worker published an article 
which was entitled "Slander Against Poland," in which the author, 
Harry Yaris, said: 

I am firmly convinced that the present leadership of the Polish United 
Workers Party [the Communist Party] and of the government are not anti- 
Semitic. There is too much of the contrary in their personal and collective 
history to permit such a notion. 

Aside from the obvious garbage of this particular fact, the fact is 
here was an article which was dictated from Moscow, which is printed 
in The Worker here, by, unfortunately, someone who is Jewish. 

Mr. Smith. That is Ths Worker of the Communist Party of the 
United States? 

Rabbi IOlhane. Yes, in New York City, It attempts to once again 
put the lie to an obvious truth. There is much, much more that I would 
say, and hope to say later, about the general Conmiunist support of 
every zig and every zag of Moscow, and in recent years with the rise 
of the pro- Peking Communist groups of a similar line on their part, 
when it comes to Chinese policy. 

Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, at this point, I would like to temporarily 
discontinue Rabbi Kahane's testimony in order to hear the testimony 
of Rabbi Bronstein. 

Rabbi Kahane will be recalled a little later to complete his 


The Chairman. Rabbi Bronstein, do you solemnly affirm to tell the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 
Rabbi Bronstein. I so affirm. 


Mr. Smith. What is your date and place of birth, Rabbi Bronstein? 

Rabbi Bronstein. I was born in Poland, in the city of Wyszkow, in 
the month of May 1911. 

Mr. Smith. Wlien did you leave Poland ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. At the end of 1933. 

Mr. Smith. Where did you go ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. I went to live in Canada. I lived there for 7 years. 
In 1940 1 emigi-ated to the United States. 

Mr. Smith. Are you now a United States citizen ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. I am. 

Mr. Smith. Did you serve the United States during World War II ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Yes, I served as a civilian chaplain in the United 
States Army and Marine Corps during World War II at Camp David 
and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

Mr. Smith. How long have you been a rabbi ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Since 1933. 

Mr. Smith. With what organization are you affiliated ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. I am the vice president of the Rabbinical Alliance 
of America, the official organization of orthodox rabbis. 

Mr. Smith. Is this a Zionist organization ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. No, this is not a Zionist organization. 

Mr. Smith. Are there others ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Yes ; I am president of Al Tidom, which means 
in English "dare not be silent." The purpose of this organization is to 
aid Soviet Jews in their quest for religious, cultural, and informative 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi, have you been to the Soviet Union and other 
countries behind the Iron Curtain ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Yes ; I have made nine visits to the Soviet Union, 
also to Poland, Rumania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia 
on nine different occasions. 

Mr. Smith. In your travels to the Soviet Union, have you gone for 
a specific purpose and have you been able to accomplish your purpose? 

Rabbi Bronstein. My first visit to western Poland was in 1958. At 
that time, Mr. Michael D. Tress, the executive vice president of Agu- 
dath Israel in America returned from a short visit in Poland. He 
found out there that 20,000 former Polish citizens who had been re- 
patriated from the Soviet Union back to Poland on their way to 
Israel, not to remain in Poland, had begged him to see to it that a rabbi 
should come to Poland to circumcise the adult boys who had no oppor- 
tunity to be circumcised in Russia since the Soviet Union prohibits 
ritual circumcision. Since I am in the United States and one of the top 
rabbis in this field who trains young men and also doctors in the field of 
circumcision — I happen to be an expert in this field — I was asked by 
my organization to go to Poland to perform this act; also, to train 
several so they should be able to continue this work after I left. 

On February 11, 1958, I arrived in Poland and I found hundreds 
upon hundreds of young men, not children, clamoring for circumcision. 


When I asked them why, they told me that psycholo^cally they feel 
like non-Jews because they were not circumcised. This is an historic 
fact, that these young men between the ages of 8 and 28 begged for 
circumcision. They refused even local anesthesia. They just clenched 
their fists and said, "It hurts," but they went through this ritual. 

I think that this is the greatest challenge to communism. We must 
remember that these young men had been trained and indoctrinated in 
communism, as the honorable chairman just said, that religion is the 
opium of the masses and the first slogan that a child upon entering the 
nursery in the Soviet Union is taught — that religion is the opium of the 

Still, when they came to Poland and Poland did not prevent them 
from going through with this ritual, they demanded circumcision. I 
have circumcised hundreds of them and I have trained three young 
men in this field and they, after I had left, continued and still con- 
tinue to do this work. 

Mr. Smith. Has the Soviet Government accused you of helping 
Jews leave the Soviet Union ? 

Kabbi Bronstein. Well, they did. They accused me of organizing 
an exodus of Russian Jews and they have had so-called witnesses and 
have obtained statements from Jewish informers that I came to them 
and I told them to leave the Soviet Union and that they should go to 
Israel and America instead, because conditions are better outside the 
Soviet Union than inside. 

Mr. Smith. Did you have any experience with the Soviet secret 
police during your last visit and when was your last visit, by the way ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. My last visit to the Soviet Union, I believe I 
arrived in Kiev on May 30. 

Mr. Smith. What year ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. 1967. I traveled from Kiev to Zhitomir and 
Berdichev and a few other small towns. The reason I went there was 
that I wanted to visit old cemeteries where lay buried the greatest 
geniuses, the greatest heads of the Jewish people, especially in the 
city of Berdichev. 

I was entitled to a car for 6 hours because the day before I did not 
use my car. I am entitled to 3 hours every day. So I engaged an In- 
tourist chauffeur, and he drove me to Berdichev. 

On the way back, on the outskirts of Berdichev I was arrested, and 
they interrogated me for 2i/^ hours. They told me that I had no spe- 
cial visa to ^o to Berdichev. My visa was only to Moscow, Kiev, and a 
few other cities. 

I told them I did not sleep over in Berdichev, but I went for a ride 
with an Intourist chauffeur. 

The chauffeur was also interrogated, and his license was taken away 
from him. And upon returning to Kiev, I was made to pay a penalty 
of 50 rubles, which is about $55, for overriding the time of my car 
which I was entitled to. 

Mr. Smith. What date were you arrested ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. This was not an arrest; it was an interrogation. 
It was on Sunday. I spent this weekend in Kiev, and on Sunday morn- 
ing I was on my way to the city of Lvov, at the airport, and three 
KGB agents came over to me and said, "Rabbi Bronstein, you are 
under arrest and please follow us." 


I didn't know why. I first thought that this was the result of my 
so-called illegal trip to Berdichev, but I soon found out it was not so. 

I was taken to a room. I didn't know where I was. Three KGB agents 
began to interrogate me. They didn't give me a chance to answ^er one 
question, when there came another question. 

They attempted to confuse me, but with God's help I stood my 
ground. And they had a dossier, a file on me which weighed over a kilo, 
with pictures and statements and letters from Russian citizens that my 
purpose in the Soviet Union was not just as a mere tourist, but, as I 
said before, that I came to organize an illegal exodus of Russian Jews. 
They also accused me of taking illegal pictures from concentration 
camps and prisons, which was not true. 

They also had a letter from a certain man in Chernovtsy, who gave 
them the names of individuals with whom I had met. And the head 
of this interrogation group read off to me a list of various names with 
whom I had met in the Soviet Union during my nine visits there, and 
most of them did manage to leave the Soviet Union. They asked me 
how come most of the people I had met with had left the Soviet Union. 
In other words, this was proof that I came to organize this illegal 

Tens of thousands of Jews have applied for exit permits to leave 
the Soviet Union although the Soviet Union does deny this, but we 
know better. These people I have met with I did not persuade to go. 
They were anxious to leave the Soviet Union. I did not assist them 
in it, but since Mr. Kosygin made a statement on December 4, 1966, 
in Paris that any Soviet citizen that wishes to leave may do so, espe- 
cially to be reunited with his relatives, a few people dared— I say a 
few — out of the tens of thousands only a few dared to apply for an 
exit permit. Most of them were refused. The reason why they were 
refused is because the Russian Government does not want to see such 
a mass exodus. They are afraid maybe 50 million or 75 million Russians 
will follow their example. 

This was what they accused me of. They accused me of spying, work- 
ing for the State Department and other organizations, and also ac- 
cused me of working for the Joint Distribution Committee. 

The truth is, I never worked for the Joint Distribution Committee. 
I have never worked for them. I want to help Jews. My purpose in 
going to the Soviet Union was to strengthen the religious faith of my 
people who, as my colleague Rabbi Kahane has just said, are gasping 
for air, for religious freedom. 

I think it is incumbent upon any rabbi or any religious person, Jew 
or Gentile, to extend a helping hand to these unfortunate people who 
are being denied the God-given right to be what they are. I am proud 
of it and, if I could do it again, I would do it again. 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi, please explain to us the significance of the cir- 
cumcision ceremony and in what way this is of particular importance 
to Soviet Jews. 

Rabbi Bronstein. I was instrumental in training 18 rabbis and men 
in the Soviet Union in the performance of ritual circumcision and 19 
rabbis and laymen in the other satellite countries like Poland, Ru- 
mania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Why? As I told you before, a 
Jew feels like it is a psychological block. If he is not circumcised, he 
does not feel like a Jew. 


Today in the Soviet Union we have tens of thousands of young men 
and women, particularly of college age, who are terribly disillusioned 
with communism and they are seeking God ; they are seeking religion 
because communism after 50 years of existence has not fulfilled its 
promises to its people. 

Just like one buys a ticket to go to Los Angeles with say 10 coupons 
in it. The 10 coupons are removed, and only the stop is left. 

The reason why the Soviet Union is fighting religion is because they 
have nothing else to fight. They have lost all of their arguments and 
so they still cling to this fight against religion, and therefore we are 
the biggest victims because the Jewish people essentially are very 
religious people. They have given religion to mankind. 

By training these men and by doing it myself, and I wish to describe 
to the committee under what conditions these young men are circum- 
cised today in the Soviet Union, I think you would all cry. 

They are hiding in cemeteries. 

I had to go with them to places where I would never dream or dare 
to go, and they have not only demanded but begged me, "Rabbi, make 
me for a Jew." 

i^.fter I have completed this ritual act on them, they embraced me 
and kissed me, saying, "Thank you. Rabbi, for making me a Jew." 

If you people read that 30,000 young men and women gathered in 
the front of the central synagogue — Simchas Torah, the holiday, the 
final day of the holiday in the fall — and danced and sang Hebrew 
songs, I want you to know this is the result of a little bit of our work. 
There were many circumcised boys there who were circumcised by our 
people in the front of that synagogue. You must also remember that 
among the 30,000 young men and women who dared to come to 
the front of the synagogue, at least 10 percent were informers who 
came to inform on those who did come. Still they came because they 
wanted to identify themselves with their people, with their religion, 
with the synagogue, and to show the Soviet Union that these young 
men and women still believe in a God and still want to be Jews. 

I think it is incumbent upon us to help them, and this is what I am 

Mr. Smith. Has the Soviet Government hindered Jewish life as 
such ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Not only did, but does. The Soviet Government 
does everything in its power not only to hinder, but to erase, eradicate 
the Jewish life and therefore the reaction. 

I am not a bit pessimistic about Jewish life in the Soviet Union. 
Others may be, but I am not. It is just like the violinist who places 
his finger on the string and it produces a nice tone. 

This is it. Because the Jews are being persecuted and oppressed, 
there is a tremendous revival among Jews in the Soviet Union today. 

If the Soviet Union would open its doors today for an exodus, I 
can assure you a quarter of a million Jews would leave on foot from 
the Soviet Union. 

So, my job in the training of these young men in the performance 
of circumcision was not to impose upon the Soviet citizens something 
they did not want, but because there was a demand for it, a desire 
for it, that is the reason I did it. 

27-407 O— 69 3 


Mr. Smith. Could you describe the Jewish schools and the home life 
of the Jewish families as to whether or not there is this persecutioii 
of these two elements of Jewish life ? 

