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Georgian Jews Promised Visas Moscow Jews Threatened by Police

Jews in Soviet Georgia have been promised exit visas but Jews in Moscow demanding the same have been threatened by police. Jewish sources in Russia reported today. The promise of visas was made on Oct. 7 to seven Georgian Jews who maintained a four-day vigil outside the local visa office in their town to protest the earlier denial of exit permits, the sources said. They were finally received by the deputy secretary of the local Communist Party who told them their visas would be ready on Oct. 18. He said another 28 families among 531 who had petitioned for visas would get their papers on the same day. In Moscow, however, three Jews surnamed Perstin, Polski and Kornfeld were questioned by police after they applied for visas to go to Israel, the sources reported. The police asked about their places of work and other personal matters and threatened them with “administrative measures.”

Forty Jewish families which had applied for visas sent a protest to police headquarters against the victimization of the three applicants. The group of 84 Jews who protested to the Politburo last month over delays in processing their visa applications, have sent an additional memorandum to Soviet officials. The memorandum contains a list of Jews whose affidavits from relatives in Israel failed to arrive by post and a list of others who were denied exit visas without explanation. They also listed the names of Jews allegedly persecuted after applying for visas and the names of others who were promised visas but never got them, the Jewish sources reported.

A group of 47 Jews in Vilna defied police and returned to Communist Party General Headquarters to demand exit visas despite warnings that they would be arrested for “hooliganism,” Jewish sources reported. There has been no word so far as to how the authorities reacted. The group represented 84 Lithuanian Jews who signed a petition for visas on Sept. 29. They have received no reply to date.

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