Georgian Jews in USSR Critical of Emigres Who Say They Want to Return
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Georgian Jews in USSR Critical of Emigres Who Say They Want to Return

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Six Jews in Soviet Georgia have sent a letter to Israel reprimanding those Georgian Jewish emigres who have expressed the wish to return to the USSR and urged the Israeli government to take special steps to help Georgian Jews adapt to Israeli life, it was reported today by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. The letter stated that "you who wish to return thought you would get rich in Israel, but the vast majority of Georgian Jews want only to enrich Israel"

The letter, according to the SSSJ, asked the Ministry of Absorption to assist Georgian Jews by broadcasting from Israel in Georgian and by providing those who emigrate to Israel with Georgian-Hebrew dictionaries as well as special books for Georgians to learn Hebrew. "We are certain that the Jews of Georgia will prove themselves loyal sons of Israel," the letter said, concluding: "We shall see you soon in our homeland."


The SSSJ also disclosed that three of the eight Moscow dissidents whose homes were raided last Friday night by the Soviet secret police (KGB) are Jewish. One of the three Is Pytor Yakir, 48, whose father, Maj. Iona E. Yakir, was liquidated in Stalin’s 1937 purge of the Red Army’s general staff. Yakir’s father and other victims of the Stalin purges were rehabilitated during Nikita Khrushchev’s anti-Stalin campaign during the late 1950s. The other two Jewish dissidents whose homes were raided were, according to the SSSJ, Yuri Shechanovich and one surnamed Gyenkin. The searches occurred during an 18-hour period.

The raids on their homes, as well as arrests the same night of 12 non-Jewish Soviet dissidents from the Ukraine, followed the expulsion of US Rep. James H. Scheuer (D.,N.Y.) from Russia for allegedly encouraging Soviet Jews to emigrate. The order expelling Scheuer was issued Friday.

There was, however, no evidence of any direct connection between the Scheuer Incident and the harassment of the Soviet dissidents In Moscow and the Ukraine. One of those arrested in the Ukraine was Leonid Plush, the SSSJ reported. Plush has publicly protested the treatment of Boris Kochubiyevsky, the Soviet Jewish engineer who recently completed a three-year Jail sentence and is now in Israel. During the raids in Moscow the KGB reportedly took stacks of books and papers, saying they were needed for probes in progress

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