Kabbi Bronstein. There are no schools in the Soviet Union which 
are Jewish or Hebrew. You cannot see a young man or a young 
woman in the synagogue, not because neither wants to go there, but 
because we must remember that the Soviet Union, being that it is 
the paradise, so they say, people work their 6-day weeks and no 
Jewish child or young man or woman would dare to go to a synagogue, 
and therefore none can go to the synagogue. 

At night when this celebration took place at the synagogue, they 
came at night. In the daytime they couldn't come because they went 
to school, and therefore you can't see any working man or woman in 
a synagogue because each is at work. So, they cannot come ; they want 
to come, but they cannot come. They would not dare be absent from 
work and go to a synagogue. Therefore, they are not there, and I am 
surprised that some tourists go to the Soviet Union, take a camera on 
their shoulders and say, "I did find some worshipers in the synagogue, 
but most of them were old people." That is just not true. They would 
love to be there, but they cannot. 

Now, as far as Jewish life is concerned, there are parents who do 
train their children, so-called underground in the Jewish religion. I 
know of a family whose children refused to go to school on the Sab- 
bath. When this boy or girl came on Monday to school and was asked 
why did you miss school, he said, "My father told me to go. In fact, he 
beat me. He told me to go, but I know on the Sabbath you are not 
allowed to go to school. Therefore, I didn't go." 

They are trained to do so. 

I believe there is a spiritual genocide being committed against the 
Jews in the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Smith. What is the significance of the denial of matzoth during 
the Jewish Passover? 

Rabbi Bronstein. To us, to eat matzoth during the Passover is a 
commandment, one of the Jewish laws. We must not eat leavened 
bread during the 8 days of the Passover holiday. 

But I want to make you understand, gentlemen, that the reason why 
the Soviet Union is hindering baking of the matzoth is not because 
they say there is a shortage of flour — and we have to buy flour from 
capitalistic comitries such as America, Australia, and so on — and they 
ask, "Wliy should we spend it on your ceremony ?" 

To us, matzoth is more than a diet bread. To us, matzoth signifies 
liberty, because matzoth is associated with the exodus of the people 
of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. 

I always like to enlighten my statement with an episode and I have 
plenty of them. 

My chauffeur in Moscow 8 years ago, around February this was, 
happened to be a Jewish person. After speaking to him for a few min- 
utes, I found out he was Jewish. I asked him, "Will you have matzoth 
at Passover?" 

He said, "No," and tears were in his eyes. I then said, "Why not?" 
He replied, "Well, we can't get it." 


I asked him if he was a religious person. He said, "No, my parents 
couldn't train me in religion. I would eat my matzoth with vodka and 

I said, "How can you have matzoth when it is against the law?" 

He says, "It means svoboda. It means liberty. That is what matzoth 
means to me," and that is why they are denying the Jewish people the 
baking of matzoth because it is associated with liberty, with freedom, 
and this they could not take. 

Mr. Smith. Have Jews been imprisoned for the practice of their 
religion ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Thousands of them are languishing in prisons 
today in the Soviet Union because they have observed their religion 
and because they have attempted to circumcise a child, because they 
have attempted to train a child in the Jewish religion. They have lost 
their jobs. I have been to homes where the children had swollen 
bellies with rickets because the father couldn't hold a job because he 
was a so-called political prisoner. 

I know of many Jewish babies who died in the Soviet Union be- 
cause the grandparents attempted to circumcise them themselves. 
They were not trained for it, and the baby died because of hemorrhage 
and infection. They didn't have the money to bring in someone from 
the outside, and I know of some rabbis who are in prison because they 
were caught in performing this ritual. 

A lot of parents refused to do it, not because they don't want it, 
but because every child after the mother delivers the baby, 30 days 
later, the child is admitted to the yasna, a so-called nursery, and 
the mother is afraid the nurses or doctors will see the child is circum- 
cised and they will be interrogated where and who did it, and therefore 
they are afraid to do it. 

Mind you, in the United States, in the city of New York, for ex- 
ample, 92 percent of all male born children, Jews and non- Jews alike, 
are circumcised, whether it is for health reasons or ritual. Science has 
discovered that carcinoma of the penis is nonexistent among males 
who have been circumcised, nor are there incidents of carcinoma of 
the uterus among females whose husbands have been circumcised. 

Wliy don't they permit them to do it for health reasons if not for 
ritual reasons ? Why don't they permit that ? 

Mr. Smith. We have had testimony in the past about Communist 
secret police infiltrating the Russian Orthodox churches as well as 
other churches in the Soviet Union. 

Have they done the same thing with regard to the Jewish syna- 
gogues ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. As far as the Russian secret police are con- 
cerned — and I would like to explain why so many synagogues have 
been closed in recent years in the Soviet Union — ^there are only 64 
synagogues functioning today in the Soviet Union. 

This is because they have been successful in getting the presidotels 
[presidents] to inform on the congregants, to inform on the wor- 

Unfortunately, every fourth citizen in the Soviet Union is an in- 
former. But the reason why they are closing synagogues is because 
they were not so successful in penetrating the worshipers. They were 
successful in getting the officials to inform on other people, but the 


congregants themselves have not cooperated and refused to give in- 
formation to the KGB. 

You must remember that we have already today a cadre of hun- 
dreds of thousands of Jews who have passed the working age, and 
before they couldn't go to the synagogue because, as I told you be- 
fore, they were working, but now they are at liberty to sit in the 
synagogues, and therefore these synagogues are so crowded with wor- 
shipers, with the so-called pensioned Jews. 

This grandfather takes a Hebrew alphabet which is not available 
in the Soviet Union today because no prayer books are being printed. 
They did print 5,000 in 1957, but it was only for foreign consumption, 
but not for domestic consumption. 

Rabbi Le"vin just made a statement that they printed again a quan- 
tity of prayer books, but I can assure you 3 years ago they also printed 
the first Jewish calendar in the Soviet Union, but the Russian Jews 
would not be able to get one. 

That is the reason they are closing the synagogues because the grand- 
father rents an alphabet. He rents it from the prayer book. The first 
page is an alphabet. It is placed in plastic covers. He pays 25 cents, 
and he is training his grandson in the reading of the alphabet. 

Some of the informants know about it, but I want to make a dis- 
tinction between the non-Jewish church and the Jewish synagogue. 
In the non-Jewish church they have been successful because they so- 
called neutralized the Russian church to a great extent. 

Nikolai Nikodin was here and spoke nicely about everything being 
fine and dandy in Russia, but they were not successful in neutralizing 
the Jewish synagogue because we are a practicing religion. 

In order to allow the synagogue to survive, we have to have a talis, 
a religious shawl, which you cannot get in the Soviet Union. Not one 
was ever manufactured in the Soviet Union for the whole 55 years of 
their existence. 

The Chairman. You have said that the education of young Jews in 
Russia through Jewish schools is forbidden, proscribed. Are there 
yomig Jews exposed to Russian schools? Do they attend Russian 
schools ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Jewish children have to attend Russian schools. 
Every child has to attend school. 

The Chairman. This is a terrific influence on the younger generation. 

Rabbi Bronstein. Of course. But, Mr, Chairman, I want to make 
this clear to you, with all of this propaganda in the schools 

The Chair^ian. Despite the propaganda ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Despite all the propaganda and brainwashing, 
Jewish children today are seeking religion, and it is our aim, it is our 
purpose to extend to them a helping hand. And I believe not only my 
committee, not only organizations that are trying to help them— but I 
believe it is incumbent upon the American people to do something in 
this field. 

I am convinced, and many others are, that religion is a tremendous 
weapon against communism. We are spending millions and millions 
of dollars on Voice of America and other means of communication, 
but I think Voice of America and Radio Free Europe should have as 
part, of their programs religious programs, because this is what the 
people want. 


You don't have to ask the doctor. Ask the patient what the patient 
wants, and I know what the patient wants. I have been there nine 
times. I struggled with them and I know that is what they want. They 
want an alphabet and a religious shawl. I gave an elderly gentleman 
a talis in Kiev, and he began to dance with tears in his eyes. 

I said, "Why are you so happy ? " He said, "Now we have something 
to die with because they bury a Jew in a talis." 
Is this our problem ? 

Our problem is the hundreds of thousands of Jews who do not want 
to have the talis to be buried with, but to live with and worship with, 
but they can't get it. You can go to a synagogue and see tens of thou- 
sands of people and only 10 might have one. 

Wliy hasn't the Jewish calendar been printed for 48 years ? There are 
Jews in the Soviet Union who don't know when to observe Rosh 
Hashana because they don't have a calendar. 

I say we are singled out for discrimination, and this is what we are 
talking about. We are worse off than any other denomination in the 
Soviet Union. As far as the Jewish children are concerned, if they 
would be given the opportunity, they would want to be good Jews. 

Mr. Smith. You spoke a moment ago of 64 synagogues throughout 
Eussia to serve how many Jews ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Three million Jews. 

Mr. Smith. Could you give any indication of how many of these 
synagogues are located in Moscow ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. In Moscow there is only one great synagogue, 
and there are two small ones on the outskirts of Moscow. 

Mr. Smith. What is the reaction of Soviet Jews to these informers 
you spoke of a moment ago ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. They hate them. 
Mr. Smith. Do they take any measures against them ? 
Rabbi Bronstein. I would also like to enlighten again with another 

There was a certain presidotel in Kiev, a gentleman by the name of 
Mr. Yonah Gendelman, who for many years terrorized the Jewish 
community of Kiev. He was an informer, and everybody knew about 
it. Last year before I went to Kiev, I arrived there in May, 2 months 
before the people refused to worship. They made a stop, they didn't 
go to make the minyan. And they refused to worship unless this Mr. 
Gendelman would step off the so-called pulpit. 

The people stood there until about 10 o'clock in the evening, reading 
the book of Esther. When he saw there was no use, he left the syna- 
gogue, and that was the beginning of their service. This took place for 
4 weeks, 4 Friday nights the people refused to worship with him until 
he gave up his presidency. 

Another gentleman took over with whom they were also dissatisfied 
because he was a former vice president, and he was attacked by the 
Jewish community in Kiev, physically attacked. 

What I am trying to bring out here, gentlemen, is that the Jewish 
people, as such, are not cooperating with these informers and the KGB 
people who are coming and trying to infiltrate the synagogues. They 
were not successful, 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi, it is well known that the Soviet Union regime 
is an antireligious regime and, of course, has been persecuting religi- 


ous groups since the founding of the Soviet state. Is there any addi- 
tional factor of significance in regard to the persecution of the Jewish 
religion ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. As I said before, we are singled out for persecu- 
tion because we don't want to give in. They could not neutralize us. 
And if after 50 years of communism 30,000 young men and women still 
gather in front of the synagogue to sing Hebrew songs and recite Jew- 
ish prayers, I think this is the best proof that they have not been 

I want to reiterate that it is up to us, men and women of the world, 
to extend them a helping hand in their struggle for religious liberty. 
If not, we are committing the biggest crime in history. 

Mr. Smith. Is Jewish cultural life suppressed, such as theaters, and 
so forth ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Yes. There are no theaters. There is a so-called 
wandering troupe of Jewish actors, sometimes going into a city and 
playing an act, but take for instance in Poland where there is a Jewish 
state theater functioning in Warsaw. 

There is a Jewish daily paper, Folks-Shtimme^'^ but there is none in 
Moscow. In Communist Poland there is a daily theater and daily pa- 
per, but for 3 million Jews in the Soviet Union there is none. 

Mr. Smith. Is there any Jewish-language newspaper in the Soviet 
Union ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Only a Jewish magazine once a month, although 
there is nothing Jewish about it ; it is of no Jewish significance what- 
soever, just Jewish letters. 

Mr. Smith. Do the Soviets suppress the Jewish language as such ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Yiddish as a language? 

Mr. Smith. Yes. 

Rabbi Bronstmn. I have to go back again to figures. 

In 1959, during the census in the Soviet Union, 487,000 Jews 
answered one of the questions : "What is your mother tongue ?" 

487,000 Jews dared — and I emphasize the word "dared" — ^to write 
down the word "Yiddish" in answer to that question. If close to half 
a million Jews said that Yiddish is their mother tongue, well, why 
don't you furnish them with a Jewish paper, with a Jewish book ? 

