Menu JTA Search

Film Depicting Jewish Underground in Russia Smuggled out and Now in U.S.

A film which includes some of the most unique underground film smuggled out of the Soviet Union has been received by the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews and the California Students for Soviet Jews. The film, “Let My People Go,” was produced during and after the Leningrad trials last December and includes clips of film of Moscow Jews holding their own clandestine Israel Independence Day celebration in a forested area outside the Soviet capital city. Among other things seen in this extraordinary film are pictures of Jews holding parties for fortunate Jews permitted to leave for Israel. Zev Yaroslavsky and Si Frumkin, chairmen of the two organizations, called the film “the best documentary film on Soviet Jewry we have ever seen.” The one-half hour presentation includes Soviet Jews telling the story of their own personal struggle.

Recent Soviet emigres are seen and heard trying to call their stranded relatives in the Soviet Union. One call was placed to the family of Vulf Zalmanson, a Riga Jew who was sentenced along with three other members of his family during the Leningrad trials. The documentary includes film of demonstrations held throughout the world during the crisis days of December, 1970. “What you see in this film,” said Yaroslavsky and Frumkin,” is the whole story of how social action helps save Soviet Jews. You see demonstrations held in all four corners of the world on the heels of a most blasphemous trial, and then you see the fruits of our toil in demonstrations–the reduction of sentences in Leningrad and the testimony of Soviet Jews themselves as to the value of speaking out. Every Jewish school child should see this classic documentary continued in Jerusalem… The film is available with a charge through the offices of the Soviet Jewry movement in Los Angeles. The address is: Soviet Jewry, 900 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, 90024.

NEXT STORY