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Stalin's Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (Annals of Communism) Hardcover – May 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Annals of Communism Series
  • Hardcover: 562 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300084862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300084863
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Havoccat on March 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Rubenstein has done an outstanding job as a researcher and writer in giving us this gripping record of Stalin's purge in 1950-52 of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. The JAC had been active during WWII in organizing international aid to the besieged Soviets. Despite their vigorous efforts in the struggle against the Nazis, some of the most respected Russian Jewish poets, writers, and cultural figures associated with the JAC were eventually imprisoned on blatantly fabricated charges of espionage, then executed in 1952. Using recently-opened soviet files, he and Mr. Vladimir Naumov have carefully and authoritatively documented this sordid chapter in recent Soviet history.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book documents just one of the horrors of the Soviet regime. While Stalin murdered millions of innocent people who were unlucky enough to have been citizens under his rule, this book tells of the way this evil regime turned on fifteen people whose crime was being Jewish and wanting to examine the Nazi atrocities in the portions of the USSR they occupied.
It is a particularly poignant telling because the authors provide us with excerpts from the transcripts of the trial so you hear the victims and their accusers in their own words. These people were destroyed by the system they tried to serve and help largely because Stalin decided to use the Jews and the fear of paranoid Zionist conspiracies as the Nazis had done.
This is a very valuable book and I am glad it is in print. As part of the Annals of Communism series it provides important and permanent testimony of the criminality of the USSR that had been lied about and hidden for too long.
Thanks to the authors.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating. The introductory chapters are excellent and illuminating.
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