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Encyclopedia > Doctors Plot

The Doctors' plot (Russian language: дело врачей (doctors' affair), врачи-вредители (doctors-saboteurs) or врачи-убийцы (doctors-killers)) was an alleged conspiracy to eliminate the leadership of the Soviet Union. It was "exposed" in early 1953, shortly before the death of Joseph Stalin. Russian (русский язык  listen) is the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages. ... Alternate uses: See Conspiracy (disambiguation) Conspiracy, in common usage, is the act of working in secret to obtain some goal, usually understood with negative connotations. ... 1953 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვილი; see Other names section) (December 21, 1879[1] – March 5, 1953) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and leader of the Soviet Union. ...

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January 20, 1953. Soviet Ukase awarding Lidiya Timashuk with the Order of Lenin for "unmasking doctors-killers". It was revoked later that year.
Contents

Ukase (Russian: указ, ukaz) in Imperial Russia was a proclamation of the tsar government, or a religions leader patriarch that had the force of law. ... The Order of Lenin (in Russian, the Orden Lenina (О́рден Ле́нина)), named after the leader of the Russian Revolution, was the highest national order of the Soviet Union. ...

Background

In the course of the Cold War and the State of Israel allying with the West, the Soviet regime eliminated the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in 1948 and launched an anti-Semitic campaign against so-called "rootless cosmopolitans". A cold war is a state of conflict between nations that does not involve direct military action but is pursued primarily through economic and political actions, acts of espionage or conflict through surrogates. ... West is most commonly a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography. ... The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC, Russian language: Еврейский анти-фашистский комитет, ЕАК) was formed in Kuibyshev in April 1942 with the official support of the Soviet authorities. ... 1948 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... Anti-Semitism (alternatively spelled antisemitism) is hostility towards Jews (not: Semites - see the Misnomer section further on). ... Rootless cosmopolitan (Russian language: безродный космополит, bezrodny kosmopolit) was a Soviet euphemism during Joseph Stalins anti-Semitic campaign of 1948-1953, which culminated in the exposure of the alleged Doctors plot. The term and the persecutions by the authorities unmistakably targeted the Jews. ...


In a November 1952 public conference regarding the Prague Trials, the President of Czechoslovakia, Klement Gottwald, announced: "During the investigation, we discovered how treason and espionage infiltrate the ranks of the Communist Party. This channel is Zionism." (Pravda 1952, November 21) One of the charges brought against Rudolf Slánský was taking active steps towards shortening Gottwald's life with the help of "hand-picked doctors from the enemy camp." On December 3, former Communist leaders of Czechoslovakia (11 out of 13 were Jews) were executed. 1952 - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... The Prague Trials were a series of Stalinist and largely anti-Semitic show trials in Czechoslovakia. ... A 1950s Czechoslovak propaganda poster depicting Gottwald and Stalin Klement Gottwald (November 23, 1896 - March 14, 1953) was a Czechoslovakian Communist politician, longtime leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC or CPCz or CPC). ... A bilingual poster promoting a film about European Jewish colonization of Palestine, 1930s: Toward a New Life (in Romanian) The Promised Land (in Hungarian) Zionism is a political movement among Jews (although supported by some non-Jews and not supported by some Jews) which maintains that the Jewish people constitute... Rudolf Slánský (July 31, 1901 – December 2, 1952) joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia at the partys founding in 1929 and became a senior lieutenant of leader Klement Gottwald. ... December 3 is the 337th (in leap years the 338th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


