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|Title||Anna Louise Strong letter to her father Sydney Strong regarding conditions for Jews in the Soviet Union, June 25, 1923|
|Author||Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)|
In this letter to her father, Anna Louise Strong begins by sharing some of her uncertainties surrounding an upcoming visit from her brother Tracy (and possibly Tracy's friend, Frank). She goes on to share some information she's compiled about Jews living in the Soviet Union -- she describes a transformation "from being the land which most persecuted Jews... [to] the land where there is the least recognition of any national differences". Intermarriage is becoming common between Jews and Gentiles, and she feels that no one industry is "dominated by Jews", except perhaps for finance .
Strong credits the Joint Distribution Committee (Jewish Relief) for her information. After the war, many Jews had left city life to work in agriculture. She mentions the "pogroms in the south", which she feels display "the utter lack of nationa [sic] feeling by the Bolsheviks, and the terrible anti-Jewish rage of the counter-revolution." Synagogues are being confiscated for clubs, "because of the insistent demand of the young Jews". Strong notes for her father that, while the Jews are falsely described as Russia's rulers, Zionism is in fact a serious crime in the Soviet Union, due to the fact that prominent Zionists supported the counter-revolutionaries, tarnishing the movement's credibility with the Bolshevik government .
Strong relates one "gruesome tale" from a pogrom, in which counter-revolutionary bandits killed 100 Jews and buried them en masse in a ditch. When the Bolsheviks took control of the village, the people begged for permission to unearth the bodies and give them proper burial, which they received. In another pogrom, a local teacher incited a mob into killing 340 Jewish men -- this, combined with the effects of famine and typhus, reduced the town's Jewish population by more than half, leaving mostly widows and orphans. The local Gentiles asked permission to destroy the building where the massacre had taken place, but the state government wanted good use made of it -- the original proposal was to turn the building into an orphanage, but after local protests it was decided to make it a trade school, which is "patronized mainly by the Jews" who had previously been barred from working as artisans .
Strong concludes her letter by sharing some of the successes she's had in organizing a Russian American Club, which she hopes will entertain and inform "the celebrities that come here this summer".
|Contextual Notes||Anna Louise Strong (1885-1970) was an American journalist and political activist throughout her life. After spending much of the 1910s working as a progressive advocate for child welfare, she became involved in the labor movement in Seattle, and through that movement increasingly identified herself with international communism. This advocacy, along with her work for the Seattle Union Record, connected her to the events surrounding the Seattle General Strike in 1919. Strong later left Seattle, and spent much of the 1920s and 1930s living in the Soviet Union, meeting with men such as Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, and writing books about her experiences for Western audiences in an attempt to build support for the USSR. During World War II, she continued to promote the cause of communism, although her support for the Chinese communist movement ultimately alienated her from the government in Moscow, limiting her to one visit to the Soviet Union in the final two decades of her life. She spent most of those years living in the People's Republic of China, befriending Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, and continuing to publish books and articles in support of communism until the end of her life.|
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Correspondence
Strong, Sydney, 1860-1938--Correspondence
Jews--Soviet Union--Social conditions
|Geographic Coverage||Soviet Union|
|Digital Collection||Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection|
|Digital ID Number||PAM0382|
|Ordering Information||To order a reproduction or inquire about permissions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please cite the Order Number.|
|Repository||University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division|
|Repository Collection||Anna Louise Strong papers. Accession No. 1309-001. Box 3/19|
|Physical Description||2 leaves; 29 x 22 cm.|
|Digital Reproduction Information||Scanned from original text or image at 150 dpi saved in TIFF format, resized and enhanced using Adobe Photoshop, and imported as JPEG2000 using Contentdm software's JPEG2000 Extension. 2010.|