Judy Shapiro Sends New Plea to Nixon for Husband’s Freedom

Judy Silver Shapiro sent a registered letter to the White House today asking for an appointment with President Nixon to help her “get my husband’s freedom.” Mrs. Shapiro, a social worker from Cincinnati, was married to Gavriel Shapiro, a Jewish activist, in Moscow June 8 but left the Soviet Union four days later when her visa expired. Shapiro was arrested June 12 and remains in detention.

Her letter today was Mrs. Shapiro’s second communication to the President. She sent him a telegram June 14 to which she has so far received no response. A White House aide acknowledged to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last week that the telegram was received and said it was referred to the “appropriate people.”

Mrs. Shapiro enclosed in her letter a message to President Nixon from Shapiro’s parents which was dictated to her by phone from Moscow yesterday. It said, “We beg you to use your tremendous authority so that our son can leave the Soviet Union to be with his new wife.” She also enclosed the contents of a letter from Shapiro’s father, Jacob, to Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin and to Roman Rudenko, the chief prosecutor. The letter protested orders calling his son for active duty in the Red Army on grounds that Gavriel renounced his Soviet citizenship and is a citizen of Israel.

“Therefore, my son’s acquiescence to serve in the Soviet Army reserves would at this time and under the circumstances be an amoral act contrary to the dictates of conscience,” the elder Shapiro wrote, adding that his arrest was “a mistaken action.”

Mrs. Shapiro also enclosed the text of a letter received by phone from Moscow which Mrs. Ita Nashpitz wrote to Soviet officials protesting the arrest of her son, Mark who has been charged with evading military service.

According to Jewish sources in the Soviet Union, Nashpitz, 29, was arrested yesterday. His mother’s letter was addressed to President Nikolai Podgorny of the Soviet Union; Marshal Andrei Grechko, the Minister of Defense, and chief prosecutor Rudenko. It stated that Nashpitz has been a “citizen of Israel since Sept. 23, 1971.” Mrs. Nashpitz urged the leaders to take prompt action “to free my son from detention.” He is reportedly being held at Militia Station 30 in Moscow.

NEXT STORY