The victims were executed due to their membership in the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. The organization was established during World War II as a means to rally support against and expose the atrocities of Nazi Germany. Members of the organization toured the US in order to gather American support for involvement in World War II, with much success.
Following the war, the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee was dedicated to collecting funds and aid for victims of the Holocaust.
Joseph Stalin, notorious for his anti-Semitism and paranoia, accused fifteen prominent Yiddish poets, writers, artists, musicians and actors of treason. He then proceeded to arrest them. Following torture, thirteen of them were executed. Of the two that weren’t, one went into a coma during the trial, while the only woman in the group was sentenced to internal exile.
The truth is that these were loyal Soviet patriots, who dedicated their lives to protecting their country from Nazi aggression.