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Soviet U.N. Delegation Rejects Petition on Rights of Soviet Jewry

Two representatives of a 10-member delegation from the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Committee to Save Soviet Jewry were admitted to the Soviet Mission to the United Nations today, but a “petition of conscience” which they intended to present to Ambassador Nikolai Fedorenko, head of the Soviet delegation to the U.N., was rejected.

Prof. Sumner Germain, head of the Lancaster committee and assistant professor of English at Franklin and Marshall College, said, after a 20-minute talk with First Secretary Michael Antipov, that the Russian representative “either knew little, or was willing to admit little about the plight of Jews in the Soviet Union.” He told newsmen that, since the committee’s petition had not been accepted by the Soviet Mission, the delegation would transmit it to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

The petition, signed by more than 600 citizens from Lancaster is, according to Prof. Germain, only the first in a series of “grass roots protests” from small towns and cities in various parts of the United States which will deal with the treatment received by Jews in the Soviet Union. “Our committee is currently communicating with people all around the country in an attempt to have the Soviets hear a series of protesting voices,” he said. The 10-member delegation included, in addition to Prof. Germain, three other professors and two students from Franklin and Marshall College and four rabbis from Lancaster.

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