"Treason is only a matter of timing." -- Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, 1754 - 1838.
This article reminded me of a book I've been meaning to get: Stalin’s Last Crime and the ironic fate that "cosmopolitan" (non-religious) Jewish supporters of the Leninist-Stalinist regime suffered. It is a cautionary tale for modern "cosmopolitans" like Schumer and Feinstein.
During the period 1945 to 1947, overt anti-Semitism was suppressed in the USSR. Why? Firstly, because Stalin was considered the savior of the Jews, the man who defeated Hitler and had liberated the Eastern European concentration camps from the Nazis. Moreover, during those years Stalin needed the Jews for propaganda purposes. Secondly, many of the old Bolsheviks were Jewish, Leon Trotsky, Lev Kamenev, Gregory Zinoviev, Lazar Kaganovich, Maxim Litvinov, Yakov Sverdlov, Polina Zhemchuzhina (the wife of Molotov), etc. Jewish communists, such as the legendary founder of the Cheka, Felix Dzerzhinsky, and his successors, Abram Slutsky, Sergei Shpigelglas, and Genrikh Yagoda, had led the intelligence and security organs of the Bolsheviks and subsequently the Soviet state. And there were still many Jewish cadres in the cultural organs, the Party, the intelligence services, and the security apparatus. Thirdly, Stalin had initially supported the creation of the Jewish state of Israel.But then in the fall of 1948 Golda Meir visited the Soviet Union. Russian Jews had been too festive, too enthusiastic, and had shown too much admiration for the Israeli Prime Minister! The U.S. and Israel also seemed to be developing closer ties of friendship and cooperation. Many Jews in Russia had families and acquaintances in the U.S. and the West. And then there was the matter of the Jewish Antifascist Committee (JAC). Many of its “cosmopolitan” members had traveled extensively outside the USSR, and the vozhd (“the great leader”) had become suspicious of this as well!So by 1948, Stalin had become convinced that Israel and Jewish internationalists, including Russian Jews, were a threat to the Soviet State. He cautiously began his anti-cosmopolitanism campaign that soon developed a life of its own in Mother Russia, the land of pogroms and antisemitism.Suddenly, all Jews were potential traitors, enemies of the Soviet state, spies in the service of American and British Intelligence. . .
But individual Jews -- apostate or not -- were the least of Sralin's intended victims for the book describes a planned Soviet Jewish Holocaust in 1953 that was only short-circuited by Stalin's death.
Stalin wanted not only to eliminate potential political opponents, but more grandiosely, to replicate the times of the great purges and the Red Terror, the terrible days of the 1930s. He needed to arouse the stagnant Soviet nation to action, the surveillance, and the terror, the “unmasking “of ”wreckers, spies, and saboteurs,” while exercising further his already absolute power. Stalin abided by the old revolutionary precept of Nikolai Chernyshevsky, subscribed to by Lenin himself: The worse the conditions of the people, the better. And illegitimate power can only be preserved in a climate of such fear and terror, in an atmosphere of perpetual crisis in which an autocrat must exert his iron hand of order and eliminate the real or imagined “enemies of the people.”Stalin was a master at creating such terrible conditions for the exertion, potentiation, and perpetuation of power. Fortunately for some of the doctors, the world, and the Russian people (although most of them did not appreciate it then) — it was the vozhd, who had run out of time! He was, after all, mortal. In the end, only Stalin’s death on March 5, 1953 saved the doctors, the Jews, and possibly the world from an impending holocaust — and even a third World War!