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Euro-Asian Jewish (EAJ) Policy Papers, No 59 (28 February 2024)
Joint Distribution Committee on the pages of anti-Zionist publications in the USSR

In the second half of the 1950s, Soviet bookstores began to display so-called “anti-Zionist” publications. American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (the JDC) was described in these publications as one of the institutions of “International Zionism.” In many texts, JDC was described not as a singular organization but as part of a worldwide “Zionist conspiracy.” Primarily, these publications were manufactured upon identical statements and themes and lacked any truthful basis. Even though accusations against JDC were formulated during the final stage of Stalinism, they remained unchanged in the following four decades, up until the collapse of the Soviet regime. Most authors never saw sources other than newspapers from the time of the “Doctor’s Plot,” or they quoted each other’s texts. However, the role of this propaganda in the life of Soviet society should not be exaggerated: the ideological clichés and the names of unfamiliar foreign Jewish organizations were not on the minds of ordinary Soviet citizens, who were struggling with daily life in the world of “developed socialism.”

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