NEW YORK (Jun. 19)
Sen. George McGovern (D. SD) told leaders of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry last night that he will speak out on behalf of Soviet Jews and in particular for Prof. Herman Branover of Riga, an internationally prominent Russian-Jewish physicist who has been subjected to harassment since he applied for a visa to emigrate to Israel.
The Democratic Presidential aspirant pledged his intercession at a meeting with Prof. Branover’s brother, Dr. Ishai Branover, Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman, chairman of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference director. Sen. McGovern said, “I want to draw attention to Prof. Branover but I also want to speak out on behalf of all Soviet Jews.” He said he would intervene with the State Department “regarding Prof. Branover’s case” which he described as an example of “the struggle for religious and human freedom.”
Jewish sources in the Soviet Union reported today that Prof. Branover is ill and may have to enter a hospital, according to the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. The sources said his illness forced him to come out of hiding where he had been since May 23, On May 22, the physics professor was arrested and accused by police of running down a child with his car in Riga. He was released the next day. Friends of Prof. Branover reported at the time that the charge was false and that he was nowhere near the scene of the accident.
Rabbi Klaperman remarked that “the voices of men of conscience must be raised if we are to put an end to the continuing oppression and injustice visited upon Soviet Jews such as Prof. Branover” because of their desire to go to Israel.