NEW YORK (Feb. 1)
A group of Moscow Jews have sent an appeal to the International Red Cross on behalf of Jewish prisoners interned in the Mordovian labor camps of the Soviet Union.
The appeal, citing “unbearable conditions of life,” states that “the lives of our comrades are in danger.” The appeal urges the Red Cross to send representatives to the labor camps “to examine the health of the prisoners and the conditions under which they are detained.”
The appeal was made public by Ernest Goldblum, chairman of the Westchester Conference on Soviet Jewry and the Red Cross project chairman of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry, and by Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman, chairman of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. The appeal from the Moscow Jews, in the form of a telegram to the International Red Cross in Geneva, ended with the plea: “Do everything you can to alleviate their lot.”
Among the signatories are Viktor Ekhod, Vladimir Slepak, Vladimir Lerner, Iosif Begun, Grigory Goldberg and Vladimir and Ada Gershkovich. Conference officials said that the telegram reflects the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate intercession by the Red Cross on behalf of the more than 40 Jewish prisoners of conscience now in Soviet prison camps.