Why was Stalin hated

Red Book: Stalin and the Jews

That this was not the case has been known at least since the 1930s, when the majority of Yiddish publicists fell victim to the Stalinist purges. At the beginning of the fifties, the struggle was directed at the "cosmopolitans" and again primarily meant the Jews. This can be proven in the show trial of the Kremlin doctors, which was planned in 1953. Until his death, Stalin felt a deep distrust of the Jews because he suspected them of being agents of foreign countries and of the class enemy.

The Frankfurt journalist Arno Lustiger has caused a sensation in the last decade with several publications in which he refutes the legend that the Jewish people let themselves be slaughtered by the fascists without resistance. In the "Rotbuch. Stalin und die Juden" (Red Book. Stalin and the Jews), which was published by Aufbau-Verlag in Berlin, he tells the story of the Soviet Jews, but is particularly dedicated to the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, which was founded in 1942 and encourages Western Jews to fight against Hitler sought to mobilize. Its members included such well-known personalities as Ilja Ehrenburg, David Oistrach and Sergej Eisenstein. Over the years it raised millions of dollars for the Soviet Union.

Lustiger shows that the committee was controlled from the beginning by the Communist Party and its secret service, because Stalin had to look for new allies after Hitler broke the "non-aggression pact". By the end of the war, however, the committee had fulfilled its function and Stalin had it liquidated when it began to be dangerous to him.

Not only one organization was liquidated, but also its leader. Its president - the head of the Moscow Yiddish Theater Salomon Michoels - was murdered on Stalin's personal orders. Fifteen of its members were tried briefly and secretly in 1952. Although no one pleaded guilty and even the judge began to doubt, thirteen death sentences were carried out. One of the most important projects of the committee was a "black book" listing the German crimes against the Jews. It never appeared in the Soviet Union because it made the fate of the Jewish people its subject in a way that was flawed for Stalin.

Anti-fascist resistance was only possible for the Jews of the Soviet Union to the extent that Stalinism allowed them. As the German Wehrmacht drew closer, many citizens of Jewish origin became aware that they belonged to a community that was threatened with genocide. As Lustiger points out, they fell into a trap set by Lenin's former nationality commissioner decades earlier. As early as 1913, Stalin declared the Jews to be a national minority, but at the same time denied them their rights.

Arno Lustiger, born in Poland in 1924, knows the fate of European Jews not only from the archives and historiography: he had to endure the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald personally. The sober analysis that he presented with this "Red Book" is all the more admirable. - She refrains from all polemics and mentions names and facts above all. The appendix contains almost one hundred short biographies and lists of names of Jewish writers who were murdered, died or were subjected to reprisals. As early as after the October putsch of 1917, the Bolsheviks began to eliminate all Jewish parties and organizations from politics and to suppress the Mosaic religion.

Since the term "Jew" in the Soviet Union has often only meant "of Jewish origin" since then, Lustiger's intentions are not always very clear: One must ask why he is interested in the anti-fascist resistance struggle of Soviet citizens of Jewish origin their "Jewishness" usually no longer played a role.

However, Lustiger answered the question of whether Stalin's crimes were comparable to those of Hitler very clearly with a clear "No!" Stalin sensed only potential enemies in the Jews and used anti-Semitism to eliminate his political opponents. Hitler was concerned with much more: the murder of a people that he himself had declared to be.