London (Oct. 28)
Soviet Latvian authorities are planning to include a Jew in a scientific delegation going abroad, Jewish sources in Russia reported today. They identified him as Mikhail Maximovich Deutsch and claimed his mission would be to act as a counter-propagandist against Jewish groups protesting the treatment of Jews in the USSR. According to the sources Deutsch is presently undergoing training as a propagandist at a special institute.
The sources said his inclusion in the Latvian delegation was part of a campaign by Soviet authorities to counter efforts of Jewish groups abroad to arouse public opinion to the plight of Soviet Jews. They referred to the current visit to the United States of a Russian tour group headed by Col. Gen. David Dragunsky, the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Soviet Army.
Jewish sources reported today that a Jewish man in Riga and a Jewish woman in Moscow were physically assaulted after applying for exit visas to go to Israel. The man, identified as Avik Gleser, was allegedly attacked and severely beaten by hooligans when he tried to obtain the character reference needed to get a visa. He was reportedly warned to “forget about Israel” unless he wanted further punishment. According to the sources, Mrs. Ela Michlis was severely scalded by a neighbor in the communal kitchen of her Moscow flat after her husband applied for visas for the family.
The attacker was arrested and sentenced to 15 days in jail although, according to the sources, inflicting serious injury carries a five year prison term at hard labor under the Soviet penal code. The sources said Mrs. Michlis will be scarred for life. Her husband was fired from his job.