Soviet to Consider Transfer to Israel of Remains of Leading Jews

Soviet Ambassador Mikhail Bodrov said here today that Soviet authorities would not object in principle to the transfer to Israel for burial of the remains of outstanding Jewish personalities buried in the Soviet Union.

The envoy made that statement to a delegation in reply to a specific request for the transfer of the remains of the Gaon of Vilna. The envoy said such requests for individual transfers could be expected to receive favorable consideration but that the Soviet authorities would definitely object to any mass re-burial.

The meeting with the ambassador confirmed an earlier agreement with Soviet authorities for the transfer and re-burial of the remains of relatives of Israeli families in Lukyanovka, an abandoned Jewish cemetery in Kiev, to Kiev’s new cemetery. The remains of President Shazar’s brother-in-law and relatives of Foreign Minister Golda Meir will be transferred to the new cemetery under this arrangement. Under Soviet law any cemetery closed for 25 years is declared abandoned and may be destroyed.

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