I am not talking about religious books now. If half a million citizens, 
and by the constitution you are compelled, and you say yourself you 
give every ethnic group — it is trying to develop its culture. 

Well, why don't they give the same thing to the Jewish people? 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi Bronstein, do you have any final statement that 
you would like to make before closing your testimony ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. The Jewish community of the Soviet Union is the 
second largest Jewish community in the world after the United States. 
These 3 million Jews are our best brethren. I say that without anj^ 
hesitation. I say that for this reason : After 50 yeare of communism, 
oppression, they still want to be Jews; they are the best Jews in the 
world and they are the best freedom-loving people in the world. 

The Soviet Union today is one great prison, and they are prisoners 
in that prison. 

I am of the opinion that a lot could be done on tlieir behalf. I am not 
in a position to spell out in public here all of the details for obvious 

1 Yiddish Communist paper published in Warsaw. 


reasons, but I can assure you gentlemen that a lot is being done and 
more could be done. 

I would strongly urge the American Government to extend a helping 
hand in this field. In fact, I am meeting today with the State Depart- 
ment on Soviet affairs and I am going to give them a detailed program 
of what could and should be done. 

Let's not beguile ourselves with all this propaganda that they are 
trying to sell us here in the United States that everything is khoro- 
sho — that is, fine. 

I can tell you of incidents where Jews risked their lives to perform 
a religious act. 

I want to quote one example. For half a million Jews in Moscow, 
there is no Jewish cemetery. According to Jewish law, a certain piece 
of land must be assigned especially for Jewish burial. Half a million 
Jews in Moscow don't have a Jewish cemetery where they can bury 
their dead. I know that people are selling their shirts to carry a de- 
ceased person to a city where there is a Jewish cemetery where they can 
bury their loved ones in a Jewish cemetery. 

I would appeal to the United States Government to see to it that all 
the media of communication, the Voice of America, Radio Free Eu- 
rope, Radio Liberty, and other friendly coimtries which have similar 
operations, make it their business to have a part of their prograrns 
devoted to religious programs and to religious information. This 
would be of tremendous help. After 10 o'clock in the evening there is 
no more jamming because people go to sleep in the Soviet Union. 

People listen with earphones on their ears to hear words of Radio 
Liberty, Voice of America, and Voice of Israel, so they are risking 
their lives. "When they want to hear, let's give them something worth- 
while instead of politics. This would be of tremendous value to them 
and this is what they are asking for. 

Another thing I would like to say before the committee here is this : 
The American people are also interested in this problem, Jews and 
non-Jews alike. 

This problem has come before the American Congress and the 
American Senate, even before the United Nations. It is m the air. The 
American people want to help. It is up to the American Government 
to direct this help in the proper channels. 

Wliat I have suffered myself does not mean anything. I would do it 
again. They declared me persona non grata. This does not mean any- 
thing else again. There are others like me who go there and do a fine 
job, and I am sure the American people will know what to do. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, are there any questions? 

The Chairman. Before we reach the questioning period, we will 
take a recess for 5 minutes and then resume with the testimony of 
Rabbi Kahane. 

(Brief recess.) 

The Chairman. Counsd, you may resume with the first witness. 

Before you do that. Rabbi Bronstein, did you find out that the policy 
of the Soviet Union vis-a-vis Judaism is practically the same as Ca- 
tholicism and Protestantism? Generally speaking, is the same policy 
of antireligion against all religions ? 


Eabbi Bronstein. The policy of the Soviet Union is to fight all 

The Chairman. This recent propaganda that communism is com- 
patible with religion is a myth? 

Rabbi Bronstein. It is the greatest lie. It just is not so because to 
say something on paper and to deny the Jew and the non- Jew his reli- 
gious rights are definitely incompatible. 

What is doing in churches today ? 

How many religious church schools are functioning in the Soviet 

The Chairman. Mr. Watson, do you have any questions? 

Mr. Watson. Yes. 

Thank you, Mr, Chairman. 

Pursuing the line of questioning you started there ; in other words, 
the general theme that they, the Communists today, are espousing, 
about the compatibility or at least we have a dialogue betw^een com- 
munism and Judaism or Catholicism or Protestantism, that is poppy- 
cock and they do not practice it in the Soviet Union ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Certainly not. 

Mr. Watson. Apparently, this line they are espousing now of hav- 
ing some dialogue between the Communists and Christians is purely 
for propaganda purposes? 

Rabbi Bronstein. There is no question about it. 

Mr. Watson. And it does not reflect a change on the part of the 
Soviet Union? 

Rabbi Bronstein. None whatsoever. I think they are becoming more 
aggressive against religion now than before. I will show it to you 
in deeds. 

Whereas before, they closed down synagogues and churches. What 
do they say ? Why are they closing them ? 

There are illegal activities going on — drunkenness — the priests and 
the rabbis are not behaving themselves, and so on and so forth. 

Now they don't say that anymore. They say that the people don't 
want it. The people don't want it. There is no need for a synagogue or 
church. Why? Why is that? Because they cannot prove anything. 
People are traveling now back and forth. Tourists are coming to the 
Soviet Union and they see for themselves, and the people tell these 
facts, so they know it is not so. Therefore, they just close them up say- 
ing that the people don't want them. 

Mr. Watson. I should think that, in view of your statement that 
there are thousands of Jew^s in prison because they attempted to prac- 
tice some of the tenets of their faith, it would be agreed that it would 
be rather difficult for them to state objectively whether or not the 
people really want the religion. If you have the threat of imprison- 
ment, it is rather difficult for one to espouse his religious beliefs under 
those circumstances. Is that basically about it? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Definitely. 

Mr. Watson. My twin brother, who is a minister, visited Russia 
2 or 3 years ago and he likewise pointed out, as you have, the fact 
that you have so few young people — I believe he said under 16 or 18 — 
that are worshiping in the churches now. He was under the impression 
perhaps it was prohibited, but I gained from your testimony that it 


isn't actually prohibited for a young person, but he is not able to go 
because he has to work. 

Kabbi Bronstein, He has to go to school and he has to go to work. 
But if they were to go to such a church or synagogue, they would be 
thrown out of school or university. They would stand no chance of 
continuing their education. 

Mr. Watson. Your services are held the same time he is required to be 
in school? 

Rabbi Bronstein. That is right. 

Mr. Watson. You stated when they arrested you in 1967 they had a 
complete file or dossier on you. Was it only relative to your activities 
in Russia or did they have any information concerning your activities 
in the United States in that file? 

Rabbi Bronstein. They knew everything about me here and there. 

They must have good sources of information in the United States. 

Mr. Watson. The reason I was asking if there was information 

about your activities here, I was wondering if someone was supplying 

them with information here. 

Rabbi Bronstein. They do have agents in America that supply 
them with plenty of information. 

Mr. Watson. You concluded from your casual examination of the 

file they had on you 

Rabbi Bronstein. I did not examine the file, but the questions they 
asked me told me right away they knew everything. They even had 
my private telephone number, which very few people have, and they 
knew the names of my grandchildren. 

Mr. Watson. So there is no question about the fact that they have 
confidential information about you? 

Rabbi Bronstein. There is no question about that. 
Mr. Watson. I think religion is the antithesis of communism, but 
how can we teach religion with a government — you know, we have the 

constitutional bar 

Rabbi Bronstein. Separation of church and state. 
Mr. Watson. I am afraid we might have a little trouble there. 
Rabbi Bronstein. There should be no trouble at all. 
For instance, let us say the Voice of America has a program start- 
ing this afternoon at 4 o'clock and going on to 11 o'clock. Let's 
examine the program. I am not here to criticize the Voice of America — 
I am all for it. But I say if Voice of America would spend 1 hour on 
religious matters, not teaching religion, but to tell the Russian Jew 
that there are 400 Yeshivas in America, 400 religious schools in 
America, things of that nature; if they were to tell them that some of 
these boys and girls simultaneously with their Hebrew education are 
receiving a good secular education and are winning the state medals 
for English — in other words, that religious and secular knowledge are 
compatible, this would be of tremendous value to the Russian boy and 

Mr. Watson. I agree with you that it would, but I am afraid we 

would have some of the people immediately rise up and demand 

Rabbi Bronstein. This is information, these are facts. This has 
nothing to do with propaganda, it gives facts. 

Mr. Watson. I am not arguing with you. I am on your side. 


Rabbi Bronstein. I don't think anybody would question the legality 
if this would be given in the form of information. For instance, if 
Voice of America or Radio Liberty were to tell that Rosh Hashana 
this year will be celebrated by the Jewish people the world over on 
this particular date, is this religion or information ? I think it is pure 

Mr. Watson. I agree with you and would be inclined to interpret it 
as information, but frankly I believe those who are interpreting the 
various procedures and practices in this country now would interpret 
it as giving religious instruction. Anyway, I hope you can work it out. 
If you have an appointment with the State Department, more power 
to you. Frankly, I think you are going up against a brick wall. 

Rabbi Bronstein. I met last year with the leadership of the Voice 
of America, Rabbi Teitz now, and we have discussed this matter. AVhat 
we need is a little push from the legislative branch of our Govern- 

Mr. Watson. I think this is a good idea, and you can rest assured 
you will get a little push from the one speaking now. It will not 
amount to much, I am afraid. 

You are the president of Al Tidom ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Yes. 

Mr. Watson. I think it is a most laudable organization and I should 
think you would have no difficulty at all in getting financial help to 
implement your programs. Are you experiencing any difficulty in that 

Rabbi Bronstein. We are experiencing difficulties not because the 
people don't want to support it. There are people who do know what 
Al Tidom stands for and want to support it, but our problem is we 
cannot publicize in detail what we are doing behind the Iron Curtain. 
That is our weak spot. 

Mr. Watson. You don't have problems getting money ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. We do have problems. 

Mr. Watson. You do ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Yes. 

Mr. Watson. You mean with such an objective to aid the Soviet Jews 
in their quest for religious, cultural, and informative material, you 
have difficulty getting support from your faith and people of other 

Rabbi Bronstein. If we could come out with a program in detail 
telling what we are doing, there would be no problem of getting money, 
but when you have a slogan, just like when you have a store, if you 
can't show your merchandise you can advertise all you want, but the 
person who comes into the store wants to see your merchandise. 

I would like to show you merchandise. This is my merchandise here. 
This is a slide in Russian Hebrew. This is a slide in Hebrew in writing 
and in print. These slides are being smuggled in today to the Soviet 
Union, and a group of 10, 50 young boys and girls sit and project this 
on the wall and learn how to read Hebrew. 

This is what is called counterrevolutionary material in the Soviet 
Union. I am the biggest smuggler in the world. I have never smuggled 
a diamond, but I have smuggled religious articles. 

Mr. Watson. I notice your instructions here are in English. Do most 
of them understand English ? 


Rabbi Bronstein. The slide itself is not in English ; the contents are 
not in English. 

Mr. Watson. Do many of the Jewish people over there speak 

Rabbi Bronstein. If they work for a state company they would. It 
is the second most spoken language in Russia today. This is a mezuza. 
This is what every Jewish family has on its doors. 

Let me add this statement here : I was never asked by any Jew or 
Jewess in the Soviet Union for a tie, for clothes, for a pair of shoes, 
or for a dollar. But whenever I came and wherever I came, a Jew asked 
me in the Soviet Union, "Rabbi, may we have a talis, may we have a 
mezuza or film?" 

This is what they want. As the prophet says, "Not hungry for 
bread nor thirsty for water but for the word of God." 

I want to assure you gentlemen that we have a marvelous oppor- 
tunity now with Russian youth to give them what they want. 

Mr. Watson. I agree with you. 

Let me ask you this : How many of your fellow rabbis here in this 
country are telling the American people of your faith the story you 
have told this committee this morning ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. I think that at least 75 percent of the rabbinate 
today are telling the American Jews and even non- Jews about what 
is going on in the Soviet Union, about persecution, about prejudice. 
And it is quite known today among the American people what is 
really going on in Russia, something that had been kept a secret until 
10 years ago. I think now the American people are being told. 

