TEL AVIV (Aug. 18)
Reports that Jews in Bessarabia and Soviet Bukovina were deported on masse to Siberia last month after they registered for emigration to Israel were made known today on the basis of private letters reaching here.
According to the letters, Soviet authorities in Kishinev and Czernowitz announced on July 1 that Jews wishing to emigrate to Israel could register with the local authorities. The majority of the Jewish population of the two cities, as well as Jews in all towns of Bessarabia and Soviet Bukovina, immediately registered for migration to the Jewish state.
The letters report that between July 10-20, all Jews who had registered their desire to proceed to Israel were packed in specially-prepared railway coaches and dispatched to the Murmansk area, in the Arctic, which allegedly had been earmarked as a new concentration area for all Jews ejected from towns located on the Russian-Rumanian border.
The letters add that panic is spreading in Bessarabia and in the Rumanian part of Bukovina among Jews who had been preparing to emigrate to Israel and who remained “paralyzed” following the prohibition on emigration. Many months have elapsed since relatives in Israel of Jews in Bessarabia and Bukovina have received any mail from those areas, it was noted here.