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Trial of Roiza Palatnik Postponed Until June 23; No Reason Given

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Jewish sources here reported today that the trial of Roiza Palatnik which had been expected to open tomorrow in Odessa has been postponed until June 23. No reason was given for the postponement. Miss Palatnik, 35, a librarian, was arrested last Dec. 1 and has been held incommunicado since then. She is charged under Article 187 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code with slandering the Soviet Union. According to the sources, Soviet authorities have “invited” her sister, Katya, and a cousin, unidentified, to testify for the prosecution. The sources also reported that the widow and son of the well known Soviet Jewish writer Peretz Markish have appealed to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet to overrule the Moscow visa office which rejected their application for a visa to go to Israel. A letter signed by David Markish, a film producer, and his mother, Esther, was sent to the Supreme Soviet on May 18, the day after they were informed by phone that their request for a visa was turned down. The letter demanded “an immediate reexamination” of the visa office’s decision and the issuance of visas so that they can re-unite “with the remnants of our family in Israel.” According to the sources the mother and son are still waiting for a reply. David Markish lost his job in the meantime and he and his mother are reportedly in serious financial straits. Peretz Markish was executed on Aug. 12, 1952, a victim of the Stalin purge. He was rehabilitated posthumously after Stalin’s death and several of his books were republished. His widow has been receiving a pension from the Soviet government.

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