NEW YORK (May. 15)
Mrs. Faye L.Schenk, president of Hadassah, has urged an official of the World Health Organization and the Soviet Minister of Health to intervene on behalf of Paulina Eppelman, the head of pharmacology at the Leningrad Hospital, who has applied for an exit visa for herself and her nine-year-old daughter. According to Mrs. Schenk, the Soviet Jewish pharmacologist was “strictly non-political” until 14 months ago. She was neither a Zionist nor a member of the Communist Party, Then her husband, Michael, a university lecturer in mathematics, attended an academic conference in Sweden and from there he fled to Israel.
“Paulina has been allowed to keep her Job,” Mrs. Schenk related, “but great pressure has been put on her by colleagues at the hospital to divorce her husband. She has resisted and six times has applied for the exit visas to be reunited with her husband in Israel.” She was rebuffed each time, Mrs. Schenk said. “Meanwhile, the pressures have turned her into a militant Zionist who is now studying Hebrew.”
WILL SOON GO ON HUNGER STRIKE
Through correspondence and telephone communications Mrs. Eppelman has told her husband, who is presently in the United States under the auspices of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, that she will soon go on a hunger strike. Several days ago, Michael asked Mrs. Schenk for help. “Every effort is important,” he told the Hadassah president. “It has a mounting impact on Soviet officials, more people become aware of the plight of Jews in the Soviet Union, and it encourages the Jews there to keep up their fight for freedom.”
Mrs. Schenk responded by appealing to Dr. M.G. Candau, director-general of WHO In Geneva, and to Boris V. Petrovski, Soviet Minister of Health in Moscow, Additional cables urging Petrovski to intercede on humanitarian grounds were sent by Dr. George B. Koelle, vice-president of the International Union of Pharmacology, and Dr. Alfred Gillman, chairman. Department of Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.