Soviet Reactions to the Eichmann Trial: A Preliminary Investigation, 1960–1965
The article sheds light on a subject that is still in its early research stages – the Soviet Union’s attitude toward the Holocaust. Cantorovich examines the Soviet media’s coverage of the Eichmann trial, which is a very important source because in the Soviet system the media was meant to shape public opinion. Three periods in the development of the Soviet attitude are examined. By analyzing Soviet attitudes towards the Holocaust and the State of Israel (in the mirror of the domestic “Jewish question”) the article attempts to demonstrate that domestic affairs had a significant influence on the Soviet outlook on the trial. An examination of newspapers and journals, together with memoirs of people involved at the time, enables us to uncover the Soviet approach to the trial and the change that it underwent in a brief period of time. Moreover, the article argues that the early attitudes and policies and those that developed during the trial influenced not only the Soviet Union’s developing approach to the Holocaust, but also, and especially its attitudes towards Jews in general and towards Zionism, as part of Jewry, in particular.