Mr. Watson. I hope you can increase your activity in this field. 
We all need to do it, but as Rabbi Kahane said a moment ago when 
he read from the Communist paper, The Worker^ unfortunately, they 
were making us out to be the real liar. 

Rabbi Bronstein. Wlienever I meet a Jewish Communist here in 
America I say, "Look, I will pay your fare. Go to the Soviet Union 
and live there for 1 year and then you will come back a cleansed Jew." 

Mr. Watson. I agree with that proposition — all those who don't like 
our system, the doors are open to leave. 

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, but I know the question 
I wanted to ask you now : Do you agree with Rabbi Kahane that 
Baptists, Jews, and Catholics are all suffering? 

Rabbi Bronstein. The Baptists in the Soviet Union are suffering 
almost as much as we are. 

Mr. Watson. But you agree with Rabbi Kahane that you are in a 
virtually impossible position ? 

The children over there, while they are not allowed to exercise the 
tenets of their faith, at the same time they are being forced to learn, 
or at least study or be exposed to, atheism. 

Rabbi Bronstein. Exactly. 

Mr. AVatson. They are forced to take a course of atheism in the 
Russian school. 

Rabbi Bronstein. It is not only the course ; it is the entire environ- 
ment in the school. In the Komsomol, the political commissar does not 
just read Pravda^ but all must listen to a so-called political orientation 
talk. In other words, the Russian citizen today and for the past 50 
years indeed has been surrounded with a massive propaganda and 


brainwashing on communism. They have no chance. You can buy 
Pravda here if you want to, but you try to get a Times in Moscow — 
you can't get it. 

Mr. Watson. Perhaps you have an answer heire. It is difficult for us 
to get across to some of those who are spewing the Communist line, 
"Now economically speaking we have a better system." 

Maybe we can get across to the American people that if they buy 
this Communist line it will mean the ultimate destruction of their 
religious liberty. 

Rabbi Bronstein. Not only religious liberties, but liberty as such. 

M^r. Watson. If the American people realize they no longer will 
have an opportunity to worship as they please, that should be the 
strongest faith of anyone and perhaps we can get something across to 
some of these people now who are trying to destroy our system of 

I am talking about the people right here in this country. I am not 
talking so much about those overseas. I am worried about those right 
here in America who are trying to get us to buy this Communist line. 

I appreciate your testimony very much, Rabbi. 

The Chairman. You may resume with the first witness. Rabbi 


Mr. Smith. Rabbi Kahane, please tell us in detail and supply this 
committee with the documents that you have gathered in your years 
of study as Regards the history of Soviet anti-Semitism. 

Rabbi Kahane. I can think of no better way to begin that than by 
reading to you the story of an incident that happened in the Soviet 
Union and which was printed in an English-language paper called 
Russian Sketches published by the American Jewish Committee. 

The author of this pamphlet is the foreign news editor of the Jewish- 
language daily newspaper called the Forward'^ published in New 
York City. 

The editor went to the Soviet Union in 1966 and in the city of Kiev, 
in the Ukraine, he was in a synagogue. He describes how he was sitting 
in a pew when, from behind him, he heard the following : 

But many of the older Jews cling to their faith with a strength that surpasses 
all understanding. Once, in a synagogue in another Russian city, I heard a 
tremulous voice behind me. 

"i?e& Yid, don't turn around. Keep your eyes on your Siddur and pretend you 
hear nothing. I have to talk to someone." 

Out of the corner of my eye I saw an old man, his face covered by the prayer 
shawl draped over his head. Leaning against his lectern, he spoke in a voice 
choked with tears. He had lost his whole family — his wife, his children, his rela- 
tives, all except one son, who now had a young son of his own, named Volodya. 

Until he was five, Volodenka had accompanied his grandfather to synagogue. 
When he started school, his teacher forbade the students to attend church 
or synagogue, but the boy was so devoted to his grandfather that he went any- 
way until, one day, a classmate reported him. The teacher pimished him, humili- 
ated him in front of the class, and issued a stern warning. Since then, Volodenka 
has not dared to go to synagogue. 

The years passed. Six months ago, eight gentile boys attacked Volodenka and 
beat him up, shouting "Zhid! Let's kill the dirty ZhidT Since then, the boy has 

1 Jewish Daily Forward. 


been full of fears. He clings to his grandfather and begs the old man to explain 
why he is Jewish, and why the others hate him for it. The old man would have 
liked to teach his grandson Jewish history, Hebrew and the Bible, but the boy's 
father would not permit it, afraid that if word got out, he might lose his job, or 

Soon Volodenka will be 13 years old, and the grandfather is desperate. 

"Volodenka, I said to him," the old man wept, "I'll give you anything you 
want. Just come to shul with me. But Volodenka won't do it." 

The lectern behind me shook with the old man's sobs. Suddenly he leaned 

"I beg of you. dear friend," he whisi>ered. "When you go back to the free 
world, don't hold your peace. Stir up the people, turn the world upside down 
if you must, but help us! Help me so that my Volodenka will remain a Jew." 

This story typifies the plight of Soviet Jewry at the moment. 

As Mr. Watson asked, are there people who are trying to bring this 
story out to the American public ? 

The answer is "Yes." 

Being with the Jewish Press, we are deeply disturbed at the im- 
mense ignorance and lack of knowledge on the part of people in 
America and especially the young people, both Jewish and non-Jew- 
ish, who have no idea of the horrors that are in store for them if what 
they want to happen would really happen. 

Much of the materials which I am about to present appeared in a 
series of articles, extending for more than 4 months, "Communism v. 

I and our paper certainly intend to get across one message to the 
American Jewish people, that communism is a deadly enemy of Juda- 
ism and all free men. 

As I began speaking before, when the Communist government took 
over the So^aet Union in 1917, there began a massive campaign to do 
away with Jewish communal institutions. 

This was handed over to the Jewish section of the Communist Party, 
which was known as the Yevesekzia. 

Staffed by bitterly antireligious and anti-Zionist Commimists, the 
Yevesekzia went about its job with gusto. All existing Jewish com- 
munal and religious organizations were to be smashed and replaced 
with a well-subsidized network of Communist-oriented Yiddish-lan- 
guage institutions. 

Religion was the special target of the vicious fury of the Yevesekzia. 
Armed with instructions by the Conununist government to eliminate 
religious "superstition," they hastened to sequester synagogues and 
convert them to Komsomol (Communist youth) clubs. 

Rabbis and teachers who broke the law by secretly teaching children 
religion and Hebrew were caught and arrested. No minor child may 
be taught religion in the Soviet Union. 

The religious schools were shut, and the great Russian Judaism 
began to dry up at its source — the child and his studies. 

Within a decade the greatness that had been Russian Jewry was 
withering on the vine. The word of God was no longer heard on the 
lips of Jewish children, and what the Czars with all their tyranny 
had never done, the Communists were now accomplishing. 

The leader of his generation, the ffreat Rabbi Yesroel Meir Hacohen, 
the Chofetz Chaim from Poland, knew the trials of his Russian 
Jewish brethren and his heart ached for them. 


In the month of Av, that tragic month in Jewish history of the 
year 1929, this great rabbi penned a letter to world Jewry. His sub- 
ject was the tragedy of the Jews in the Soviet Union. 

This is what he wrote : 

Most bitter and fearful is the situation of our brethren in Russia and the 
Ukraine, may God have mercy. Almost three million Jews find themselves in 
great danger (aside from the fact that a great portion of them have no economic 
status and are simply starving). One's hair stands on end hearing of the great 
suffering of our brethren in Russia due to the overwhelming wickedness of those 
who desire to uproot our Holy Torah. 

They closed the Hebrew schools and yeshivas. Those Roshei Yeshivas and 
teachers who continued to spread learning privately were sent to Siberia. The 
rabbis are being held as hostages. The synagogues and study halls are being shut 
down and turned into clubs (the scornful tyrants seek every excuse to close 
synagogues and tear away kosher meat from Jewish mouths). Those whose 
livelihood depends on the government are afraid to Judaize their children. They 
are Marranos. Just as in the times of the Inquisition Jews were forced to cause 
others to go astray, to profane the Sabbath and to openly eat leavened bread 
on Passover, equally tragic is the present situation which leads to assimila- 
tion and destruction, Heaven forbid. 

Our sufl'ering and persecuted brethren over there are afraid to speak out a 
word of protest. 

It is therefore our responsibility to protest openly, to cry out and to awake 
public opinion ... to pray . . . and just as our fathers did, so must we do. 
We must declare a fast. 

But the prayers of the great rabbi and others like him were not 
sufficient to have Heaven intervene and the Yevesekzia went method- 
ically about its job. 

As the years went by the Yevesekzia grew even more vicious. Its 
schools, lectures, forums, newspapers, and books mocked Jewish laws 
and customs and distorted Jewish history. 

"Wedges were deliberately driven between children and their parents 
and grandparents. The new generation was being ripped from the 
bosom of its heritage. 

Not only religion but Zionism, too, was brutally hunted down. 
Show trials of Zionists accused of imperialist conspiracy against the 
state were held. 

Hebrew, the language of "rabbinism" and "imperialist Zionism" 
both, was strictly forbidden. 

The disintegration of Soviet Jewry was rapid and there was, as I 
have mentioned, no longer a need even for these Jewish institutions 
whose purpose was to destroy Judaism. 

By 1936 the final liquidation of Soviet Jewry began. 

In 1936 a wave of arrest of writers and artists took place. 

In 1937 the liquidation of Yiddish elementary, secondary, high 
schools, the Communist ones — they arrested Communist teachers 
Litvinov, Colback, Weinstein, Rofus, Bookbinder, Friedland, and 
many others. 

This continued through to 1939 when the Soviet Union concluded its 
pact with Adolf Hitler. 

From the time of that pact to June 21, 1941, the Soviet Union was 
the greatest opponent of the free world coming to the defense of Great 
Britain and France. 

In December of 1939 Stalin in an interview with the editor of Pravda 
said the f ollowinof : 


"(a) It was not Germany that attacked France and England, but France and 
England that attacked Germany, thereby assuming responsibility for the present 

"(b) After hostilities had broken out, Germany made overtures of peace to 
France and England, and the Soviet Union openly supported Germany's peace 
overtures, for it considered, and continues to consider, that the earliest possible 
termination of the war would radically improve the position of all countries and 
nations ; 

"(c) The ruling circles of England and France rudely rejected both Germany's 
peace overtures and the attempts of the Soviet Union to secure the earliest 
possible termination of the war." ^ 

Because of this, countless Jews died — countless Jews that might 
have been saved. Their deaths are laid directly at the feet of the Soviet 

By 1941 Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, and suddenly things 
changed. The Soviets were greatly in need of the aid of the same 
United States which they had been pleading to stay out of the war. 

Incidentally, as I will indicate later, the Communist apparatus in 
this country swallowed this line — hook, line, and sinker, and it is the 
measure of the obscenity of the Communists in this country and 
throughout the world that there were Communist Jews who knew what 
would happen to their fellow Jews if they espoused this line and they 
espoused it anyway. 

In 1941, as a result of the desperate need for American aid, a neutral 
America, an organization by the name of the Jewish Anti-Fascist 
Committee was formed. 

In a passionate address, Ilya Ehrenburg, the famous Soviet writer 
who was also Jewish, laid the main emphasis on the fact that he 
appealed to the Jews in the United States, who mitil that moment had 
been pleaded with to stay neutral, to turn to their Government to come 
into the war on the side of the Soviet Union. 

The war was over, and there was no longer a need for the Jewish 
Anti-Fascist Committee. In 1948 a wholesale liquidation of every 
member of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee began, and from 1948 
to 1952 anti-Semitism on a physical scale raged inside Russia. Jews 
were killed because they were Jews, just as in Nazi Germany. This 
culminated in 1953 with the infamous doctors plot. 

On January 13, 1953, the Soviet news agency Tass published a plot 
by Jewish doctors on the life of Stalin. It was a fantastic thing that 
would have done justice to Julius Streicher. 

