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Markman Jailed, No Reason Given; Potma Prisoners’ Diets Reduced

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Vladimir Markman, a Russian Jewish activist who has applied for a visa to Israel, was arrested in Sverdlovsk last Saturday and remains in jail today without being told of the reasons for his arrest, Jewish sources in the USSR reported today. They added that the authorities are aware that Markman’s wife is hospitalized and that his child is home alone.

Markman was assailed April 3 by the evening paper Vecherny Sverdlovsk. Three days later, sources reported, Markman walked out of a meeting at his place of work when “absurd” statements were made about his “behavior.” The office passed a resolution asking the authorities to institute legal proceeding against him, whereupon he resigned April 24. Five days later he was arrested.

Meanwhile, Jewish sources also reported harassment of Jews in Kiev, Kishinev and at the Potma forced labor camp. Jewish inmates of Potma had their diet severely reduced which is likely to affect their health, according to the sources. The prisoners lost their privilege of receiving two kilogram parcels of powdered soup each month. They are now permitted to receive only one parcel of flour or a baked pie, no more than a kilogram in weight.

The sources reported that two Jews in Kishinev were forcibly prevented from going to Moscow to inquire about delays in connection with their applications for exit visas. Wolf Gitelman, a journalist, was stopped by police at the railroad station, and Monish Waksman was turned back at the airport. Gitelman was reportedly warned that his daughter, Ella, now in Moscow, must return or steps would be taken against him. Local authorities fear that she might lodge a complaint in Moscow about the treatment of Kishinev Jews, the sources said.

The Ukrainian Pravda, official organ of the Ukrainian Communist Party in Kiev, published a bitter attack on Prof. Boris Borovoy, a prominent Kiev Jew who has applied for an exit visa and has spoken out against the mistreatment of other Jews who have applied. The professor was summoned to see a high Communist Party official several weeks ago but refused.

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