To the Editor:
Thank you for publishing “Are Russian Jews in Danger?” by Peter Brodsky [May] , which focuses once again on the condition of the Jews in Russia. As the author correctly indicates, this topic has practically disappeared from the pages of the American press. As a result, the notion now prevails that Jews are no longer persecuted in Russia. Unfortunately, this is not correct.
In August 1991, Russia was on the brink of a fascist takeover. The leaders of the coup who arrested Gorbachev and proclaimed a state of emergency had no intention of restoring the Communist regime. Their “Appeal to the People”—the only official document they published—does not make use of the usual Communist rhetoric about the class struggle, the dictatorship of the proletariat, international solidarity of the workers, etc., etc. Instead, it repeats the word “Fatherland” seven times and claims that the state of emergency was necessary to defend the country against unidentified “enemies.” In Russian political jargon this means the establishment of a new totalitarian regime based on Nazi-like (they call it “national patriotic”) ideology. That is why the plotters were actively supported by anti-Semitic groups of “patriots” together with hard-line Communists.
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