[Moscow]: Gospolitizdat, 1941. Item #1433
34,  pp. 20x13 cm. In original printed wrappers. Spine slightly chipped, covers tanned and slightly soiled, pale water stain on lower margin throughout copy, otherwise very good internally.
Very rare wartime brochure signed for printing on August 28, 1941. This brochure and the meeting itself might be regarded as the origin of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC) in the USSR. For the first time, the text of speeches was published in the newspaper ‘Izvestiia’, immediately after the meeting.
On August 24, a conference of notable Soviet Jewish people took place in Moscow. Speeches were made by theatrical director and actor Solomon Mikhoels, poet Peretz Markish, participant in battles with German fascists Yeronim Kuznetsov, writer David Bergelson, film director Sergei Eisenstein, architect Boris Iofan, German writer Theodor Plievier, children’s writer Samuil Marshak, writer Ilya Ehrenburg, journalist Shakne Epshtein, as well as Russian physicist Pyotr Kapitsa, the only non-Jewish participant.
They called Jewish people from all over the world to unite with Soviet Jewry and to raise funds for the Soviet Army fighting against Nazis. These were essential aims of the JAC which was formed in 1942, with official support of Soviet authorities. It meant a change in the position of the Communist Party on the Jewish question. In the late 1930s, elements of antisemitism appeared in Soviet politics and the Great Purge affected some Jewish officials as well. When Hitler offered Stalin to settle European Jews in Siberia, he rejected it, so indirectly contributed to the catastrophe.
The JAC was welcomed by a National Reception Committee chaired by Albert Einstein (the USA) and other organizations. A huge international help was sent for the needs of the Red Army. By its end, the Committee included at least 70 public figures, but many more people were accused and executed in 1948-1952, on trumped-up spying charges.
The only copy is located in Yivo Institute.