In a December 1, 1952, Politburo session, Stalin announced: "Every Jew is a nationalist and potential agent of the American intelligence." (Recorded by Vice-Chair of the Sovmin V.A. Malyshev) One of the agenda items of December 4 meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU was "The situation in MGB and sabotage in the ranks of medical workers". It was brought by Stalin and vice-minister of MGB S.A. Goglidze. "Without me", Stalin claimed, "the country would be destroyed because you are unable to recognize enemies." An outcome of this session was a decision to consolidate all intelligence and counter-intelligence services under the GRU, headed by S.I. Ogoltsov (later accused of organizing the killing of Solomon Mikhoels in 1948). December 1 is the 335th (in leap years the 336th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1952 - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... Politburo is short for Political Bureau. ... This article or section should be merged with Peoples Commissar Sovnarkom (Russian language СовНарКом, the abbreviation of the phrase Совет Народных Комиссаров, Sovet Narodnykh Komissarov, the Council of Peoples Commissars, sometimes Russian СНК, the SNK), was the administrative arm of the Soviet government. ... December 4 is the 338th day (339th on leap years) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Communist Party of the Soviet Union ( Russian: Коммунисти́ческая Па́ртия Сове́тского Сою́за = КПСС) was the name used by the successors of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party from 1952 to 1991, but the wording Communist Party was present in the partys name since 1918 when... The Ministry of State Security (MGB) ( Russian: Министерство государственной безопасности (Ministerstvo Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti)) was the name of the state security agency of the Soviet Union when it existed and also the planned sucessor of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. ... Military espionage, or military intelligence (MI), is a military discipline that focuses on information gathering, control, and dissemination about enemy units, terrain, and the weather in an area of operations. ... Counter-intelligence is the act of seeking to oppose the activities of spies and similar enemies. ... GRU is the English transliteration of the Russian acronym ГРУ, which stands for Гла́вное Разве́дывательное Управле́ние (Glavnoe Razvedyvatelnoe Upravlenie), meaning Chief Intelligence Directorate. ... Young Mikhoels Solomon Mikhoels (March 1890 - January 12/13, 1948) was a Soviet Jewish actor and director in Yiddish theater. ... 1948 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ...


An article in Pravda

On January 13, 1953, some of the most prestigious and prominent doctors in the USSR were accused of taking part in a vast plot to poison members of the top Soviet political and military leadership. Pravda, the official newspaper of the CPSU, reported the accusations under the headline "Vicious Spies and Killers under the Mask of Academic Physicians": January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1953 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Front page of a Pravda issue published during the August 1991 coup. ... The Communist Party of the Soviet Union ( Russian: Коммунисти́ческая Па́ртия Сове́тского Сою́за = КПСС) was the name used by the successors of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party from 1952 to 1991, but the wording Communist Party was present in the partys name since 1918 when...

"The majority of the participants of the terrorist group... were bought by American intelligence. They were recruited by a branch-office of American intelligence — the international Jewish bourgeois-nationalist organization called "Joint". The filthy face of this Zionist spy organization, covering up their vicious actions under the mask of charity, is now completely revealed... Unmasking the gang of poisoner-doctors struck a blow against the international Jewish Zionist organization."

Among other famous names mentioned were Solomon Mikhoels (who had died under suspicious circumstances in 1948 and was called "the well-known Jewish bourgeois nationalist"), Dr. Boris Shimeliovich (former Chief Surgeon of the Red Army and Director of famous Botkin Hospital), Miron Vovsi (Stalin's personal physician and brother of S. Mikhoels), Yakov Etinger (world-famous cardiologist), A. Feldman (otolaryngologist), A. Grinshtein (neuropathologist), Boris Kogan (therapist), Mikhail Kogan, I. Yegorov and V. Vinogradov. Most of the names (but not all) were Jewish. American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is a United States Jewish Jews, but also gentiles in more than 85 countries worldwide. ... Red Army flag The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya in Russian), the armed forces organised by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... Botkin Sergei Petrovich (Russian: Боткин Сергей Петрович) 1832-1889. ... Cardiology is the branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart and blood vessels. ... Therapy (in Greek: θεραπεία) or treatment is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. ...


The list of alleged victims included Andrei Zhdanov, Aleksandr Shcherbakov, Army Marshals Vassilevsky, Govorov and Konev, General Shtemenko, Admiral Levchenko and others. Andrei Zhdanov Andrei Aleksandrovich Zhdanov (Андре́й Алекса́ндрович Жда́нов) (February 26 [February 14, Old Style], 1896–August 31, 1948) was a Soviet politician and an ally of Joseph Stalin. ...

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A caricature from Soviet magazine "Krokodil", January 1953

A caricature in Soviet magazine Krokodil, January 1953. ... A caricature in Soviet magazine Krokodil, January 1953. ...

Arrests

Initially, thirty-seven were arrested, but the number quickly grew into hundreds. Scores of Soviet Jews were promptly dismissed from their jobs, arrested, sent to gulags or executed. This was accompanied by show trials and by anti-Semitic propaganda in state-run mass media. Pravda published a letter signed by many Soviet notables (including Jews) containing incitive condemnations of the "plot". The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) (Russian: (СССР)  listen; tr. ... Gulag (from the Russian ГУЛАГ: Главное Управление Исправительно— Трудовых Лагерей, Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-trudovykh Lagerey, The Chief Directorate [or Administration] of Corrective Labour Camps) was the branch of the Soviet internal police and security service that operated the penal system of forced labour camps and associated detention and transit camps... The term show trial serves most commonly to label a type of public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the accused: the actual trial has as its only goal to present the accusation and the verdict to the public as an impressive example and... Anti-Semitism (alternatively spelled antisemitism) is hostility towards Jews (not: Semites - see the Misnomer section further on). ... Mass media is the term used to denote, as a class, that section of the media specifically conceived and designed to reach a very large audience (typically at least as large as the whole population of a nation state). ...


