LONDON (Sep. 22)
Boris Azernikov, a 23-year-old Jewish dentist from Leningrad, will go on trial next month, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today from Jewish sources in Russia. Azernikov was arrested Aug. 10 after he applied for a visa to leave the Soviet Union and settle in Israel. He is believed to be the first Soviet Jew to be arrested solely for applying for immigration to Israel. According to the sources, two Jews convicted at the second Leningrad trial–Mikhail Korenblit and Hillel Butman–will appear as prosecution witnesses but are not expected to testify against Azernikov. Both have been kept in a Leningrad prison while their co-defendants were sent to a labor camp in Mordovia. Jewish sources report that relatives of the prisoners have been permitted to visit them at the camp.
According to Jewish sources, Silva Zalmanson Kuznetzov, convicted in the first Leningrad hijack trial last Dec. and sentenced to 10 years in prison, is suffering from progresive deafness which cannot be treated, in the Potma prison in central Mordovia where she is incarcerated. Her general health continues to decline and her condition is serious the sources reported.
Large crowds of young people gathered outside synagogues in Moscow, Leningrad, Riga, Kiev and Vilna during Rosh Hashanah services yesterday. According to Jewish sources they stated that they had not come to pray but to identify themselves with the Jewish people and Israel. Jewish sources in Russia told the JTA that a large number of New Year greeting messages from Soviet Jews to relatives and friends in Israel were not dispatched by Soviet postal authorities. The authorities also withheld mailing of collective greetings to prominent Israeli personalities and institutions. Only a small number of messages were forwarded to their destinations, the sources said. But some of the undelivered ones were transmitted by telephone to Israel.