by Abigail Klein Leichman
Alexander Rashin of Teaneck has received Prakhin International Literary Foundation’s annual award for his 2003 book Why Didn’t Stalin Murder All the Jews? The award was presented on Jan. 31 by Dr. Boris Prakhin of Paramus at the foundation’s third annual award ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan.
Rashin, a computational biophysicist, was born in Kharkhov, Ukraine. He retains unpleasant childhood memories of life in the waning years of Josef Stalin’s reign.
“I was a little kid playing with my friends in the street, and a Russian neighbor shouted at us, ‘Pity that Hitler had not killed you all!’” Rashin related in his speech at the award ceremony. His family shared a two-family house with the local head of the MGB, the pre-KGB security agency that in 1938 had helped the Gestapo formulate plans for concentration camps and mass exterminations.
Rashin, who learned of the Prakhin Foundation in a Jewish Standard article two years ago, related that his mother was officially denounced as “the well-known Zionist” during the early 1953 “Doctors Affair” (or “Doctors Plot”) when Russian Jewish doctors were accused of medical murders and of plotting to kill Stalin on orders of Zionist and imperialist secret services. The Jewish clinic director for whom she worked was jailed.
Rashin’s book analyzes published “disinformation,” Stalin’s political and personal patterns, and witness testimonies to shed light on why the builder of the Soviet Union, who deported and murdered millions of minority group members and annihilated 43 million civilians during his reign of terror, never signed any documents mentioning the Doctors Affair. Rashin concludes that Stalin was using Soviet Jews for a far-fetched internal and geopolitical intrigue aimed at taking over Israel and redirecting its army to fight for control of Mideast oil.
Rashin and his late wife, Bella, immigrated to Teaneck in 1986 with their daughter, Annita, who provided illustrations for her father’s book, which was published by Liberty Publishing House. He has been active in township politics and served as chairman of the board of the American Association of Jews from the Former Soviet Union. Now a long-distance visiting professor of computational bio-informatics at Iowa State University, the 64-year-old Rashin hopes one day to study for a doctorate in history.
Elmwood Park resident Lyudmila Prakhina established the Prakhin Foundation with her two sons, Boris and Michael, to provide financial and moral support to authors who educate the public about the Stalinist regime under which her parents were arrested and exiled in a 1941 mass deportation from Moldova. The literary award honors the memory of those murdered under Stalinism and Nazism by recognizing works of prose, poetry, journalism, or scholarship about that tragic period of European history. (For more information about the foundation and the awards, see www.prakhin.org.)
Some 250 people attended the award ceremony, including representatives of the German consulate. Among the speakers were Dr. Alison Dobrick, director of William Paterson University’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Glenn Richter, founder of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry; and Chris Nicola, author of “The Secret of Priest’s Grotto,” about his discovery of the West Ukrainian caves where two Jewish families hid during the Nazi occupation.
Rashin, who believes Stalin did not die of natural causes but was assassinated by his non-Jewish henchmen (symbolically, on Purim), is working to translate his book into Russian.
The original text of the article may be found here.