On February 9, 1953, there was an explosion in the territory of the Soviet mission in Israel, and on February 11 the USSR broke off diplomatic relations with the Jewish state (restored in July). The next day Maria Weizmann, a Moscow doctor and a sister of Chaim Weizmann (who died in 1952), was arrested. February 9 is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1953 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... February 11 is the 42nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Maria Weizmann (1893, Pinsk, Russian Empire (now in Belarus) - ?), a sister of Israeli politician and notable scientist Chaim Weizmann (the first President of the State of Israel). ... Chaim Weizmann Chaim Weizmann (חיים ויצמן) (also: Chaijim W., Haim W.) ( November 27, 1874 – November 9, 1952) chemist, statesman, President of the World Zionist Organization, first President of Israel (elected May 16, 1948, served 1949 - 1952) and founder of a research institute in Israel which eventually became the Weizmann Institute...


The provinces quickly followed up with similar accusations. For example, Ukraine discovered a local "doctors' plot" allegedly headed by famous endocrinologist Victor Kogan-Yasny (the first in the USSR who treated diabetes with insulin and saved thousands). Thirty-six "plotters" were arrested there. Endocrinology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the endocrine system and its specific secretions called hormones. ... This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ... The structure of insulin Red: carbon; green: oxygen; blue: nitrogen; pink: sulfur. ...


Newly opened KGB archives provide evidence that Stalin forwarded the collected interrogation materials to Georgi Malenkov, Nikita Khrushchev and other "potential victims of doctors' plot" (reported by Izvestia, 1989, p.155; also Istochnik, 1997, p.140–141). Georgy Malenkov Georgy Maximilianovich Malenkov (Гео́ргий Максимилиа́нович Маленко́в) (GHYOR-ghee mah-leen-KOF) (January 13 [January 8, Old Style], 1902 - January 14, 1988) was a Soviet politician and Communist Party leader, and a close collaborator of Joseph Stalin. ... Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchyof (Khrushchev) (Russian: Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв  listen, April 17, 1894 – September 11, 1971) was the leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. ... Izvestia (the name in Russian means news and is short for Izvestiya Sovetov Narodnykh Deputatov SSSR, Известия Советов народных депутатов СССР, the Reports of Soviets of Peoples Deputies of the USSR) functioned as a long-running high-circulation daily newspaper in the Soviet Union. ...


Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and other world dignitaries sent condemning telegrams to the Soviet ministry of Foreign Affairs and demanded an investigation. Portrait of Albert Einstein taken by Yousuf Karsh on February 11, 1948 Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955) was a theoretical physicist who is widely regarded as the greatest scientist of the 20th century. ... The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS (November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965) was a British statesman, best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. At various times an author, soldier, journalist, and politician, Churchill is generally regarded as... Telegraphy (from the Greek words tele = far away and grapho = write) is the long distance transmission of written messages without physical transport of letters, originally over wire. ...


Stalin's death and the consequences

After Stalin's death, 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 Chief of NKVD and Minister of Internal Affairs Lavrenty Beria, and on April 3 the Presidium of the Central Committee of CPSU officially acquitted the arrested. Chief NKVD investigator M. Ryumin was blamed for making up the plot and was promptly arrested and executed. March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (91st in Leap years), with 275 days remaining, as the final day of March. ... Black Ravens by Boris Vladimirski, a depiction of the cars used by NKVD agents. ... Lavrenty Beria Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria (Russian: Лавре́нтий Па́влович Бе́рия) (29 March 1899 - 23 December 1953), Soviet politician and police chief, is remembered chiefly as the executor of Joseph Stalins Great Purge of the 1930s, although in fact he presided only over the closing stages of the Purge. ... April 3 is the 93rd day of the year (94th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 272 days remaining. ... The Communist Party of the Soviet Union ( Russian: Коммунисти́ческая Па́ртия Сове́тского Сою́за = КПСС) was the name used by the successors of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party from 1952 to 1991, but the wording Communist Party was present in the partys name since 1918 when...


