In 1953 Purim fell on March 1. That day murderous Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin collapsed of stroke (or poison) and died without regaining consciousness four days later. The happening on Purim 1953 was not a random coincidence but a summit of a massive anti-Jewish campaign known as “Doctors’ Plot.” While Stalin ordered his henchmen to arrest and deport millions of Jews to deadly camps, he did not publicly support the campaign. He planned to arrest his executors, accusing them in Nazi-like excesses, and pose as the savior of devoted-to-him Jewish Stalinists and sending them with commandos to Israel as “fifth column” to fight for expansion of his power and Middle East oil, crucial for NATO defense. Doing it on Purim could significantly increase popularity of the “savior” among the world Jewry and in Israel. He simultaneously prepared for a massive invasion of Western Europe, massive drop of armies of paratroopers over the Bering Strait to Alaska and one-way atomic bombing of most American cities with his 1,000 copies of the American Flying Fortress. More than likely, Stalin’s death saved not only Russian Jews but the entire Western civilization. Thus, Purim of March 1 is a huge Jewish and world event.
In 2018 Purim also falls on March 1. This had not happened even once for 65 years between 1953 and 2018. It is the largest interval between two consecutive March 1 Purims in 300 years. It still can be just a coincidence. However, the international situations in 1953 and 2018 are very similar. There was a Korean war in 1953 with N. Korea supported by Russia (USSR) and China. Similar war seems almost unavoidable now. Russia started its western expansion occupying parts of Ukraine and threatening its former Baltic republics and NATO with its nuclear might. Russia expanded into the Middle East (Syria and Iran) and completed building a chain of self-sufficient Arctic military bases on all islands from Murmansk to Kurile. Chukotsky peninsula (across the Bering Strait from
Alaska) remains completely closed military zone as it was in 1953. The US hardly will start a war in March—the president has too much on his plate. But something big may happen during the year (or almost happen, like in 1953).
Most of the data from opened Russian archives, new interviews (not previously published in English) and results of my research in National Archives will be published in English this year. Early history of this research and references are in www.purim-stalin.webs.com. Anyway, all Jews should commemorate the deliverance of 1953, as prescribed by the 800-year-old rabbinical tradition. All others, valuing Western democracy, probably should commemorate the escape from becoming Stalin’s slaves in 1953.
Dr. Alex Rashin