In each case, the Jewish origin of the doctor was made abundantly 
clear. They were accused of having maintained relations with the 
Joint Distribution Committee, which is an organization devoted to the 
relief of Jewish refugees, which was called the international Jewish 
bourgeois-nationalistic organization which was created by the Ameri- 
can intelligence service. 

These doctors were killed, and we have clear indication that Josef 
Stalin intended to liquidate the entire population, the entire Jewish 
population of the Soviet Union, if not for the fortunate fact that he 

His place was taken by Khrushchev, who at the 20th Congress 
startled the world with the facts of Stalin's crimes. And despite the 

1 This quotation appeared in English in an official Communist Party, U.S.A., publication 
entitled "A History of Soviet Foreign Policy." which was published during the Soviet-Nazi 
Pact by Worliers Library Publishers, Inc., 1940, pp. 44, 45. 


fact that Khrushchev had a leading hand in these crimes, the blame 
was imputed to Stalin and others. 

All during this era of murder of Jews in the Soviet Union, the Com- 
munist Party in this country, including its Jewish section, went up to 
the barricades, on the ramparts, and said it was a lie^ — it was a lie 
created by the Americans, by the imperialists, by the Zionists, by every- 

Suddenly Khrushchev said it was all true. The ComLmunists didn't 
bat an eyelash. They said it was true and the reason was simple : that 
Stalin was in aberration, but Khrushchev had the courage to admit it 
so this proves the integrity of communism. 

Khrushchev began an immediate persecution of the Jews in the So- 
viet Union. Under him, we saw the rise of the charge of economic 
crimes. Economic crimes were suddenly imputed again to people, 80 
percent of whom were Jews. 

Every Jew had his name indicated clearly and if he had changed 
his name, his original Jewish name was put m brackets. 

Economic crimes were imputed to the Jewish synagogues. The great 
synagogue in Lvov was accused of anti-Soviet activity, illicit cur- 
rency dealings, and this excuse was used to close it down. 

Today in the Soviet Union anti-Semitism continues. 

In 1963 a vicious 48-page booklet published in Uzhgorod in the 
Ukraine inadvertently shed light on the heroic secret resistance as it 
stated : 

It must be said that in our day, too, there are some people who are in the 
captivity of Judaism and who are trying to inculcate children with religious 

In 1958, in Uzhgorod, there was an exposure of the dirty activities of Nander 
Leibovich. He gave up his job and began teaching children the Torah. This 
semi-literate idler made use of his own ways to lead the children unto the "path 
of truth". 

A similar breeding ground for religious obscurantism also existed in the 
Seredneye Vodanoye village of the Tyachev district. Mayer Faig was misleading 
the children. ... It is characteristic that after the public had exposed these 
harmful and forbidden religious schools the rabbis began to go to the children's 
homes and teach them individually — something that is also an infringement of 
the Soviet regulations. . . . 

Until 1957 there was literally not one school for religious studies in 
the Soviet Union. 

In 195Y, as in 1958, because of public pressure, Khrushchev created 
a farce, a fiasco, one school for 13 students, the youngest of whom was 
40 years old. That was the sum total of rabbis to service the religious 
needs of 3 million Jews, and that school was closed down. 

It is closed at the moment. At the moment, there are no schools for 
the training of rabbis. The average age of the Russian rabbi is 70. 
In Moscow, in the main synagogue, it has Chief Rabbi Levin who is 
74, and one other small one, a rabbi who is 92. 

Being deprived of their leadership, the Jew^s of Russia are subject 
to another equally severe disability. Judaism is permitted no publica- 
tions and no publications facilities; no Hebrew Bible nor one Russian 
translation of the old Hebrew Bible has been published since 1917. 
Not a single religious book has appeared in print since the early 

Until 1958 not one prayer book was printed, and in that year a ri- 
diculous 3,000 copies were photocopied, none for the domestic use of 
the Soviet Jewry. 


No Jewish calendars are available in the Soviet Union — and the Jew 
depends on his religious holidays — he has no idea when the holidays 
of Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur occur. 

This country once boasted tens of thousands of synagogues. There 
were 450 synagogues in 1956 and 7 years later there were only 96, a de- 
crease of 500 percent in a period of 7 years. 

The process of attrition is not due merely to the fact, as Soviets main- 
tain, that Jews don't want to go to synago^e. There have been physi- 
cal closings of synagogues and administrative orders which have closed 
them down under various pretexts. 

At this moment, there are 64 synagogues left in the entire Soviet 
Union. That includes the Russian empire, taking in the captive nations 
of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, plus the various parts of other East 
European countries that were annexed by the Soviet Union immedi- 
ately after the war. Just 64 synagogues in this vast area. 

In those regions where Soviet fiat has ordered synagogues closed, 
stubbornly pious Jews have taken to organizing private services in 
their homes. 

Propaganda assaults on these meetings have been frequent, while 
Soviet police have harassed, disrupted, and dispersed such gatherings 
on hundreds of occasions, warning those who attended and occasionally 
punishing them. 

Articles list those who organize and attend the meetings. 

The persecution of Jewish religious institutions has been systemati- 
cally stepped up in recent years. In June and July of 1961, six lay 
religious leaders in Moscow and Leningrad were secretly arrested and 
synagogue presidents in six major provincial cities deposed. 

The arrested leaders were held in prison until October of that year 
and then secretly tried, convicted of alleged espionage, and sentenced 
to lengtlliy prison terms. 

Wlien a storm of protests arose, Trud^ the trade union paper, pub- 
lished a vicious article accusing the religious leaders of being agents 
for the Israeli secret service and tools of the American intelligence 

Each of the remaining lonely synagogues stands alone, for Jewish 
congregations are forbidden to maintain a central organization or a 
nationwide federation which would coordinate needs and standards and 
bolster religious beliefs. Needless to say, no communication with for- 
eign religious bodies is countenanced. 

And so the synagogues remain dying centers of a once-thriving reli- 
gion, where old people sit beneath the eye of ih& inevitaJble synagogue 
informer, Wliere the rabbi and the remaining devout sit motionless, 
fearful, wat<:^hing their faith — and themselves — die. 

And, indeed, this is how a gifted young writer, Elie Wiesel, describes 
his visit to the Moscow synagogue on the holiday of Simchas Torah.^ 

In each of the last. 3 yeairs, 30,000 young Jews — these are young 
people who never had an opportunity to attend a Jewish sc)hool — 
danced and sang Hebrew songs that they had heard over the Voice of 
America, the Voice of Israel, and through other sources. 

These were not religious Jews. This was a demonstration for free- 
dom. These boys and girls were college students. They risked their 

^ The Jews of Silence, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., New York, 1966. 


futures. They risked expulsion. They can never join the Communist 
Party, but they did this. 

Mr. Watson. May I interrupt you here ? 

You say that they can never join the Communist Party ? 

Rabbd Kahane. That is rigflit. 

Mr. Watson. Is that because the Jewisih people are prolliibited, or 
because of this activity ? 

Rabbi Kahane. Because of this activity. 

Incidentally, there is a very definite quota of Jews in the institutions 
of higther learning, a very definite quota. 

Judaism is not a faith limited to prayer, but acts, the observance of 
the Sabbath, circumcision, bar mitzvah. 

The bar mitzvah, which is the day when a Jewish youngster enters 
upon the obligations of a Jew, was described by a Soviet propaganda 
tract as a strong and disfiguring influence. 

This article goes on to say : 

... In our day, too, the Bar-Mitzva is observed in some Jewish families, in 
Whldh the fanatioaJ parents do not wish to give up this harmful tradition. 

The rite of the Bar-Mitzva has a strong and disfiguring influence on young boys. 

Long before the observance of the rite, the young lad is obHg^d to learn at 
least the basic tenets of the Jewish faith. 

This alone distracts him from his studies in school. It is difficult even to imag- 
ine that in some families a young boy, before whom is opened the bright paths 
into ithe interesting world of science, is forced, under the tutorship of his father, or 
of la hired tutor, a "rebbe" to sweat over tlie dusty books of the ancient Bible. 

It is therefore not surprisiinig thiaft the children often agree to this only under 
the threat of a punishment. Sometdmes parents even beat up their children to 
force them tx) isitudy for their Bar-Mitzva. 

The regional pai)er, Sovietskoye Zakarpatye, wrote at one time thiat a 6th 
grade pupil of the U2ihgorod High School No. 8, Lyudvig Leibovich, tearfully com- 
plained to his teacher that his father was beating him for his unwillingness to 
go to the synagogue and to study for his Bar-Mitzva. 

Other parents bribe their children with promises of exiyensive gifts. Under 
the influence of saich fanatic parents, our Soviet schoolboy, a pioneer, is forced to 
compromise with his conscience and this cripples the child morally and causes 
Mm a grave spiritual trauma. 

Thirty thousand spiritually effected traumas danced outside the 
synago^es of Moscow on Simchas Torah. 

Rabbi Bronstein has helped to perpetuate circumcision. 

I have in my files a front-page article from one of the Moslem Re- 
publics of Russia, and the Moslems, of course, also practice these 

There is a photo of it, a great holiday and in no way was there any 
word of condemnation. I quote the words from the Uzhgorod book- 

. . . Judaism is just as cruel towards children. It demands the performing 
of the rite of circmncision over an eight-day old baby boy. 

The rabbis, insisting on the fulfilling of this rite, are still pursuing a reaction- 
ary purpose in this : to isolate the Jewish workers from the workers of other 
nationalities and to inculcate children, from an early age, with the deeply harm- 
ful idea of their belonging to the "chosen people." 

Reactionary individuals show special insistence on this here, too. A few years 
ago in Chernovtsy, the son of a certain Gendel, a worker in the Re.staurants and 
Dining Rooms, almost died as a result of circimicision. 

He lost so much blood that only a doctor, called for assistance, saved the infant 
from imminent death. With anger and with pain, the child's father told about 
this savage incident at an atheistic evening attended by more than one thou- 
sand workers. 


Shekhter, the one who performed the rite, spoke aifter Mm. He said that he 
wias ashamed to look i>eople in the eyes and called upon all believing Jews to 
finish with this barbaric custom 

This is the propaganda that the Soviet people and the Jews must 
read. This is what the young Soviet Jewish child is taught in his school. 

There is no way, no legal way, for him to hear the opposite view, 
to hear the opposite facts. 

I would just like to touch at this point on something which I men- 
tioned before. 

All faiths in the Soviet Union are persecuted. The Jewish press 
has come out time and time again calling for the American Jew to 
stand up in protest against the persecution of the Baptists in the 
Soviet Union. 

There have been meetings, joint meetings, held by organizations in 
this country who are active on behalf of the Soviet Jewry, in conjunc- 
tion with Baptist groups, to protest the persecution. 

tin fortunately — and I say this with a heavy heart — when certain 
Baptists appealed for sanctuary at the American Embassy in Moscow, 
they were turned away. I think this is a terrible, terrible stain on 
this country. 

Mr. Watson. Spell that out a little better. They appealed for sanc- 
tuary at the American Embassy, and the American Embassy did not 
give them sanctuary? 

Rabbi Kahane. Yes, sir; about 40 families suddenly appeared in 
Moscow. They had come from the provinces. They appeared in Mos- 
cow and they came into the United States Embassy and they listed a 
long list of persecutions they had undergone and they asked for sanc- 
tuary inside the Embassy and they were turned away. 

They were kept there for a day, and instructions were asked of 
Washington what to do about them. 

Mr. Watson. How long ago was this. Rabbi? 

Rabbi Bronstein. I was there. It was about 5 years ago. It was 
publislied in all of the papers in the United States. 

Rabbi Kahane. At the time the Jewish press wrote a very, very 
strong editorial on this. It was one of the few moments when I who 
am truly proud to be a citizen of this country — ^the finest country in the 
world — felt a twinge of shame that we had done such a thing. 

Mr. Watson. Were these people charged with any specific crimes? 

Rabbi Kahane. No, none at all. 

Mr. Smith. You indicated that the Embassy asked for instructions 
from Washington as to what to do. 

Rabbi Kahane. Yes. 

