antisemitism,  History

From the Vaults: Pravda, January 13, 1953

In January 1953, Stalin invented a charge that a number of doctors, most of them Jewish, were involved in a vast plot to kill Soviet political and military leaders. I copy below an extract from an article that appeared in the Russian newspaper Pravda on January 13, 1953. The translation has been carried out by P.R. Wolfe and BINIE staff. The full translated article can be seen on this website. While the article was unsigned, J.A. Medvedev (Voprosy istorii , 2003, No.2, p.105) noted that most biographers of Stalin assign to him the authorship of the text.

Vicious Spies and Killers under the Mask of Academic Physicians

Pravda, January 13, 1953, p.1.

Today the TASS news agency reported the arrest of a group of saboteur-doctors. This terrorist group, uncovered some time ago by organs of state security, had as their goal shortening the lives of leaders of the Soviet Union by means of medical sabotage.

Investigation established that participants in the terrorist group, exploiting their position as doctors and abusing the trust of their patients, deliberately and viciously undermined their patients’ health by making incorrect diagnoses, and then killed them with bad and incorrect treatments…..

Killer doctors, by incorrect use of very powerful medicines and prescription of harmful regimens, shortened the life of Comrade Shcherbakov, leading to his death.

In the first place, the criminals tried to undermine the health of the Soviet military leadership cadres, to remove them from the power structure and thereby weaken the defense of the county. The arrest of the criminals disrupted these nefarious plans, preventing the accomplishment of their monstrous goals.

Whom did these monsters serve? Who directed the criminal, terrorist, and harmful activity of these vicious traitors to the Motherland? What goal did they want to achieve by the murders of leading figures of the Soviet government?

It has been determined that all participants of the terrorist group of doctors were in the service of foreign intelligence; having sold their bodies and souls, they appeared as hirelings, paid agents.

The majority of the participants of the terrorist group … were bought by American intelligence. They were recruited by a branch-office of American intelligence — the international Jewish bourgeois-nationalist organization called “Joint.” The filthy face of this Zionist spy organization, covering up their vicious actions under the mask of kindness, is now completely revealed.

Relying upon a group of corrupt Jewish bourgeois nationalists, the professional spies and terrorists of “Joint,” through assignments from and under the direction of American intelligence, extended their subversive activity even into the territory of the Soviet Union….

Unmasking the gang of poisoner-doctors struck a blow against the international Jewish Zionist organization. Now all can see what sort of philanthropists and “friends of peace” hid beneath the sign-board of “Joint”….

Exposing the gang of poisoner-doctors struck a shattering blow to the Anglo-American war mongers. Their agents were captured and neutralized. Again the true face of the slaveholding cannibals of the USA and England appears before the whole world.

The Soviet people with anger and indignation denounce the criminal band of killers and their foreign bosses. As for the despicable hirelings, serving for dollars and sterling, the people crush them, as loathsome reptiles. As for the instigators of these murderous mercenaries, this they can be sure of: that retribution will not forget about them and will find out the devious road that leads to them, in order to speak its weighty word.

The idea was that the doctors would be tried and convicted of this criminal act, but it was much more sinister than that. Mark Clarfield,in an article for the BMJ, quotes  Louis Rapaport’s book, Stalin’s war against the Jews: the Doctors’ Plot and the Soviet solution, to explain what would happen after the trial:

Then “incidents” would follow: attacks on Jews orchestrated by the secret police, the publication of the statement by the prominent Jews, and a flood of other letters demanding that action be taken. A three-stage program of genocide would be followed. First, almost all Soviet Jews . . . would be shipped to camps east of the Urals . . . Second, the authorities would set Jewish leaders at all levels against one another . . . Also the MGB [Secret Police] would start killing the elites in the camps, just as they had killed the Yiddish writers . . . the previous year. The . . . final stage would be to “get rid of the rest.”

Before any of this could occur, Stalin died, the case was dismissed, and Pravda published a short article saying that there had been no legal grounds for the arrest of the doctors.

Of course, some might argue that this fabricated plot was purely anti-Zionist and anyone who suggests that Stalin was anti-Semitic is a racist Zionist apologist for the fascist, apartheid, neo-Nazi State of Israel, and probably a genocidal murderer of Palestinian babies in their spare time.