Jews Applying for Visas Continue to Be Harassed

Jewish sources in the Soviet Union reported today the continuing harassment of Jews who apply for exit visas to go to Israel. They also reported that nine Vilna Jews were arrested and sentenced to jail terms of 10-20 days after a five-day sit-in at Lithuanian Communist Party headquarters to pretest delays in processing their visa applications. According to the sources the victims of arrest and other forms of harassment are all respected citizens, some of them prominent in their professions. Israel Sivshinski, an author of mathematics textbooks widely used in Soviet schools, had his books withdrawn by order of Soviet educational authorities after he applied for an exit visa.

Jewish sources also reported that Issa Ginsburg-Cherniak, a lecturer at the Moscow Language Institute for 26 years, was dismissed from her post on grounds that she was unqualified. Mrs. Ginsburg had applied for a visa. In Kovno, Lithuania, a Hebrew class organized by a group of Jews was disbanded by the authorities on grounds that the teacher had no license. The Jewish sources reported that the Jews arrested in Vilna included Dr. Anatoly Gershrovich, a distinguished local physician who was sentenced to 20 days; Lazar Kronberg, a civil engineer, sentenced to 15 days and another Jew with the surname Kocherginsky who received a ten day sentence. The sources also reported that 20 Jews in Minsk have gone on a hunger strike because the Byelorussian Minister of Interior has refused to review their visa applications.

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