Nine Leningrad Jewish Families Seek United Nations Aid to Emigrate to Israel

Congressman Richard L. Ottinger of New York. Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in the November elections, today made public two new petitions to the United Nations which had been smuggled out of the Soviet Union by nine Leningrad Jews seeking to emigrate to Israel with their families. At a Joint news conference with Richard Maas, acting chairman of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, Mr. Ottinger said the petitions had been intended for, but had never” reached the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Three of the nine Jews who signed the petitions, David Chernoglaz. Vladimir Mogilever and Lasalls Kaminsky. were arrested in Leningrad last month in connection with an alleged hijacking attempt. They were among the nine Leningrad Jews who signed an appeal to the UN Human Rights Commission last February 1. Mr. Ottinger charged their arrests were reprisals for their earlier emigration appeals. The Congressman said he would personally present the petitions to Mrs. Rita Hauser, U.S. delegate to the Commission of Human Rights, with a request that she appeal to the Soviet representative for a “relaxation of the barriers against emigration to Israel.” He charged that the “Soviet Union’s systematic policy of cultural genocide leveled at Soviet Jews had aroused virtually no active concern on the part of the Nixon administration.”

The first petition, dated May, said the nine families (24 persons) are “firm in our intention to go to the historical homeland of the Jewish people, Israel, where our relatives live. All our actions are in strict accordance with Soviet laws. We stress once more that none of (us) is connected with any State secrets of the USSR and that consequently there are no objective reasons for detaining us. We want only one thing – to make use of the natural right of every free person – to live wherever he wants. We have been trying to achieve this for many years. Our moral suffering is great. We beg you – do not remain deaf to our petition.” The second petition, dated June 28, warned that a “trial is being prepared against persons who wanted only one thing: to go to Israel. They applied for permits to emigrate. They were refused. They complained to all the higher Soviet instances. They wrote to the UN Committee for the Rights of Man and now they have been arrested.” The petition continued, “We don’t know in what manner the organs of the KSB (secret police) will attempt to charge those arrested of any crime (in such things their predecessors had a rich experience) but we know this: the main reason for the start of the legal proceedings against them is the firm desire of those arrested to go to the historical homeland of the Jewish people in Israel.”

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