PARIS (Dec. 30)
An estimated 15,000 persons, many of them non-Jews, braved icy winds and a heavy snow fall to march through the streets of Paris tonight protesting the harsh Leningrad sentences. The march began at City Hall and ended at the memorial to the unknown Jewish martyrs. It was headed by Baron Alain de Rothschild, president of the Paris Jewish Consistory and Chief Rabbi Jacob Kaplan of France. Large concentrations of police lined the route of march but no incidents occurred. The demonstrators carried placards demanding lesser sentences for the Leningrad defendants, two of whom have been condemned to death, and free emigration for Jews who want to leave Russia.
Some of the placards expressed solidarity with the six Basque separatists condemned to death in Burgos, Spain. The sentences of the Basques were commuted. The Paris marchers carried posters with the slogan, “Leningrad and Burgos are the same fight.” (In Amsterdam today, the Dutch Labor Party appealed to the Soviet government to commute the Leningrad sentences. In Genoa, Italy, dock-workers called a 24 hour boycott of Soviet ships in protest against the Leningrad sentences and sent a note to the Russian Consul informing him of their action. They will also boycott Polish and Spanish ships, the latter in protest against the Burgos sentences.) (In London today, Tina Brodetskaya and Joseph N. Yankelevich, two former Jewish political prisoners from Russia, told a press conference of their experiences in forced labor camps and condemned what they called “malicious anti-Semitism” in the Soviet Union.)