NEW YORK (Jan. 24)
A 21-year-old Soviet. Jewish emigre said here that peaceful American demonstrations against Soviet repression were “wonderful,” but that violent tactics “make publicity for Rabbi (Meir) Kahane but not for Soviet Jewry.” Mrs. Alla Milkina Rusinek, an Israeli citizen in the United States for a campus speaking tour arranged by the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, said of peaceful demonstrations: “Of course they help… Every time we heard something it was a holiday.” But, she added, “bombing is something else.” Mrs. Rusinek made her comments in an informal discussion with correspondents of three publications, including the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Daily Jewry Bulletin. She recalled that she had been forced to join the Komsomol, the Soviet Communist youth organization, at age 14 and was very active in it, but was expelled six years later and harassed at work for allegedly “anti-Soviet statements” that she denied being involved in, “The atmosphere (at work) was very tense and everyone was afraid to speak with me,” she said, nothing that she had been accused of “organizing a Zionist conspiracy” within her department at the Research Institute for Information on Standardization, where she worked as a clerk.
Mrs. Rusinek noted that she was not fired from her job because Soviet law prohibits the firing of orphans, but that the pressures on her within the Institute were intense–“I think you call it blackmail.” She managed to smuggle out protest letters to the Israeli government, and when one of them was read over the Israeli Radio she felt she was safe from Soviet harassment because of the public knowledge of her case. She met her future husband, a chemical-plant laborer, in Riga and they were married last Oct. 1. Both she and his family had applied often and unsuccessfully for exit visas for Israel. When Mrs. Rusinek’s application was finally approved–to remove a thorn in the Kremlin’s side, she believed–it was on condition that her husband remain. They decided that if she left it might make it easier for him to leave eventually too. “I hope it was the right thing (to do),” she said today. Her older sister “doesn’t have the desire to leave now,” but as far as young Soviet Jewry is concerned: “They’re not afraid. They’re tired of waiting. How many years can they wait?”