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Moscow’s Sentencing of Jews for Matzoth Condemned in U.S. Senate

Senator Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican, today drew the attention of the Senate to the Soviet trial of four Jews, three of whom were sentenced to prison, after Moscow trials for selling home-made matzoth.

All four Jews were convicted by a three-judge “Peoples Court” on charges of having profited from the sale of matzoth prior to last Passover, but one was freed because of his age and poor health.

Golko Bogomolny, a shochet, was given a one-year prison term. Two women defendants, Klavdiaya Blyakhman, 52, and Malka Brio, 59, got six months each. Emil Katz, 82, the so-called “ringleader,” was set free because he is an invalid. The court ordered that the four months already spent in prison be deducted from the sentences of the three who were given prison terms.

“The civilized world cannot remain silent in the face of this actor the Soviet Government, which is bound to stir up religious prejudice and dangers of persecution,” Sen, Javits told the Senate. He said that “protests should be made by leading citizens and organizations in all countries where men prize freedom and the right to worship God without restriction or restraint.”

Sen. Javits charged that “Jews are being made the scapegoats for the Soviet Union’s economic difficulties, and have been the prime targets of Soviet persecution.” He stressed that “the Jewishness of the defendants is emphasized by the Soviet press, and they are described in the crudest stereotypes generally used in anti-Semitic campaigns.”

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