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  • Writer's pictureAnat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov

The death of Stalin in Purim 1953, compared to Haman

שיעור דומה זמין בעברית

What similarities can you draw between the Purim story from of the Book of Esther and Stalin’s Jews persecution, which ended with his death?

Many Jews in the Soviet Union were led to believe that the Soviet revolution will free them from anti-Semitism. The Soviet revolution promised equality. No religion meant no religious persecution. In theory…


​Can we decide who we are, or is it being decided for us?

Can we, as Jews, ever feel completely belong or are we always visitors, guests in others countries (expect Israel, our homeland) and a limited time until we become unwanted guests?


The doctors' plot and Stalin's death on Purim, like the evil Haman.

Purim proposal: You can divide rattles and whenever Stalin's name is mentioned, rattle it with rattles as you do with Haman's name.

1953 "Doctors' Conspiracy Campaign": At the end of Stalin's days, nine doctors, six of them Jews, were prosecuted in Moscow and charged with membership in a "Zionist terrorist gang" that planned to "eliminate leading Soviet leaders."

Accusations of Jewish contact spread and "conspiracies" were exposed against the subway and against the "Moscow" car factory. Stalin subsequently approved a plan to deport all Jews to the East, but his death in March 1953 prevented its implementation. Stalin died on Purim 1953. (Barrage)

Stalin's death saved many Jews:

Less than a month after the death of Joseph Stalin, on April 4, 1953, an official announcement was made in Moscow that the doctors had been released because they had been found innocent. It was further stated that those responsible for the false plot were arrested and punished. (Wikipedia)

Stalin seems to have taken inspiration from the plot of the "Poisoning Jews" - accusing Jews of poisoning the water wells that caused the black plague in Europe that took place in the fourteenth century.

In 1610, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Vienna confirmed that Hebrew law required physicians to kill one in ten of their Christian patients. Hundreds of Jews were executed by fire.

The plot of the doctors' plot was one of the highlights of Stalin's war of insanity against the Jews.


In what parts is the story of Purim and the evil Haman similar to the plot of the doctors' plot and Stalin?

It is true that a person should not be judged by his appearance, but in the criteria an appearance is used in order to arouse disgust or sympathy. Note that in the cartoon the mask of the good doctor is taken off and an evil person is seen under it.

Picture on the right: The connection to Purim and the mask is absolutely coincidental, the cartoon was published in January 1953 in a magazine with anti-Semitic views "Crocodile".

"The Saboteur-Doctor"

watercolor painting by Yuli Ganf, USSR

Watch this short film: Exciting testimony from the daughter of one of the doctors, Jacob Rapaport::

[watch] Professor Yakov Rapoport was among the few survivors of what was known as the 'Doctors' Plot'. His daughter Natasha remembers her family's ordeal:


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