Mr. Smith. I don't believe you stated what happened. 

Rabbi Kahane. The next day they were ousted from the Embassy 
so it is quite obvious what those instructions were. 

Mr. Smith. Rabbi, has the plight of Jews been aggravated by the 
attitude of the Soviet toward the situation in the Middle East? 

Rabbi Kahane. Tliere is no doubt that the Soviet Union suffered 
a severe blow; in fact, the world Communist movement suffered its 
severest blow in more than a decade when the Israelis defeated the 
Arabs last year. I cannot tell you how infuriated and how psycopathic 
the Soviets became at that defeat. Not since the Soviets were forced 


to remove the missiles from Cuba have they literally suffered any 
defeat in the world. 

In Laos, Vietnam, throughout Africa, throughout America com- 
munism was expanding. And here was their opportunity to literally 
seize the Middle East, to destroy one of the few Western bastions aside 
from a country like Turkey. There are really few Western bastions, 
bastions of freedom and democracy, aside from Israel. 

The Soviets campaigned for over a year to prepare the ground- 
work to have the Arab states attack Israel. It was the Soviets who 
began spreading the rumor that Israel was about to invade Syria in 
early 1967. 

It was they who encouraged Nasser to demand the withdrawal of 
U.N. troops from Sinai and to block the Gulf of Aqaba to Israel 
shipping, which they knew was an act of war, which they knew would 
compel Israel to fight or die. 

For months prior to the outbreak of the war, the Soviets, the press, 
and radio laid the groundwork for public opinion against Israel and 
against America. 

Let me make this clear right now. During this entire period preced- 
ing the war and during the war and after the war, Israel was called 
by both the Soviet Union and China the lackey of American imperial- 
ists, that Israel was being used to reestablish imperialism, colonialism, 
ad nauseum, in the Middle East, 

Moscow radio on April 8, 1967, broadcast this following gem : 

New and very important details have emerged in the news concerning the 7 
April Syrian-Israeli armed clash caused by Israel. For example it has become ap- 
parent that American pilots participated alongside Israelis in the air raids 
against Syria. Syrian authorities were told this by one of the American pilots 
whose plane was shot down while the Syrians were repelling the Israeli attack. 
The statements of the American pilot, who fell into the hands of the Syrian au- 
thorities, indicate that a deal has been concluded between the United States and 
Israel to import planes and other war equipment. 

In compliance with Washington's request, Jordan granted Israel the right 
to use its airspace without interference. These facts indicate once more that 
Israeli aggressiveness is but a curtain behind which Washington pursues its 
aggressive aims toward the independent Arab states. * * * 

Unfortunately, very, very few people know or realize how closely 
linked American foreign policy or the American security, the Ameri- 
can future, is linked to that of freedom-loving nations such as Israel, 
and I would like to make the comment right here that I believe my 
newspaper believes, and the majority of American Jews believe, that 
the war in Vietnam and the war in the Middle East were part of the 
same war, same enemies. 

Communism is an entity, a unity. The Israeli troops fought for 
America. American troops in Vietnam fight for Israel. Both fight for 
the free world, and I would like to make that very, very clear to you, 
that no matter what you might read or think, American Jews are con- 
vinced of this. And while many of us, many Americans, might differ 
on certain aspects of the war, some calling for less escalation and some 
calling for more, but the fact is that the knowledge is clear that Israel 
and Vietnam and every other area in which communism fights the 
free world is part of the same thing. 

Mr. Smith. What are the so-called economic crimes in the Soviet 
Union ? 


Eabbi Kahane. As I had mentioned, the Soviet Union used the pre- 
text of economic crimes as a cover for anti-Semitism. To begin with, 
80 percent of all of the so-called economic criminals was Jewish, listed 
as such, to ethnic charge ; to charge, their ethnic background was care- 
fully listed and above all religious leaders were linked to these crimes. 

Just as an aside, those same groups in this country which protest 
against the death penalty for rapists and murderers did not protest 
when 250 people were shot to death for black marketeering, just 
as the same groups that protest against the bombing of Hanoi and the 
accidental killing of civilians do not protest when, in Saigon, civilians 
are purposefully, deliberately murdered. 

The economic crimes, as I say, were used as a campaign against the 
synagogue and against the Jew. 

On November 5, 1962, the great synagogue of Lvov, the last remain- 
ing Jewish prayer house in the Ukraine, was shut down. The closing 
of the synagogue was the culmination of an intensive campaign of 
the state police, the militia. 

In a paper published in Kiev, 1962, a demand was made that the 
Lvov synagogue, which is pictured as the center for illicit currency 
dealings, be closed. 

According to the article : 

Jewish speculators from Lvov and foreign towns met and carried on their trade 
and concluded their transactions. * » * The leading figure in the Synagogue and 
in the ring speculators was * * * the ritual slaughterer Kontorovich, who 
made religion and its rites the source of his i)ersonal income. In contravention 
of the State wine monopoly he made religious wine, which he sold at exorbitant 
prices, for the celebration of religious festivals.^ 

The article goes further and says this misdeed caused the death 
sentence of this person and another member of the synagogue council. 
They were both shot, and the synagogue was closed. 

Mr. Smith. What has been the reaction of the groups that you 
mentioned a while ago. Communist Party, Workers World Party, 
Youth Against War and Fascism, Progressive Labor, and Socialist 
Workers Party, toward the persecution of the Jews in the Soviet 
Union ? 

Eabbi Kahane. All of the Communist groups, whether Moscow- 
oriented or Peking-oriented, follow the party line precisely and ex- 
actly. There is no doubt that within the Soviet Union there is an 
attempt to forcibly assimilate the Jew and do away with the congre- 
gant Jew. 

The facts were so obvious that several Jewish Communists who 
have withstood the storms and the tides of swerving party lines fi- 
nally had it just a little bit. 

Several of them called for the Soviet Union to alleviate its line just 
a little bit. The American Communist Party, the Communist Party 
of the U.S., devoted three issues of its Political Affairs journal to this 
question and various top Communist leaders as well. 

Daniel Rubin, who at that time was the Communist Party's youth 
director, wrote in the December 1966 issue of Political, Affairs — 

we still should ask ourselves whether, if it is true that Jewish culture in the 
USSR will be dead in 10 years, this in itself is bad? * * * 

1 "Economic Crimes in the Soviet Union" (reprint). Journal of the International Com- 
mission oj Jurists, summer 1964, vol. V, No. 1, p. 37. 


What Eubin was saying was that to be a Jew was no great or important 

And this concept was taken up by Irving Potash, a long-time anti- 
Jewish Semite and long-time party leader. 

Potash writes : 

This false concept is a throw-back to historic narrow nationalism reflected in 
such expressions as "Jewishness" and "Jewish spirit" * * *. 

This emphasis on the idea of the Jewish community, from the em- 
phasis arises the fantastic demand that the Soviet Union allow its 
Jewish community to establish contact with the Jewish community of 
other countries. 

Hyman Lumer, at that time the editor of Political Affairs [quoting 
from Lenin] , states : 

Marxism cannot be reconciled with nationalism, be it even of the "most 
just," "purest," most refined and civilized brand.* * * 

The Jews of the Soviet Union will disappear. This is precisely 
what the Communist Party wants. This is one area in which the 
Communist Party defends the present campaign to destroy the Jew 
at this moment. 

But this is only an end. Here is a long, long traditional precedent. 

At the time that Stalin was opposed to intervention against Hitler 
and at that moment when Jewry was being doomed, the Communist 
Party of this country, through one of its Jewish traitors named Moses 
Miller, published a booklet called A Jew Looks at the War,^ in which 
Miller said the Jewish people of America are against this war. 

The Jewish people do not want one single American young man 
to lose his life over there. We have a war to carry on, but that war 
is right here. 

Incidentally, you could take these paragraphs and the Jewish Com- 
munists are saying it right at this moment — things never, never 

At that moment he knew adaptation of that policy would doom 
Jews to death, but he wrote it anyway. 

Mr. Smith. Do you have any evidence of the deliberate creation 
of anti-Semitism by any of these Communist groups? 

Rabbi Kahane. I am not quite finished. I would first of all like 
to mention several more areas in which the Communist Party of this 
country has hewed faithfully to the line on the Jewish question, 
since this is the basic line of this committee, and in addition to that 
also cover several of the other Communist groups which are not led 
by Moscow. 

On the question of the establishment of a Jewish state, in 1937 
when the specter of Hitler, who swore to wipe out the Jews of Europe, 
was hovering over the world, at that moment when there was still 
a hope that some of these Jews could be saved and somehow they 
could be gotten to Palestine, the Soviet Union opposed any such 
move and since the Soviet Union did, the Communist Party of this 
country put out a booklet called Letter To A Zionist Friend.'^ 

At that moment, Arab mobs were carrying on terrorism against 

1 Booklet published by Jewish Peoples Committee, New York, N.Y., June 1940. 

2 Booklet by Ben David, published by Jewish Pamphlet Library, New York, March 1937. 


My aunt was killed in 1937 by the Arabs in Palestine, and I am 
happy to say that I am ready to testify to that scene at any time. 

All through the horrors of Stalin, the Communists in this country 
said that there was no truth to it, there was no truth to anti-Semitism, 
there was no truth to the stories that Jewish writers and intellectuals 
were being killed. 

Suddenly, Khrushchev says it is true, it all happened. So, sud- 
denly, Jewish life under the Communist order grows. "We are sorry, 
we are sorry," they said, "we were wrong." 

During the crisis last year between Israel and the Arabs when the 
Soviet Union, of course, followed a completely viciously anti-Israel 
line, the Communist Party of this country followed the exact line. 

The Worker said in an editorial on May 28, 1967 : 

GUILT for the present dangerous crisis in the Middle East rests solely upon 
the Wall Street imperialists, the oil trusts and the Johnson Administration, 
which is acting as their agent. 

June 13, 1967, headline of The Worker was "LBJ Helps Israel In 
Attempt to Hold Seized Arab Land." 

In November 1967, an International Conference in Support of the 
Arab Peoples, a Communist group, was held in New Delhi. 

Herbert Aptheker wrote a speech in support of the Arab peoples 
right down the line, though Aptheker knew that the Arab peoples, the 
Arab armies, intended not just to conquer Israel, but to liquidate the 
Jewish state and its inhabitants, to add 21/^ million Jews to the 6 mil- 
lion that Hitler killed, but Herbert Aptheker went right down the line, 
right down the line and he called in his declaration : 

The method of warfare employed by Israel was in cynical violation of stand- 
ards of human decency, now established by the judgments of the Nuremberg 
Trials, the Charter of the U.N.O. and the Conventions of the International Red 
Cross. The large-scale use of napalm — "Portable Crematoria" — against civilians, 
the expulsion of civilian populations, the shooting of prisoners or turning them 
loose in the desert to die — such actions can not fail to raise memories of the 
policies of Hitler's Nazis.* 

Not just the Communist Party of this country, but those parties 
which follow the Peking line went right down the line with Peking. 

Incidentally, I want to make it very, very clear to groups in this 
country such as the SDS, which sees no evil in China, to such groups as 
Youth Against War and Fascism, which sees no evil in China, as the 
Progressive Labor Party would see no evil in China, I would like to 
call attention to what the Chinese version is for the final solution to 

The Chinese are not talking about whether Israel should take in 
Arab refugees, whether they should give up conquered lands. 

In June of 1966 at a conference in Peking [the Afro-Asian Writ- 
ers' Emergency Meeting, June 27-July 9, 1966], the following resolu- 
tion on Palestine was passed, and paragraph 10 reads : 

The Meeting demands that Israel, a colonialist entity completely dependent on 
world imperialism, be completely liquidated.'' 

That was the Chinese version. 

Nevertheless, those groups which owe allegiance to China, such 
as the Progressive Labor Party, went down the line — July 1967 issue of 

^ Political Affairs, January 1968, p. 42. 
a Peking Review, July 15, 1966, p. 47. 


Challenge, the newspaper of the PLP — "5 pages on MID EAST Facts, 
Lessons'' — facts were facts, lessons were lessons. 

