NEW YORK (Jul. 22)
Five Jews convicted in the first Leningrad trial last December and two convicted in Riga In May were interned early this month in a forced labor camp at Potma, a town in central Moldavia, informed Jewish sources reported here today. The prisoners reportedly include Ruth Aleksandrovich, a 24-year-old nurse who stood trial in Riga. All seven were said to have spent three weeks in a prison in Pskov before being sent to Potma. The prisoners from Leningrad who were convicted for allegedly plotting to hijack a Soviet airliner in June, 1970 were identified by the sources as Leib Khanokh; Anatoly Altman; Isak Zalmanson; Silva Zalmanson Kuznetzov and Mendel Bodnia. The second prisoner from Riga is Mikhail Shepshelovich. Mrs. Rivka Aleksandrovich, mother of Ruth, claimed earlier that her daughter had been sent to the Potma camp in mid-June. Sources here said she was apparently also held at the Pskov prison.
According to Jewish sources five Ukrainian Jews from Sverdlovsk signed a letter to Soviet Communist Party chief Leonid Brezhnev protesting what they called the current wave of anti-Jewish trials. A copy of the letter was sent to the Soviet Government newspaper Izvestia which did not publish it. the sources said. The signers of the letter reportedly expressed their determination to emigrate to Israel which they referred to as their “homeland.” The signers were Vladimir Aks; Vladimir Markman: Yuli Koshrovsky; Ylya Voitovetski and Mrs. Ella Kukui. Mrs. Kukui’s husband, Valeriy, was recently sentenced to three years in prison for anti-Soviet “slander” involving the distribution of petitions criticizing the political trials of Jews. The letter referred to the trials as an attempt to intimidate Jews and stop the revival of Jewish national feelings in Russia.