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Trepper’s Sons Appeal for Right of Parents to Leave Poland

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Two of the three sons of Leopold Trepper, a leader of the anti-Fascist underground in Poland in World War II, appealed publicly yesterday for the right of their aged, ailing parents to leave Poland for Israel. Writing on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, Anmartin-Michal Brojde and Edgard Brojde stated that “Our parents are being silently and ‘politely’ brought to the verge of death, and only active and immediate intervention of world public opinion can save them.”

They contended that “another month or two of the life our parents are compelled to lead in Poland now will result in a new, this time mortal, heart attack for our 67-year-old father, and in another nervous breakdown for our 65-year-old mother.” A three-part series on Trepper’s life, career and fate, written by Edwin Eytan, chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s European Bureau, was distributed by the JTA earlier this month. During the war, Trepper formed and led the efficient intelligence operation called “the Red Orchestra,” composed of anti-Fascists of varying political views.

“Our father risked his life dozens of times.” Trepper’s sons wrote in yesterday’s article, After escaping from the Gestapo, they continued, “he came to the Soviet Union expecting great appreciation for his wartime services,” but “instead, he was thrown into prison and spent 10 years there.” Trepper was vindicated by the post-Stalin regime, but by then he was “a 50-year-old invalid” separated from his wife for 15 years. Last year, the sons continued, Trepper applied for a visa to Israel, and “as a result…was expelled from the (Polish) Communist Party which he served so idealistically 45 years.”

Their applications for emigration are either refused or ignored, the Brojdes reported, “We, the sons of Leopold Trepper, state with full responsibility that if our father dies of another heart failure or if our mother succumbs to another nervous breakdown all the blame for this will fall on the new Gierek-Jaroszewicz government,” the sons concluded, “Our parents’ only wish now is to be reunited with their family in Israel and end in peace their last days there…We appeal to world public opinion–help save our parents.”

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