"Israel Plotted Suez Grab With Imperialists, Minister Confirms" 


"Israel's Birth: Zionists Coldly Planned Terror" 
All through their leaflets and their publications was one theme — 
Vietnam, the Middle East, are one war and in this particular case, I 
agree with them. It is one war. 

I would like to conclude with this following word : 
I was in Israel last year, a year in which anti-Vietnam riots in 
this country were going very, very well. If the Israeli people could 
have a referendum on that war, I can assure you overwhelmingly they 
would have pleaded with America to stay in Vietnam. 

I want to read an article to you to conclude with this which was in 
one of the leading Israeli papers: 

In Vietnam, the United States bars the road of destructive military force 
that is capable tomorrow of reaching India and the next day Asia Minor, if 
only she is allowed to do so. 

It is worthwhile for the sensitive souls who decry the dirty war to remember 
this : It is time for them to remember bombs falling- on a bridge in Hanoi. 

So long as America stands alone and does this work and spills the blood of 
her sons in Vietnam, she is not worthy of being kicked and smeared but is 
deserving of appreciation and support for then in the end she defends that 
civilization, that way of life, those ideals common to her and to everyone who 
sees himself belonging to the free world.'^ 

Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, since time will not permit Rabbi Kahane 
to cover all of his material, I request permission for him to submit 
various documents he has used here and additional ones which will 
reveal the manner in which U.S. Communist groups have denied that 
they tried to clear the Soviet Union of all charges of anti-Semitism 
and persecution of the Jewish religion. 

The Chairsiax. That permission is granted. 

Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, because of its relevance to the testimony 
received this morning from Rabbis Kahane and Bronstein and also 
the testimony of Richard Wurmbrand received last August, it is re- 
quested that an article entitled "the greatest beggar in the world" 
be printed as a part of this hearing. 

The article in question was published in the June 18, 1968, issue of 
the National Review. It concerns Communist-bloc persecution of Ca- 
tholicism and certain steps being taken by the Catholic Church to 
preserve the practice of Catholicism behind the Iron Curtain. 

The Chairman. That will be received and printed. (See appendix, 
pages 2235 and 2236.) 

Thank you very much. You have made a great contribution to this 
committee and to the cause we are digging into. 

Mr. Watson. Mr. Chairman, may I just make one statement and ask 
Rabbi Kahane a question ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Watson. I notice in the Evening Star yesterday an article on 
the second page of section A, where Rabbi Levin, who is the chief 
rabbi of Moscow, received "a clamorous welcome" and the official wel- 
coming party was headed by Richard Korn, president of the American 
Council for Judaism. 

1 Quoted from Yediot Aronot, an Israeli Hebrew-language newspaper. 


Could either of you give us some information on this organization or 
this individual ? 

I am not trying to pick an argument here with any faith, but I was 
just trying to get a reading on this thing as to whether or not your 
people are fully apprised of what is going on in Russia and this man's 
particular position. 

Eabbi Kahane. Ordinarily, I hesitate to comment on other Jewish 
organizations. However, in this case since you have asked me, I thank 
you for asking me. 

The ACJ is a very, very small group of individuals who are opposed 
to the establishment of a Jewish national homeland. They fought the 
creation of the State of Israel until 1948, when it was created, and 
since that time they have j oined openly with Arabs. 

Many of their members have traveled through Arab countries for 
anti-Israel propaganda purposes. "Wlien all American Jewish organi- 
zations have been protesting anti-Semitism within the Soviet Union, 
this group alone said it was not true, not because they are Communists, 
but for other reasons. 

In any case, the Soviet Union, which is desperately anxious to call 
all these charges a lie, thought of the idea of sending Rabbi Levin to 
America. I can assure you that Rabbi Levin was not anxious to come in 
any manner or form. He has no desire in any form to be a part of a 
Soviet plot to disprove these true charges. 

However, as Rahbi Bronstein said, the Soviet Union is one great 
prison, and he is a prisoner. It is not just for his own life or safety he 
fears, but for 3 million hostages back in the Soviet Union, 3 million 

He was forced to oome. The Soviet Union cleverly came up with the 
one and only organization which would work with them m having 
Rabbi Levin come here. It is an anti-Zionist and, in a sense, truly an 
anti-Semitic group. 

Therefore, this clamorous welcome was far from clamorous, inciden- 
tally. I don't know if this story has a wire service heading or not. 

Mr. Watson. New York AP byline. 

Rabbi Kahane. The Neio York Times had the same lead paragraph, 
and I have my own particular criticism of that paper. The fact is that 
it was not a clamorous welcome. The fact of the matter is a second 
group came there in an attempt to salvage something and to at least 
rescue Rabbi Levin and have him come over with a legitimate British 
group, and that is the group mentioned there led by Rabbi Teitz. 

I want to say in no way should the visit of Rabbi Le\'in be con- 
strued as any lessening of Soviet anti-Semitism. You can rest assured 
that Pravda and all of the lackeys of Moscow here will play this up 
to prove there is really no anti-Semitism. That is the sole purpose of 
this visit. 

Mr. Watsox. In other words, the group led by Rabbi Teitz? 

Rabbi Kahane. It is a group of orthodox Jews who have held per- 
sonal contact with him. I think on this particular point. Rabbi Bron- 
stein could certainly add several things. 

Rabbi Bronstein. I would like to clarify the purpose of bringing 
Rabbi Levin to the United States — I am talking here about the true 

I know Rabbi Levin from my nine visits to the Soviet Union. 

He is a loyal, learned rabbi. However, any official in the Soviet Union 


just because of the fact of being an official must follow the Soviet line. 

I know of many great rabbis and scholars who are collecting junk 
and who are doing the most black work not to be a rabbi, just to avoid 
being an official rabbi, because if they are official rabbis they must sub- 
mit every sermon before it is preached to the minister of all religions, 
and every news medium is controlled by this bureau. 

Mr. Watson. In other words, Eabbi Levin is officially selected by the 
state as the head or chief rabbi of the state ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. Rabbi Levin was a rabbi in a small town and when 
the Yeshiva was opened in 1950, he was called in to be one of the 
Yeshiva's presidotels upon the passing of the present chief. Rabbi 
Levin was selected as the chief rabbi of Moscow. 

Mr. Watson. Selected by whom ? 

Rabbi Bronstein. By the government. 

In Russia there is such a thing as a Barzetska, which is a group of 20 
members of the synagogue who are so-called in control of the religious 
activities in the synagogue, but they are really informers for the Soviet 

Mr. Watson. The main thing we wanted to get to is this man is an 
official of the state and he is not over here speaking for the 3 million 
Jews in Moscow. 

Rabbi Bronstein. Certainly not. All of the rabbinical organizations, 
including my own and other organizations, have always attempted to 
invite Rabbi Levin to this country, but he could never get here. 

When this Organization of Assimilations invited him and because 
they followed the anti- Jewish line, they were successful in getting him. 

Now, when Rabbi Teitz and myself went to greet Rabbi Levin, we 
didn't go to greet him on behalf of the American Council for Judaism, 
but rather as personal friends and hoped we would have every oppor- 
tunity to show Rabbi Levin real Jewish life in America. 

The Chairman. Tliank you for your great contribution. 

The subcommittee will stand adjourned. 

(Wliereupon, at 1 :50 p.m., Wednesday, June 19, 1968, the subcom- 
mittee adjourned.) 







Yot HAVE TO PUT ten lire in the 
elevator to Inake it work. 
Grumbling, it heaves you up six floors 
to the lop of a nineteenth-century 
palazzo on the Vatican side of the 
Tiber. A door is opened by a smiling, 
fresh-faced girl with a lot of fair hair, 
who looks as if she should be selling 
butter and eggs in Holland, and you 
step, slightly startled, into a clean and 
sparkling set of rooms that also seems 
to have been imported from the North. 
White curtains, blowing in the breeze, 
white walls and paintwork, clinical 
modern furniture, and behind a desk 
buried in papers, a big man in abun- 
dant, dazzling white robes. 

The Re-CkriMiani:frs 

Father Werenfried van Straaten 
looks a bit like an ex -boxer: heavy 
shoulders, a solid jaw, a little trouble 
around the midriff, which he slap5. 
heartily. "Nothing to be done! No 
time for exercise!" He is a Dutchman 
and the head of a remarkable or- 
ganization which has been called "the 
Vatican CIA" and is in fact the 
Catholic Church's "Iron Curtain Re- 
lief Service." Its immediate task is 
to help the persecuted church of East- 
em Europe, and iti ultimate aim is 
nothing less than the re-Christian- 
ization of the countries now under 
Communist domination. 

Father van Straaten admits to be- 
ing a boxer in his youth; but as for 
running a spy center — "my spies only 
interest thenuelves in charity and re- 

"But it's true," he adds, "that in 
Czechoslovakia, for example, where 
the Church is dying and the 1,400 
priests are prevented in so many ways 
from carrying out their ministry, they 
call us spies. Once I entered Czech- 
oslovakia clandestinely with a tourist 
party. In a Prague square I saw five 
big photographs exhibited — the five 
biggest religious enemies of the re- 
gime. The Pope, Cardinal Mindszenty, 
Cardinal Spellman, Cardinal Frings 
— and me. Under my picture the cap- 

tion read: "This is the man who calls 
himself chief of the army of God. He 
takes money and jewels from the 
faithful to turn priests into spies." 

Father van Straaten rummaged 
among the papers on the desk and 
found a document which he recently 
took to Pope Paul VI at a private 
audience: his annual budget. The to- 
tal income — ^which equaled expendi- 
ture — was more than $5 million. 

There were items for aid to 
churches and priests who work in 
secret, for the families of priests in 
prison, for food, clothes, books. I 
queried "motorization." 

"Those are our chapel trucks." 
Father van Straaten explained: "We 
have converted hundreds of lorrief. 
You open the side and there's the 
altar. Priests drive them around the 
villages in areas which have no 

Part of the money goes on prepara- 
tions for the day when the Communist 
regimes will crtimble. More than 
twenty seminaries and monasteries 
are training priests and close to a 
thousand refugees have already be«n 
ordained. The target is 3.000, and If. 
by some means, all restrictions were 
to be lifted on the Church in satellite 
countries tomorrow. Father van 
Straaten's priests would be ready to 
cross the frontiers the same day in 
chapel trucks, bearing supplies of 
food and fuel. "We've even recorded 
messages of hope and greeting to be 
broadcast when the day of freedom 
comes," he says. 

To raise money, the head of Iron 
Curtain Church Relief goes on speak- 
ing tours. His dusty black Mercedes 
clocked up 100.000 miles last year. He 
sleeps in the back seat, to be woken 
at frontiers and towns whsre people 
are waiting to hear him preach. He 
has made twelve speeches a day in 
different towns and villages. When 
we met in Rome he was just pre- 
paring for another tour in East Ger- 
many. He asks for money, or for 
gifts. This means that ICCR's ware- 

houses are crammed with 2,000 tons 
of ofTerings, from socks to smoked 
sausages, double beds and diamond 
brooches. He bep addreases from 
business organizations, and to these 
he sends copies of his twice monthly 
yiirroT periodical, which has a print- 
ing of 50 million. 

"I'm sorry I cannot teD you the 
means we use to send aid behind 
the Curtain," he said. "But one way 
or another we keep the supplies go- 
ing. Money, food parcels, typewriters, 
cars. . 

"Transport Is vital In one way or 
another we've provided thousands of 
motorcycles and cars for priests in 
Communist lands and In refugee 

Priests for Sale 

Father van Straaten has traveled 
often in Communist countries. He risks 
his life but seems also to eBJvy it 

"I adopt a false name and leave 
my habit behind. I go as a farmer, 
say, or tourist and I grow a 
how-do-you-say. . .?" IQs fingers 
twirled at the ends of an invisible 
moustache. In Ibis way he has visHed 
the bishops of the Catholic Church 
in six Peoples' RepubUca, and per- 
sonally spoken to scores of secret 
priests — men who wear no robes and 
who are. In outward appearance, or- 
dinary factory ■ ugh e ia or farm lab- 
orers. Ttiese men evade state con- 
trol by being ordafeied in brief cere- 
monies in some secret place. Some 
are betrayed by iirforraers, but many 
thouaands are at w«rJu baptizing, 
hearing confessions, celebrating Mass 
among Ibe 65 million Catholics of 
Eastern Europe. 

