The "Jewish question" in Stalin's policy (1941-1953) — Report by Leonid Luks
On October 14, 2021, within the framework of the seminar "West and East: Universalism of Culture", the academic supervisor of the Laboratory, Professor Leonid Luks made the report
The report presented a reconstruction of the main features of Stalin's policy towards the Jews. The transformation of Soviet communism from a force that condemned anti-Semitism and punished its manifestations into one of the main inspirers of the struggle against so-called cosmopolitanism and Zionism, that is, the struggle against the Jews, is one of the remarkable metamorphoses of the twentieth century that occurred during the reign of Joseph Stalin. Therefore, the question of Stalin's attitude towards the Jews is interesting not only for a psychologist. This problem, despite the partial opening for researchers of the collections of Russian and Eastern European archives, contains many mysteries.
Contrary to the prejudice against the Jews, which Stalin experienced from the beginning of his political path, he tried to play the "Jewish card" for a very long time. The situation changed only in the last years of his life. The contradiction in Stalin's attitude towards the Jews was due not only to the inconsistency of his personal antipathies with the interests of politics and power, but also with the ideological foundations of the system he represented. Although Stalin, acting with a long-term aim, destroyed a large part of the old Bolshevik guard who preached the original revolutionary ideas, he could not completely abandon the ideological legacy of the old Bolsheviks. This could call into question the legitimacy of the regime. However, since the Bolshevik ideology contained components of internationalism and universalism and prevented the manifestations of open anti-Semitism, Stalin had to take this circumstance into account when pursuing a policy towards the Jews. Not least because of this, there are many contradictions in Stalin's policy towards the Jews; it was multi-layered and multi-track.
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