Before the apparent effort by political rivals to poison Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko last fall, there may have been the Purim poisoning of Joseph Stalin.Dr. Alexander Rashin, a biophysicist from the former Soviet Union who now lives in Teaneck, N.J, is convinced that the notorious Soviet dictator was poisoned by his closest political close associates on March 1,1953, and did not die of natural causes, as has long been believed. Rashin published a book in 2003 titled “Why Didn’t Stalin Murder All the Jews?” (Liberty Press) in which he asserted that Stalin, who caused the deaths of an estimated 20 million Soviet citizens during his bloody 30-year rule, was probably poisoned by a number of his henchmen, including KGB chief Lavrenti Beria and Stalin’s successors as dictator, Georgy Malenkov and Nikita Khruschev. They all may have feared that Stalin was about to have them arrested and shot. Malenkov and Khruschev had Beria shot several months later.
Since publishing his book, Rashin has assembled new scientific evidence that the medical symptoms Stalin manifested after suffering his stroke could not have occurred naturally. Rashim cites testimony by Dr. Yuri Polotsky, a specialist in pathologies of infectious deceases, once a senior scientist in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and today retired and living in Baltimore. Polotsky investigated Stalin’s death and wrote, “I previously never heard about cardiac hemorrhages following a hemorrhaging stroke … [Stalin’s stroke] is strange and atypical. I doubt that such cases are known even statistically.” Polotsky said the death “looks suspicious.”
His daughter-in-law, Dr. Hannah Polotsky, attending physician at the Department of Medicine at the Montefiore Medical Center, also investigated Stalin’s death and said that a stroke victim “would not have bled from all organs” as Stalin did, unless the stroke was [intentionally] caused by blood thinners or something else.” She added that Stalin did not exhibit “any signs or symptoms of sepsis that would have explained his multi-organ hemorrhages.”
Rashin, who has become observant since coming to America in 1982, advocates that Jews celebrate a Purim katan, a special Purim, every year because Stalin’s death saved the entire Jewish population of the Soviet Union from being shipped into a brutal exile and near-certain death in Siberian labor camps.
“According to an 800-year-old Jewish tradition,” Rashin said, “such deliverance should be celebrated as a special Purim in all generations on the day it happened according to the Jewish calendar, which in this case happens to be Purim itself. The sages considered such a deliverance to be a miracle and urged Jews to look for God’s hand in the development of human events.”