Many Communist nffirials turn a 
blind eye to the work af aecret priests, 
dther because tbey wish to insure 
tbcmselves against a poasiUe col- 
lapse at the regime; or bacause they 
•re thcmsehret secretly Christians. It 
la known that ssme very high-up 
Soviet leaden are bettevera; they may 
even, like Svatlans StaMn, be mem- 
bers tl the Biisslaii Church. 

Certain Caamunlst regimes aeO. 
priests, along with Jews and other 
"undesirables," to the West. The prac- 
tice has provided uaeftjl support for 
the Rumanian economy over the past 
six years. But, perhaps bccauae Ca- 
tholicism Is the most stringently per- 
secuted of all Christian creeds. Father 
van Straaten has been able to buy 
only seven priests over this period. 

Weren't things getting better for 

Jom I(. IM* 609 



the Church in these days of "peaceful 
coexistence"? I aaked. 

Van Straaten looked at me with 
quefitioninK grey eyes. "On the cen- 
tral y, they are getting worse." he 
said, and brought out a thick folder 
stuffed with documents. "This ia my 
radiograph of the persecuted Church, 
country by country. They cannot 
touch thousands of our bravest priesta, 
because they are all e»dy dead. Some 
three thousand, however, art- still in 
prison and more than ten thousand 
nuns have been driven from their 
convents to work in labor camps. Of 
the bishops, about two himdred have 
been exiled, imprisoned, killed or 
forced to renounce their ministry. 
TTicre is a constant movement to re- 
place a faithful priest with a 'state 
candidate* — a man who will obey 
whatever order the government may 
give him, however contrary to his 

Albanian Church Gone 

•Take Poland. For 35 million Cath- 
olics there, no new church has been 
built since 1958. The authorities talk 
about the separation of church and 
state, but in fact the stale controls 
every last detail. There'<; no religious 
instruction in the schools, and the 
few Catholic schools still open — five 
— are kept on simply to show to tour- 
ists from the West. All religious books 
have disappeared. They burn them at 
a farm in Jeziomo — people call it the 

"Albania is worse stjU. The Church 
there has been annihilated, and the 
five bishops have just vanished. In 
Rumania there were ten bisho[», of 
whom three have been killed, four 
have died in prison and the others 
are still confined. In Czechoslovakia 
the number of pnests falls and falls. 
The limit is twenty new priests a 
year, against the sixty lost in the 
same period. All the scminarit-s are 
closed, and 764 convents are empty. 
Do you know that they offer a prize 
of 10,000 crowns to anyone who can 
induce a nun to renounce her faith?" 

What was the ICCR doing in So- 
viet Russia? I asked. 

"We have been there, even in Si- 
beria; in the Ukraine there were five 
million Catholics, but many have 
been deported, the churches in the 
villages are ruined or used as grain 
stores, and of the eleven bishops, tin 
are dead and the last. Cardinal Slipy, 
has been allowed to come to the 
West after eighteen years of forced 

labor. It is forbidden to t««ch the 
catpchL'^m and from the age of six, 
children are taught to hate the idea 
of God." 

Father van Straaten, wh6 is fifty- 
five, studied languages aa a young 
man at Utrecht University, and today 
he speaks seven. He founded the 
ICCR movement in 1947 when some 
twelve million German refugees were 
flowing into the West. He told his 
superior on Christmas morning that 
he had decided to leave the abbey 
where he worked to help the refugees 
by speaking for them and collecting 
aid on their behalf. He remembers 
. his first sermon: 

"The church was crowded, and I 
knew everyone there had reaaons, 
personal reasons, to hate the Ger- 
mans. While I preached,' explaining 
the sufferings of these refugees and 
asking for help, the crowd just stared 
at me coldly. It was the moat difficult 
sermon of my life. At the end of 
Mass I stood at the church door with 
a hat in my hand; and one by one the 
whole congregation went by and not 
many of them looked at me, and not 
one put anything in the hat. 

"I went back into the church In 
anguish and went down on my knees 
and prayed. Then I felt a touch oe 
my shoulder. It was an old iiiniail 
'My two sons were killed by tha 
Germans,' she said. 'But what you 
said was just. Here are five francs 
for those poor peopt*.' So I ataited 
with five francs to feed twclva 

Later, touring factories, fttmt and 
towns. Father van StraMaa found 
that peopli- could learn !• care for 
those whom they had so rocantiy 
cursed. His work and lame grew. Ha 
recalls a day in 1M9 when ha was 
attempting to nc fs t iatc with a Rad 

general in bahalf of nlugeas. " "We 
Russians are the picked troops of 
Satan!' he said, and laughad. 'Are you 
the beat God can produce?' I thought: 
we shall sec. I haven't looked back 
from that day." 

God Helps the Helpen 

ICCR is now expanding its activi- 
ties to help the Church in many other 
countries where it is in danger or 
difficulty: in Brazil, Chile and Col- 
ombia; in the Congo and in India; 
in Vietnam, wdier* over a million 
Catholic rcfngea* have fled Hanoi to 
the Sou& 

"It is presuoopluous and unreason- 
able to expect that God wUl free the 
Church frsan Communism if we 
haven't done all we can to make that 
liberation productive and significant," 
said Father van Straaten. "We have 
already lost 30,000 priests in th« 
countries of the Soviet empire, l^y 
died in prisons and eampa, they fled 
or sinaply disappeared. We pray for 
the peraacutad Church, and we pray 
for the conversion ot all CDoununists, 
the dupers and the duped, BrezImeT, 
Gromyko, "nto, Uao— (or the perse- 
cutes* see in greatar need, ^irltually, 
thaa Ote peraaculad. But if we do 
not dare la laake preparations, to 
weik, *w prsyars wUl not have a 
very persuasive Influence on God!" 

Fatber van Straaten smiled. "You 
ksK>w, I wasn't altogether at home 
aa a monk. 1 sang In the abbey dioir, 
but my eoice was loud and ahvays 
slightly oA key." 

T%mm Is a certainty in his voice 
now that Is, in Hsetf, a s(da«t It Is 
easy to mdaniaDd «Kir "Werenfaiad" 
— bis monastic name, meaning 
"OMmploB (or Peace"— has become 
for minioos at psople in East and 
West a symbol of (altk In the future. 


BIO National Review 




Aptheker, Herbert 2231 


Bookbinder 2222 

Brezhnev (Leonid I.) 2236 

Bronstein, Harry 2197-2199, 2205, 2206-2220 (testimony), 2226, 2233 

Colback 2222 

David, Ben 2230 

Ehrenburg, Ilya 2223 


Faig, Mayer 2224 

Foley, Charles 2235 

Friedland 2222 

Frings 2235 


Gendel 2226 

Gendelman, Yonah 2213 

Gromyko (Andrei A.) 2236 


Hocohen, Yesroel Meir 2203,2221 

Hitler, Adolf 2199, 2203, 2204, 2222, 2223, 2230, 2231 

Johnson (Lyndon Baines) 2231 

Kahane, Meir 2197, 

2199,2202-2205 (statement), 2218, 2220-2234 (statement resumed) 

Khrushchev (Nikita Sergeevich) 2197, 2199, 2204, 2223, 2224, 2231 

Kontorovich 2229 

Korn, Richard 2232 

Kosygin (Aleksei) 2208 



li Page 

Leibovich, Lyudvig 2226 

Leibovich, Nander 2224 

Lenin (V. I.) 2230 

Levin (Yehuda Leib) 2205, 2212, 2224, 2232, 2233 

Litvinov 2222 

Lumer, Hyman 2230 


Mao (Tse-tung) 2236 

Miller, Moses 2230 

Mindszenty (Joseph) Cardinal 2235 

Morcza 2205 


Nasser (Gamal Abdel) 2225 

Nikodin, Nikolai 2212 


Pope Paul VI 2235 

Potash, Irving 2230 


Rofus 2222 

Rubin, Daniel 2229, 2230 


Shekhter 2227 

Slipy 2236 

Spellman (Francis) Cardinal 2235 

Stalin, Josef 2199,2203,2222-2224,2230,2231 

Stalin, Svetlana 2235 

Streicher, Julius 2223 


Teitz (Pinehas M.) 2218,2233 

Tito (Joseph Broz) 2236 

Tress, Michaeil D 2206 

van Straaten, Werenfried 2235,2236 


Weinstein 2222 

Wiesel, Elie 2225 


Yaris, Harry 2205 



ACJ. (See American Council for Judaism. ) 

Afro-Asian Writers' Emergency Meeting, June 27-July 9, 1966, Peking, 

China 2231 

Agudath Israel 2206 

Al Tidom 2199, 2206, 2218 

American Council for Judaism (ACJ) 2232-2234 

American Jewish Committee 2220 



CPUSA. ( See Communist Party of the United States of America. ) Paee 

Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) 2197, 

2199, 2202, 2223, 2229, 2230 

Communist Party, Soviet Union 2222, 2224, 2226, 2230 

Congresses : 

Twentieth Congress, February 1956, Moscow 2223 


ICCR. (See Iron Curtain Church Relief.) 

International Conference in Support of the Arab Peoples 2231 

Iron Curtain Church Relief (ICCR) 2235, 2236 


Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee 2223 

Jewish Defense League 2197, 2202 

Jewish Pamphlet Library 2230 

Jewish Peoples Committee 2230 

Joint Distribution Committee 2208, 2223 


KGB. ( See entry under Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Government of. 

Secret Police. ) 
Komsomol. ( See Young Communist League, Soviet Union. ) 


Organization of Assimilations 2234 

Polish United Workers' Party. (-See United Polish Workers' (Communist) 

Progressive Labor Movement (PLM) (or Party (PLP)) 2229,2231 


Rabbinical Alliance of America 2198, 2206 

Radio Free Europe 2212, 2215 

Radio Liberty 2198, 2215, 2218 


SDS. ( -S^ee Students for a Democratic Society. ) 

Socialist Workers Party (SWP) 2229 

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) 2231 


Tass (News Agency) 2223 


Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Government of 2208, 2209, 2213, 2229 

Secret Police (GB — Grosudarstvennaya Bezopasnost — state security) : 
KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti — Committee for 

State Security) 2198, 2199, 2208, 2211, 2213 

United Polish Workers' (Oommunist) Party 2205 

United States Government : 
Embassies : 

Moscow, Russia 2^7 

United States Information Agency : 

Voice of America 2198,2212,2215,2217,2218,2225 

Voice of America. {See entry under United States Government, United 

States Information Agency. ) 
Voice of Israel 2215, 2225 


W Page 

Workers Library Publishers, Inc 2223 

Workers World Party (WWP) 2229 

Youth Against War and Fascism (YAWF) 2229,2231 

Young Communist League, Soviet Union (Komsomol) 2219,2221 

Youth Against War and Fascism. {See entry under Workers World Party 


Challenge (Progressive Labor Party newspaper) 2232 

Communism v. Judaism (Meir Kahane) 2202,2221 

Folks-Shtimme (newspaper) 2214 

Greatest Beggar in the World, The (artiicle) (Charles Foley) 2232,2235 

History of Soviet Foi'eign Policy, A (booklet) 2223 


Jew Looks at the War, A (booklet) 2230 

Jewish Daily Forward (newspaper) 2220 

Jewish Press (newspaper) 2197,2202,2221 

Jewish Stake in Vietnam, The (book) 2202 

Jews of SUence, The (book) 2225 

Letter To A Zionist Friend (booklet) 2230 

Mirror 2235 


Political Affairs (magazine) 2229,2230 

Pravda 2219, 2222 

Russian Sketches 2220 


Sovietskoye Zakarpatye 2226 

Trud (newspaper) 2225 

Worker, The 2205,2219,2231 


Yediot Aronot (Israeli Hebrew-language newspaper) 2232 



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