WASHINGTON (Apr. 26)
Basing their reports on telephone conversations Monday with Soviet Jews, the Baltimore-Washington Union of Jewish Students said today that seven elderly Jews had been arrested at Babi Yar where they had gone to memorialize the victims of the Nazi massacre. According to the students, the Jews were reported as not wishing to emigrate. This action suggested, the Union said, that Jews who wish to remain in the Soviet Union are being harassed as well as those who wish to depart.
The Union also said that in a conversation with Gavriel Shapiro, a 27-year-old chemical engineer, he transmitted four letters from Moscow Jews appealing to President Nixon to intercede in their behalf to obtain visas for Israel. Shapiro has been assigned to factory labor for his activism to obtain visas. One of the letters, reportedly signed by Nina and Moisei Belfor, said that their appeals to leave for Israel have been regularly refused without “any reasons” for about a year.
Prof. Vladimir Barboy and his son Boris who had been arrested at the Kiev synagogue were summoned Monday to the visa office and told Soviet officials have “no idea when they will get to Israel.” Barboy is a former professor of chemistry at the Technological Institute of Light industry. He was dismissed three months ago when he applied for visas. The Barboy family is living in a bare apartment, having sold their furniture to obtain funds to sustain themselves while unemployed, the Union said. Last Saturday, the Union added, young Jews were prevented by the militia from approaching the synagogue in Kiev.