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Shur Goes on Hunger Strike to Protest Charges Against Him

Hillel Zalmanovich Shur, the Soviet Jewish defendant in Kishinev who reported yesterday that he had been offered a “judicial bribe” by the prosecution, went on a hunger strike today to protest the charges of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda against him, Jewish sources here reported, The authorities summoned the 35-year-old Shur’s mother and uncle to persuade them to convince him to discontinue his hunger strike, the sources said, but it was not immediately known if the plea was successful. Shur was reported by Riga friends yesterday to have declared his intention not to participate in the trial because “my case is not under the jurisdiction of the Kishinev court” and “not a single witness from Kishinev has been questioned in regard to my case.” The Jewish sources said that on the second day of the trial today, defendant Anatoly Moiseyevich Goldfeld testified that most of the allegedly anti-Soviet materials he had in his possession had been approved by the glavlit, the publication-censorship unit of the Soviet government. Gari Kirschner, accused of reproducing “anti-Soviet” material from Israel, did not deny the act, the sources said, but contended that the material was not “anti-Soviet” and was used only for private educational purposes.

Abraham Trakhtenberg was said by the sources to have asserted he studied the material in question for educational and cultural reasons. Defendant Semeon Abramovich Levit testified that his only intention was to study Hebrew, the sources reported. (Tass said yesterday that Shur was the only defendant to plead not guilty. Tass said Goldfeld, Kirschner, Aleksander Galperin and Arkady Voloshin knew the Jews who were convicted earlier in Leningrad for allegedly trying to skyjack a Soviet airliner.) Per Soviet custom, the Kishinev trial is closed to other than specially invited guests, but even so the police are searching entrants and forbidding them to bring packages into the courtroom, according to Jewish sources. In addition, in order to discourage crowds at the building, the authorities have closed down the nearby bus stop and situated it elsewhere. Meanwhile, Jewish sources here confirmed that Russian Jewish professor Mikhail I. Zand has had his emigration application approved again, but they did not know if Dr. Zand would actually be allowed to go to Israel or would again have his visa suspended. There was no immediate word as to whether or not the trial of Roiza Palatnik, scheduled to have started today, had actually begun.

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