In the pre-dawn darkness of August 12, 1952, thirteen poets, actors, critics, and editors were shot by a firing squad in the notorious Lubyanka prison, victims of the psychopathic autocrat Joseph Stalin. They were not the first artists to be murdered at his hands, nor were they the last.

The arrests were first made in September 1948 and June 1949. All defendants were accused of espionage and treason as well as many other crimes. After their arrests, they were tortured, beaten, and isolated for three years before being formally charged. There were five  writers among these defendants, all of whom were a part of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.

Peretz Markish (1895–1952), poet, co-founder the School of Writers, a literary school in Soviet Russia
David Hofstein (1889–1952), poet
Itzik Feffer (1900–1952), poet, informer for the Ministry of Internal Affairs
Leib Kvitko (1890–1952), poet and children’s writer
David Bergelson (1884–1952), distinguished novelist
Solomon Lozovsky (1878–1952), Director of Soviet Information Bureau, Deputy Commissar of Foreign Affairs, vigorously denounced accusations against himself and others
Boris Shimeliovich (1892–1952), Medical Director of the Botkin Clinical Hospital, Moscow
Benjamin Zuskin (1899–1952), assistant to and successor of Solomon Mikhoels as director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater
Joseph Yuzefovich (1890–1952), researcher at the Institute of History, Soviet Academy of Sciences, trade union leader
Leon Talmy (1893–1952), translator, journalist, former member of the Communist Party USA
Ilya Vatenberg (1887–1952), translator and editor of Eynikeyt, newspaper of the JAC; Labor Zionist leader in Austria and U.S. before returning to the USSR in 1933
Chaika Vatenburg-Ostrovskaya (1901–1952), wife of Ilya Vatenburg, translator at JAC.
Emilia Teumin (1905–1952), deputy editor of the Diplomatic Dictionary; editor, International Division, Soviet Information Bureau
Solomon Bregman (1895–1953), Deputy Commissar of Foreign Affairs. Fell into a coma after denouncing the trial and died in prison five months after the executions.
Lina Stern (or Shtern) (1875–1968), a biochemist, physiologist and humanist and the first female academician in the Russian Academy of Sciences and is best known for her pioneering work on blood–brain barrier. She was the only survivor out of the fifteen defendants.