Tel Aviv (Oct. 31)
Ruth Aleksandrovich’s long battle to emigrate to Israel ended shortly after midnight Thursday when she arrived at Lydda airport with her father. Isaac, and her fiance, Isaiah Averbuch, 24 hours after the trio left the Soviet Union. The 24-year-old Riga nurse had been imprisoned after the show trial in Riga of Soviet Jewish dissidents.
A few hours after arriving here she went to the Western Wall in Jerusalem to kiss its stones and talk to her brother who had joined Abraham Zalmanson in his hunger strike protesting the continued detention of seriously-ill Silva Zalmanson Kuznetsov, one of the defendants in the first Leningrad trial. She is serving a 10-year sentence at the Potma prison about 200 miles from Moscow.
Reporting that she had been in the same cell with Mrs. Kuznetsov, the Riga nurse told a large group of newsmen and cameramen at the airport that Mrs. Kuznetsov was “very sick, dangerously sick.” The nurse said there were no medicines at the camp and that the only medical personnel was an old woman doctor, herself an inmate of the prison for many years who “by now can do nothing” to help Mrs. Kuznetsov.
Zalmanson, the uncle of Mrs. Kuznetsov, called off his hunger strike Friday after the visit from Miss Aleksandrovich. She pleaded with him to end the hunger strike, declaring that it had helped to focus world attention on Mrs. Kuznetsov’s plight and that nothing further would be achieved by continuation of the fast. The other participants followed his example.
The young nurse, referring to her successful fight to emigrate, said. “I cannot believe it myself.” She said that “of course,” she would return to her profession as a nurse but that first she wanted to stay in Kibbutz Kinneret for a couple of days to “rest and think.” She added that whoever thinks that “by trials, one can suffocate the desire of Jews to go to Israel is mistaken.” She said she planned to marry her 28-year-old fiance but the date for that event also will be decided after her rest. The reunion between the nurse and her mother. Rivka, who has already been in Israel several months, was an emotional one.