LONDON (May. 18)
A letter to President Nixon from 24 Moscow Jews urges him to “raise with the Soviet leaders the issue about people convicted for no crime and only for their expressed wish to go to Israel.” As detailed by USSR Jewish sources, the writers insist to Nixon on behalf of “our near ones in jails and forced-labor camps” that “by raising your voice in this matter you will, Mr. President, not only perform a good deed but also strike a blow for democracy and humanity and for the high ideals people in all countries have been cherishing for generations.” The signers include Samuel Zalmanson, Mira Kaminskaya, Mira Korenblit. Eva Butman, Ida Boguslavskaya and Galina Boguslavskaya.
In another reported development, the 20-year-old Miss Korenblit visited her father, Lev, in the Potma prison in Soviet Mordovia, where he is serving a three-year sentence imposed at the first Leningrad trial a year ago. She said his condition is not good and that he and the other Jewish prisoners lack warm clothing. She herself has returned to work after a successful court appeal against her dismissal for applying for a visa to Israel. Her fiance has been in Israel since last year.
RIGA JEWS ANXIOUS TO EMIGRATE
In Riga, it was reported, the ovir (visa office) lists the names of successful emigration applicants on a bulletin board. The board is constantly surrounded by Jews seeking their names, even though notifications are sent to homes. A number of Jews there who wanted to change jobs were told: “We would have you, but you will be sure to stay only for a short time and then go off to Israel.”
There are 3500 Jews left in Tallin, the capital of Soviet Estonia, in a population of 280,000. Unlike the Jews of Wilna, Lithuania, and Riga, Latvia, they have no background of Jewish education, yet a number of them want to go to Israel, sources say.
Things are not bad for all Soviet Jews, sources note. The ovir in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is helpful and polite in the matter of emigration. Officials assist applicants in completing forms. There are 10,000 Bukharan Jews there in a population of 195,000. Those who left for Israel report they are well-treated there and have settled down happily.