Boris Kogan's son Leonid recalls that upon his father's return home, he asked, "What is "Joint"?" American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is a United States Jewish Jews, but also gentiles in more than 85 countries worldwide. ...


The "Doctors' plot" was another attempt to hinder growing national awareness of Soviet Jews and to break the ties between Soviet and World Jewry under false pretense of anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ...


The "Second Holocaust" controversy

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Pre-printed version of the first draft of the "Jewish letter" with the signatures of many Jewish celebrities (January 29, 1953)

Some people think that the scenario of the "Doctors' plot" was reminiscent of the previous Stalin purges of the late 1930s, and the plan to deport the whole population based on its ethnicity resembled previous similar deportations. Accordingly, some argue that Stalin was preparing a USSR-wide pogrom, the "Second Holocaust", to finish what Hitler had begun, but this time, the scheme was not completed because of Stalin's death on March 5, 1953. The Great Purge is the name given to campaigns of repression in the Soviet Union during the late 1930s which included a purge of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. ... Events and trends Technology Jet engine invented First atom was split with a particle accelerator Golden Age of radio begins in U.S. Science Nuclear fission discovered by Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann Pluto, the ninth planet from the Sun, is discovered by Clyde Tombaugh British biologist Arthur... The wholesale removal of potentially trouble-making ethnic groups was a technique used consistently by Joseph Stalin during his career: Poles (1934), Koreans (1937), Ukrainians, Jews, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians (1940-1941 and 1945-1949), Volga Germans (1941), Balkars, Chechens, Ingushs (1943), Kalmyks (1944), Meskhetian Turks (1944), Crimean Tatars (18 May... The Russian word pogrom (погром) refers to a massive violent attack on people with simultaneous destruction of their environment (homes, businesses, religious centers). ... March 5 is the 64th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (65th in leap years). ... 1953 is a common year starting on Thursday. ...


Proponents of this version cite mainly the memoirs (sometimes only alleged) and late testimonies of contemporaries, including those by Andrei Sakharov, Anastas Mikoyan, Nikolay Bulganin, Yevgeny Tarle, Ilya Ehrenburg, and Veniamin Kaverin. Andrei Sakharov, 1943 Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (Андре́й Дми́триевич Са́харов, May 21, 1921 – December 14, 1989), was a Soviet-Russian nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist. ... Anastas Mikoyan Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan (Անաստաս Հովհաննեսի Միկոյան in Armenian; Анаста́с Ива́нович Микоя́н in Russian) (November 25, 1895 – October 21, 1978) was an Old Bolshevik and Soviet statesman during the Stalin and Khrushchev years. ... Nikolai Bulganin (right), with Nikita Khrushchev (centre) and Tito in Belgrade in 1955 Nikolai Aleksandrovich Bulganin (Russian: Николай Александрович Булганин) (May 30, 1895 - February 24, 1975), Soviet politician, was born in Nizhny Novgorod, the son of an office worker. ... Tarle, Yevgeny Viktorovich (1874-1955) was a Soviet historian and academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. ... Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg (Илья́ Григо́рьевич Эренбу́рг) (January 27, 1891–August 31, 1967) was a Russian writer and journalist. ...


There are many problems with this evidence, since we don't really have the memoirs of Bulganin. We only have Yakov Etinger's claims (son of one of the doctors, also Yakov Etinger) that he spoke with Bulganin, who told him about the deportation plans. Etinger's credibility was put into question when he claimed to have published a previously unpublished letter to Pravda, signed by many Jewish celebrities and calling for Jewish deportation. The original two versions of the letter have been published in Istochnik and other publications.[1] (http://www.vestnik.com/issues/2000/0314/koi/erenburg.htm),[2] (http://www.lechaim.ru/ARHIV/142/repriza.htm) Not only did they lack any hint of a plan to deport Jews to Siberia, they in fact called for the creation of a Jewish newspaper! The real text of the famous letter actually serves as an argument against the existence of the deportation plans.


Etinger was asked to publish the notes taken during his alleged meetings with Bulganin, but they are still unpublished.


Similarly, the late account of Veniamin Kaverin cannot be trusted, because he claimed that he had been asked to sign the non-existent letter about the deportation. It is possible that he had really seen the letter and misremembered its contents many years later under the influence of widespread rumors about the deportation.


