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Soviet Jew Returns Medal

Mikhail Kalik, the noted Muscovite Jewish film director who dropped out of sight last spring after his home was ransacked by the Russian police, has renounced a medal awarded to him by the government for his cinematic achievements, Jewish sources here reported today. They said Kalik returned the medal to the Supreme Soviet on Monday, explaining that the rejection of his family’s requests for immigration to Israel constituted “lawlessness” and asserting: “I will keep on struggling for the rights of men and people and Jews.” Kalik, 40, served four years of a 10-year sentence imposed in 1952 for “Jewish and pro-Israel sentiments.” After his “rehabilitation” he returned to the Cinematography Institute and graduated with honors in 1959.

The sources also reported that on Oct. 15, a Jewish engineer of Kishinev named Volf Gruman was fired and deprived of his diploma for distributing allegedly anti-Soviet materials. He had also testified at last year’s trial of Jews in Kishinev. In another reported development, 16 Jews of Wilna, Lithuania, have cabled the local Communist Party to protest the arrest last Thursday of three Wilna Jews. In addition, seven Jewish doctors of Moscow have protested to the Prosecutor General and the Health Minister over the arrest of one of their medical colleagues, Anatoly Gershkovich, who had voiced a desire to go to Israel. Three Wilna Jews are conducting a hunger strike.

The sources said that librarian Roiza Palatnik, serving a two-year sentence for anti-Soviet activities, has been transferred from the Odessa prison to a work camp near the Ukrainian town of Dnieprodzerzhinnsk. Her attorney, Roman Praver, has appealed to the Supreme Soviet for a review of the case. Finally, the sources reported that last Friday, vandals desecrated more than 200 tombstones in the Jewish cemetery of Kaunas, Lithuania.

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