Jewish Students, Protesting Soviet Treatment of Jews, Enter Second Day of Fast

While Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko and top French officials were conferring today on the Middle East, eight French Jewish university students entered today the second day of a hunger strike to protest maltreatment of Russian Jews by the Soviet Union. They said they would continue their hunger strike for the duration of Gromyko’s Paris visit. A large number of uniformed and plainclothes police massed at the Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr, the site of the hunger strike. The police forced the students to remove posters explaining the reason for the action. The strikers sat in the front yard of the Memorial where officials have barred them from entering the Memorial building, on grounds that the institution is “non-political.” A Memorial official told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “we cannot cooperate with the strikers because the French President is honorary president of our institution and Mr. Gromyko is France’s official guest.” French police offered to remove the strikers from the courtyard but Memorial authorities refused to allow police to enter the grounds. Local Jewish youth also staged tonight four mass demonstrations in central squares of Paris. They also plan to present to the Soviet diplomat a petition asking him to permit the departure from Russia of Soviet Jews who wish to leave.

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