All of the American nuclear scientists who gave secrets to Stalin were Jews. On the other hand, without Jewish scientists, America might not have had the bomb first.
Stalin’s hard turn against the Jews after WWII seems to fit historical patterns of gentile leaders suspecting their Jewish subjects of disloyalty.
Despite Stalin’s willingness to support Israel early on, various historians suppose that antisemitism in the late 1940s and early 1950s was motivated by Stalin’s possible perception of Jews as a potential “fifth column” in light of a pro-Western Israel in the Middle East. Orlando Figes suggests that
“After the foundation of Israel in May 1948, and its alignment with the USA in the Cold War, the 2 million Soviet Jews, who had always remained loyal to the Soviet system, were portrayed by the Stalinist regime as a potential fifth column. Despite his personal dislike of Jews, Stalin had been an early supporter of a Jewish state in Palestine, which he had hoped to turn into a Soviet satellite in the Middle East. But as the leadership of the emerging state proved hostile to approaches from the Soviet Union, Stalin became increasingly afraid of pro-Israeli feeling among Soviet Jews. His fears intensified as a result of Golda Meir’s arrival in Moscow in the autumn of 1948 as the first Israeli ambassador to the USSR. On her visit to a Moscow synagogue on Yom Kippur (13 October), thousands of people lined the streets, many of them shouting Am Yisroel chai (‘The people of Israel live!’)—a traditional affirmation of national renewal to Jews throughout the world but to Stalin a dangerous sign of ‘bourgeois Jewish nationalism’ that subverted the authority of the Soviet state.”
Historians Albert S. Lindemann and Richard S. Levy observe that “When, in October 1948, during the high holy days, thousands of Jews rallied around Moscow’s central synagogue to honor Golda Meir, the first Israeli ambassador, the authorities became especially alarmed at the signs of Jewish disaffection.”. Jeffrey Veidlinger writes that “By October 1948, it was obvious that Mikhoels was by no means the sole advocate of Zionism among Soviet Jews. The revival of Jewish cultural expression during the war had fostered a general sense of boldness among the Jewish masses. Many Jews remained oblivious to the growing Zhdanovshchina and the threat to Soviet Jews that the brewing campaign against ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ signaled.”
Stalin sounds a lot like the Pharoah in the Book of Exodus.
Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
I understand that since spy Jonathan Pollard, Jews as Jews (particularly those with ties to Israel) get increased security vetting before they are cleared.
But who could the Feds trust? It wouldn’t be like the Manhattan project, where the researchers were anti-Nazi even if they weren’t loyal to the US. Ted Hall and Klaus Fuchs may have delivered the implosion design to Los Arzamas, but at least they didn’t help the Germans.
Could you trust Chinese immigrants? Mostly not. Chinese Americans? Certainly not all of them. But then, what do you do with them?
Let them go home? This issue has come up before. The Feds locked up H. S. Tsien [Qian Xuesen] back in the 50s because they thought he was pro-Chinese and would aid the Chinese rocket program. When they finally let him go, that’s exactly what he did….
Seems to me that the right thing to do would be to get real, while staying reasonably humane. Discriminate. Don’t give out key information to people whose loyalties are plainly elsewhere (that’d be a change !) Arrest technically competent aliens and let them play chess for the duration.
A while ago I was wondering about who you could trust to work in a modern equivalent of the Manhattan project. Thinking about it again, one problem is that people, if for example you consider the typical recent Ivy League graduate to be a human being, are bound and determined to be stupid about this question.
Imagine how we would have dealt with Japanese-Americans in 1942 if we had been informed by modern sensibilities.
Our stated and enforced policy would have been based on the notion that both Issei and Nisei were perfectly trustworthy, no more likely to aid the Empire of Japan than the Dutch in Grand Rapids
So we would have drafted them into the armed forces just like anyone else, and employed them where their skills seemed useful. We would have had them translating Japanese navy intercepts: we were short on Japanese-language translators, so why not? There would have been a bunch of them working with Hypo, down in the basement. Some would have worked in the Manhattan Project. They would have had jobs in the OSS, in the FBI. What could possibly have gone wrong?
Well, some of them were in fact disloyal: not most, but a far higher percentage than in most other ethnic groups in the US. There is nothing magical about this: it often happens. Were the Anglos that moved into Texas loyal to Mexico? Were the Sudeten Germans loyal to Czechoslovakia – was Conrad Henlein just misunderstood? Consider the Niihau incident.
If many Japanese Americans had been privy to the breaking of the Japanese fleet code – plausible, because of the large Japanese population in Hawaii and the need for people with Japanese language skills – the American Magic would have gone away. No Midway, not as we knew it. I figure that we would have lost tens of thousands more KIA in the Pacific than we did in this timeline. Also, probably hundreds of thousands of extra casualties in occupied Asia. Japan would have still have lost, though.
Detailed knowledge of the results from the Manhattan Project wouldn’t have done the Japanese any good, because they didn’t have the industrial muscle and sophistication to make anything of it.
I’m sure there wouldn’t have been any problems with Japanese Secret Service members, any more than Indira Gandhi ever had trouble with her Sikh bodyguards.