Ilya Ehrenburg's memoirs contain only a hint about his letter to Stalin, which was published along with the "Jewish Letter," and also doesn't contain any hint about the deportation.


Sakharov, Yakovlev and Tarle do not specify the sources of their claims and don't claim to be eyewitnesses. Anastas Mikoyan's edited and published version of the memoir contains one sentence about the planned deportation of the Jews from Moscow, but it is not known whether the original text contains this sentence.


Sometimes it is claimed that one million copies of a pamphlet titled "Why Jews Must Be Resettled from the Industrial Regions of the Country" were published, but not a single copy has ever been found.


All these and many other facts forced the researcher of Stalin's anti-Semitism, Gennady Kostyrchenko, to conclude in his article "Deportation - mystification" in the Russian-Jewish magazine Lechaim [3] (http://www.lechaim.ru/ARHIV/125/kost.htm), that there is no credible evidence for the alleged deportation plans, and there is much evidence against their existence. Some other researchers think that there is not enough credible evidence for the deportation plans, but the question is still open.[4] (http://monderusse.revues.org/document59.html)


See also

Historical background As waves of anti-Jewish pogroms and expulsions from the countries of Western Europe marked the last centuries of the Middle Ages, a sizable portion of the Jewish populations there moved to the more tolerant countries of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East. ... Anti-Semitism (alternatively spelled antisemitism) is hostility towards Jews (not: Semites - see the Misnomer section further on). ... This is a partial chronology of hostilities towards or discrimination against the Jews as a religious or ethnic group. ... The Great Purge is the name given to campaigns of repression in the Soviet Union during the late 1930s which included a purge of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. ... For the play by Henrik Ibsen, see An Enemy of the People. ... On March 29, 1983, the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has approved the resolution 101/62ГС to Support the proposition of the Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee and the KGB USSR about the creation of the Anti-Zionist Committee of... The Jewish Autonomous Oblast (Евре́йская автоно́мная о́бласть - Yevreyskaya avtonomnaya oblast; formerly Jewish Autonomous Republic) is situated in the Far Eastern federal district of Russia, bordering China. ... Yevsektsiya (alternative spelling: Yevsektsia), Russian: ЕвСекция, the abbreviation of the phrase Еврейская секция (Yevreyskaya sektsiya) was the Jewish section of the Soviet Communist party created to challenge and eventually destroy the rival Bund and Zionist parties, suppress Judaism and bourgeois nationalism and replace traditional Jewish culture with proletarian culture, as... Zionology (Russian language: сионология sionologiya) was a doctrine promulgated in the Soviet Union during the course of the Cold War, and intensified after 1967 Six Day War. ...

External links

  • Translated Pravda article of January 13, 1953 (http://www.cyberussr.com/rus/vrach-ubijca-e.html)
  • The Soviet “Doctors' Plot”—50 years on by A Mark Clarfield (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=139050)
  • Byelorussian Jewry and the Doctors' Plot, 1953 (http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/newsletter/doctors_plot.htm) by Dr. Leonid Smilovitsky
  • Materials on the case of Maria Weizmann (in Russian) (http://www.pseudology.org/Veizman/)

Further reading

  • Jonathan Brent & Vladimir Naumov. Stalin's Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953. ISBN 0060933100.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Doctors' plot (983 words)
The Doctors' plot (Russian language: дело врачей, врачи-вредители; or врачи-убийцы) was an alleged conspiracy to eliminate the leadership of the Soviet Union.
The scenario of the "Doctors' plot" was reminiscent of the previous Stalin purges of the late 1930s, and the plan to deport the whole population based on its ethnicity resembled previous deportations (see Population transfer in the Soviet Union).
The "Doctors' plot" was another attempt to hinder growing national awareness of the Soviet Jews and break the ties beetwen the Soviet and World Jewry under false pretense of anti-Zionism.
Encyclopedia: Doctors Plot (3567 words)
The Doctors' plot (Russian language: дело врачей; (doctors' affair), врачи-вредители (doctors-saboteurs) or врачи-убийцы (doctors-killers)) was an alleged conspiracy to eliminate the leadership of the Soviet Union.
The "Doctors' plot" was another attempt to hinder growing national awareness of Soviet Jews and to break the ties between Soviet and World Jewry under false pretense of anti-Zionism.
Some people think that the scenario of the "Doctors' plot" was reminiscent of the previous Stalin purges of the late 1930s, and the plan to deport the whole population based on its ethnicity resembled previous similar deportations.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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