Page 221 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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RESSNER / ON BEHALF OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
2 1 3
with Hayim Greenberg as editor-in-chief and such brilliant writ­
ers as Marie Syrkin, Shlomo Katz, and Ben Halpern on its staff.
The
Frontier
brought together an unusual group o f intellec­
tuals who developed strong bonds that were to last beyond the
heady early years. Marie’s close personal friendship and deep
admiration for Greenberg who died in 1953 is expressed in
the
Hayim Greenberg Anthology
which she edited in 1968.
PALEST INE DEVELOPMENTS
In 1936 Marie Syrkin took another trip to Palestine and on
board ship she observed a youth aliyah group who “had no
illusions about their German past or the likely ease o f their
Palestinian future, yet they sang the poignant songs o f the Emek
and danced the hora with pioneer confidence.” 10 It was on this
trip as well that she saw, first hand, Arab disturbances inspired
by the pro-Nazi Mafti — ominous signs that did not escape
her. She also noted the courage required by the self imposed
havlaga
(restraint) that the Jews exercised in the face o f Arab
terrorism and which was opposed by the Revisionist assertion
that
havlaga
was mere cowardice. Upon Marie’s return to Amer­
ica, she reported all these observations in the pages o f the
Jewish
Frontier
which by now had begun to attract a rather significant
audience.
Now, in 1937, Marie Syrkin was to publish an extraordinary
piece — an analysis o f the Moscow Trials. This expose was the
first o f its kind to appear in English. At the suggestion o f the
editor, Marie read through the six hundred pages o f the Rus­
sian stenographic typescript o f the January 1937 trial. By May
the
Frontier
published her long article that challenged the au­
thenticity o f the defendant’s confessions and concluded that
these trials were nothing less than Stalin’s method o f destroying
dissent. “These deductions,” Marie asserted, “seem inescapable
after reading the record. They are not pleasant, but no service
is done to socialism or to Soviet Russia by refusing to face what
one conceives to be the truth.” 11
By 1938 the ominous signs from Germany that Marie had
noted on her trip to Palestine were fast becoming unavoidable
10.
The State o f the Jews,
p. 3.
11.
Jewish Frontier
(May 1937), reprinted (January/February 1983), p. 27.