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Jews in Sverdlovsk Disconnected

Jews in Sverdlovsk are gradually being deprived of means to communicate with other Jews in Russia and with Jews abroad, Jewish sources in the Soviet Union said today. Sverdlovsk is a city of 770,000 in the Ural mountains. The sources said that Jews “there are encountering difficulties to sending telegrams and in making long distance and overseas telephone calls. According to the sources the phones of two Jewish activists, Vladimir Markman and Mark Levin, have been cut off without explanation although their phone bills are not in arrears. The Levins have sent a telegram of protest to the Minister of Posts, the sources said.

They also reported that a gift Bible bearing the signatures of the British Prime Minister, the leader of Britain’s parliamentary opposition and 200 members is being held up by Soviet customs authorities. The Bible was sent as a bar mitzvah present to Leonid Slepak, son of the Jewish activist, Vladimir Slepak. According to the boy’s grandmother, Bertha Roshkovska, Slepak has gone to the Moscow airport several times to try to get the gift released. Mrs. Roshkovska, who is in London, learned of the matter in a telephone conversation with her son in Moscow.

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