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45 Jews Arrested in Moscow Hunger Strike Sit-in

Moscow police arrested about 45 Jews this morning who had been on a hunger strike and sit-in at the central telegraph office in the Soviet capital for more than 24 hours. The group, mainly from the Georgian Republic, was protesting delays in processing their applications for emigration permits. They numbered about 35 when the hunger strike began. They had been joined by other Jews from Moscow, Kiev and Simferopol when the arrests were made, according to information reaching here today. The informants said the Jews were herded into police vans and driven away.

Jewish activists demonstrated here this morning as the Soviet Ambassador, Mikhall Smirnovsky, opened an exhibition of Soviet press photography at the Royal Photographic Society. The demonstrators were members of Herut Hatzohar and the “Committee of 35.” The latter is a group of women aged 35, who organized some months ago to protest the arrest and subsequent trial of Roiza Palatnik, a 35-year-old Jewish librarian in Odessa. Today’s demonstration was a protest against the trial of Aleksander Gorbach, a Jewish engineer who was supposed to go on trial today in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. Members of the Herut group entered the exhibition hall and tried to hand the Soviet Ambassador a photograph of Gorbach. They asked him if he would take a message for Soviet authorities. He replied angrily that he would do no such thing. A Soviet security officer seized the Gorbach photo and tore it. When the Ambassador left the exhibit his car was followed by a loudspeaker van blaring, “Let our people go.”

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