Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Doctors' Plot: Stalin's Anti-Semitic Canard

This January 1953 cartoon from the Soviet humor magazine Krokodil (Crocodile) shows Jewish doctors being unmasked as poisoners of the Soviet political and military leadership. They are getting money from American intelligence.

The "doctors' plot" is the name of an alleged conspiracy by Jewish doctors in the USSR to exterminate the Soviet leadership by poisoning them. This conspiracy theory began in 1952 and was discredited after Stalin's death in 1953.

The doctors' plot had its origins in the medieval antisemitic canard about Jews poisoning wells to give their Christian neighbors the plague.

Even some Jews in Israel on the left and in the Kibbutz movement repeated this lie and reportedly characterized the accused Soviet doctors as "murderers in the service of a Britanno-American spy-network."

Wikipedia, citing Simon Sebag Montefiore, notes:

After Stalin's death on March 5 [1953], the new leadership admitted that the charges had been entirely invented by Stalin and his cohorts.

The case was dismissed on March 31 by the newly appointed Minister of Internal Affairs Lavrenty Beria, and on April 3 the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party officially acquitted the arrested. Chief MGB investigator and Deputy Minister of State Security M. D. Ryumin (also Riumin) was blamed for making up the plot and after Stalin's death was arrested and executed.

Pravda (1-15-1953) published an article called "Vicious Spies and Killers under the Mask of Academic Physicians":

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. Covering themselves with the noble and merciful calling of physicians, men of science, these fiends and killers dishonored the holy banner of science. Having taken the path of monstrous crimes, they defiled the honor of scientists...

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 [Full text and commentary].


Of course, the real truth was that Stalin and his collaborators were defiling science.

The Soviet regime often circulated allegations about the Americans commiting genocide. Like the "doctors' plot," these allegations have their origins in the antisemitic canard that Jews are poisoning wells and spreading disease.

In the 1980s, the KGB spread claims in the world media that the American government had developed and spread AIDS. In 1992, the head of the Russian intelligence, Yevgeni Primakov, admitted that the KGB had lied about this.

The Russian politician Gennady Zyuganov claimed in 2006 that the Americans were spreading bird flu in Russia and Asia, although Russian scientists do not support his claim.

Even though Russia's intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov admitted in 1992 that the KGB had fabricated its story that AIDS was "made in America," Senator Obama's minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright still "informed" his congregation that their own government had made AIDS to kill black people.

This destructive lie has even been circulated on videos sold through Rev. Wright's church. These lies damage our county's reputation and make some black people believe that there is no point in being responsible for their health.

Senator Obama says that he doesn't agree with Rev. Wright's controversial comments, and he has represented himself as a candidate who wants to move beyond race and tackle our real problems, such as health.

If that were really true, Senator Obama would explain that the KGB was the origin of the "AIDS: Made in America" lie.

Senator Obama has distanced himself from Rev. Wright's controversial beliefs, but he has not corrected these beliefs. If Senator Obama is unable to identify the authors of his own minister's conspiracy theory, I think this a sign that he might not have the courage to confront the religious fanatics who are America's enemies.

In Boulder, Colorado, ex-professor Ward Churchill has fabricated claims that the U. S. Army deliberately infected the Mandan Indians with smallpox. In 1985, Ward Churchill also fabricated claims that the FBI backed death squads that killed Indians. For example, in the KGB mouthpiece "Covert Action Information Bulletin" Churchill claimed that the FBI had backed death-squads that murdered 342 Indians.

These lies are nothing but updated versions of medieval conspiracy theory that Jews were poisoning Christians. These lies damage America's reputation, but they also kill American minorities who may behave irresponsibly with their health if they believe, based on historical injustices and persecution, that their own government is trying to kill them.

Phill Wilson, the executive director of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, has observed:

[Conspiracy theories are] a huge barrier to HIV prevention in black communities...There's an issue around conspiracy theory and urban myths. Thus we have an epidemic raging out of control, and African Americans are being disproportionately impacted in every single sense...[Black] adolescents ages 18 to 24 accounted for nearly 80 percent of new HIV cases. The whole notion of conspiracy theories and misinformation...removes personal responsibility...If there is this boogeyman, people say, 'Why should I use condoms? Why should I use clean needles?' And if I'm an organization, 'Why should I bother with educating my folks?' The [Tuskegee] syphilis study was real, but it happened 40 years ago, and holding on to it is killing us.

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