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#4 - JRL 7023
Moscow Jewish Center Marks 50th Anniversary of Doctors' Case

MOSCOW. Jan 14 (Interfax) - A meeting in memory of the 50th anniversary of the so-called doctors' case was held in the Moscow Jewish Community Center on Monday.

Fifty years ago, on January 13, 1953, the Soviet special services announced that they had found a group of doctors who were plotting to kill several Soviet government officials. Most of the people on the list of "enemies of the people" were prominent Jewish doctors.

All were arrested and a trial was scheduled for mid March. However, Stalin died several days prior to the trial date and all the doctors implicated in the case except one, who died in prison, were released.

Russia's Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar spoke about these events in the memorial gathering.

"The doctors' case, whose anniversary we are now marking, is not simply an important landmark in the history of our country, but also a Damocles' sword, which then hang over all Soviet Jews. Therefore, it is a great miracle that these horrible plans were not to be, and this should be remembered," he said.

One of the main charges brought against the doctors implicated in the doctors' case was their inability to save the life of Andrei Zhdanov, a major party leader. In response, Academician Andrei Vorobyev, former Soviet health minister, said that even modern medicine could not have saved Zhdanov. "They say that there is no smoke without fire, but in this case there was neither smoke nor fire," he said.

Relatives of the doctors implicated were also in attendance and spoke about the events that occurred at the time of the doctors' case.

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