Jewish Woman in Odessa Who Applied for Exit Visa Languishing in Soviet Jail

A Jewish woman in Odessa who applied for an exit visa to go to Israel has been in jail for nearly six months without trial or formal charges brought against her, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned from informed sources today. The sources said that Roiza Palatnik, said to be in her 20s, was arrested last Dec. 1. She went on a hunger strike on April 22. Miss Palatnik was put under surveillance by the KGB, the Soviet Secret police, after she applied for a visa. Last Oct. 14 police searched her home, where they found Hebrew language textbooks, a book of Jewish history, an article on Einstein and Zionism and articles on kibbutz life and higher education in Israel the sources said. The material was in both Russian and Hebrew. The young woman was subsequently questioned several times prior to her arrest. The sources said she was defiant and refused to answer questions except in Yiddish and demanded an interpreter. According to the sources, Miss Palatnik’s fiance asked the authorities for permission to marry her in jail. Instead they gave him an exit visa and saw to it that he left Russia promptly. The man is now in Israel, the sources said.

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