Judaism Without Embellishment


Judaism Without Embellishment was an anti-Semitic book published in 1963 by the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. The book was written by Trofim Kichko, who worked at the Academy, who had past associations with Nazi Germany. The book argued that a worldwide Jewish conspiracy existed, that the Jewish people were attempting to subvert the Soviet Union, and had played a role in the 1941 Nazi-German invasion of the country. The book was illustrated throughout with caricatures depicting Jewish people in a stereotypical and prejudicial manner, very similar to those that had been seen in Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda. While the work was initially hailed as scientific work of distinction in analyzing the Jewish population of the Soviet Union and distributed for educational purposes across the nation, it was met with hostility from the international community. The work was condemned across Europe and the United States, leading to protests in Scandinavia when General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev toured the region. Communist parties in Europe and America also attacked the work and called for the Soviet government to withdraw its support for the work, and it from circulation. Under intense international pressure the Soviet government withdrew its support, and destroyed all copies. As a result, Kichko fell out of favor with the government. Although the book was destroyed, similar works continued to be published and several years later Kichko - having returned to grace - published a second anti-Semitic work. Historians agree that Kichko was working under instructions of the central government, and that his work was the beginning of a new wave of government-sponsored anti-Semitism within the larger structure of the Soviet Union's attack on religion. Furthermore, historians see the work as a Soviet attempt to cause friction between its Jewish and Ukrainian populations, which backfired.
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date of publication: 1963
main subject: antisemitism

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