The “Doctors' Plot” (179 words)

Historical Context Note


The so-called “Doctors' Plot” was initiated in January 1953, just two months before the death of Stalin, and therefore counts as one of his last repressive acts. It may be seen as having been prefigured by attacks on prominent medical figures in the 1930s (including the physicians who had treated the dying Maksim Gorky), campaigns against “rootless cosmopolitans” in the late 1940s, and, more immediately before, the vicious action against Yiddish writers and other Jewish intellectuals. This new campaign was launched by a TASS announcement, “exposing” a number of Jewish doctors, working in the Kremlin hospital, as instigators of a plot to kill Stalin and other prominent officials. This initiative, which might have been …

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Cornwell, Neil. "The “Doctors' Plot”". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2005
[, accessed 17 December 2018.]

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