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Jewish Prisoners in Potma Subjected to Brutal Treatment

Jewish sources in the Soviet Union reported today that Jewish prisoners in the Potma forced labor camp in Mordovia were subjected to brutal treatment and were forbidden to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The prisoners include two women, Roiza Palnatnik, and Silva Zalmanson Kuznetzov, who is said to be seriously ill. According to the sources, Jewish prisoners have been refused permission to leave their work for even a few minutes to talk to visitors although prison regulations grant that privilege. The camp administration makes things difficult for them in other ways and there are recorded cases of brutality the sources said.

Jewish sources did not specify the cases but said that Viktor Boguslavsky, a 30-year-old engineer sentenced in the second Leningrad trial, was injured by a severe blow on the head while being driven by a camp administrator to an interrogation center. Lev Korenblit, a 48-year-old former mathematics teacher, sentenced to three years hard labor at the second Leningrad trial, was reportedly forced to work at construction sites where he is required to lift and haul extremely heavy weights in a wheel-barrow. Jewish sources reported today that seven Jews in the Soviet Georgian town of Akhachiche have been conducting a sit-down outside the local visa office for the past few days in protest against the refusal to grant them exit visas to go to Israel.

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