From Publishers Weekly
20th Century LegaciesIn 1952, near the end of Stalin's life, 15 Soviet Jews including five well-known writers and poets were secretly tried and convicted, wrongly, of treason and espionage, because they had protested Nazi atrocities on Soviet territory and been involved in the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. That same year, 13 of them were executed in the basement of a Moscow prison. Stalin's Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, edited by Joshua Rubenstein (Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg) and Vladimir Naumov (executive secretary of the Presidential Commission for the Russian Federation on the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression), presents the long-suppressed trial transcript, abridged. Rubenstein's introduction, drawing on other newly released Moscow documents as well as interviews with the defendants' surviving relatives, places the "trial" within the historical context of Stalin's larger-scale anti-Semitic campaign.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Using newly opened archives, Rubenstein (Tangled Loyalties) and Naumov present what is essentially an abridged transcript of the 1952 trial of 15 Soviet Jews associated with the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC). In his 60-page introduction, Rubenstein valiantly attempts to prove the title's claim that this was a "secret pogrom" a claim that is not established in the hundreds of pages of transcripts that follow. While secret transcripts from the KGB archives certainly qualify as primary sources, they are not necessarily proven to be factual, and a secret trial does not indicate a secret pogrom. Furthermore, Stalin's irrational tendency to eradicate various groups of people throughout his reign is well known, and the JAC appears to have been yet another group he used and then disposed of when it appeared threatening or at least no longer useful. Stephen Shenfield's Russian Fascism (LJ 4/15/01) more succinctly identifies anti-Semitism as a factor of most fascist ideologies. While a valuable source of information about this secret trial, this translation of trial transcripts hardly makes a book suitable for libraries. It's an organizational work, not an academic work. Not recommended. Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.