NEW YORK (Jul. 13)
Soviet Jewish engineer, Aleksander Gorbach, will go on trial Thursday or Friday, probably in his home city of Kharkov, on charges of “engaging in private undertakings” reliable Jewish sources reported here today. Gorbach, 35, has received letters from Israel, written letters to Soviet editors on discrimination against Soviet Jews, and applied for permission to go to Israel. The letters, copies of his emigration application, and Jewish poems and songs were confiscated in a recent search of his home made with an improper warrant the sources said. Earlier, on a visit to Vinnitsa to practice photography with a friend, E. G. Rodzeviler, Gorbach was detained and his hotel room searched. He was thinking of becoming a professional photographer, the sources noted. Before that, from March 25 to Aug. 31 last year. Gorbach was hospitalized for poor health and an eye ailment. If convicted of “engaging in private undertakings,” he faces up to two years in prison. It was learned that Gorbach, who is living at home, has paid the required $555 and asked to be relieved of his Soviet citizenship so he can go to Israel. If he is allowed to go, he must pay another $444 for a visa plus a certain sum for any free higher education he received.
In another development a Jewish engineer of Moscow, Benito Borukhovin, was arrested June 14 after two searches of his apartment disclosed books and booklets with Jewish themes, Jewish sources said. He and his son, Mikhail, had applied for permission to go to Israel. The sources reported that one of the officials who searched Borukhovin’s apartment told him: “Do not think that we will allow every one of yours to leave for Israel. We will find a place for you in Russia, which is a big country.” The sources said the latter reference was a euphemism for a Siberian labor camp. Sources here reported five Jews who refused to testify against the nine Jewish defendants at the recent Kishinev trial were fined $55.50 and were given six-month suspended sentences. The sources identified them as Aleksander Jenin, Bonda Ita, Dornan Yura, Riva Wexelman and Olga Teigerman.
The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry reported yesterday that according to a recent traveler to the Soviet Union, a “beautiful, intelligent” 19-year-old Wilna Jew named Sophie Furman is seeking support from the outside world for her family, which she says has been refused emigration permission for 15 years. Miss Furman participated in the recent sit-in at the General Post Office in Moscow. The SSSJ will coordinate a letter-writing campaign to aid the Furmans.