American Lawyer Reports on His Meetings with Gavriel Shapiro, Russian Officials
Menu JTA Search

American Lawyer Reports on His Meetings with Gavriel Shapiro, Russian Officials

Download PDF for this date

Jacob D. Fuchsberg, former president of the American Trial Lawyers Association who just returned from a visit in the Soviet Union, said in a press conference today that a highly placed official in the Soviet government told him that “there is a dossier on every Jew in the Soviet Union ready to be used if and when the case necessitates it.” He also reported that he met with Gavriel Shapiro the Jewish activist who is due to go on trial in Moscow next week, and with Shapiro’s defense lawyer, Sofia Kalistrasova. He said he met as well with Roman A. Rudenko, the chief Soviet prosecutor, with whom he discussed the trials of Soviet Jews.

Fuchsberg said he visited the Soviet Union to establish an inter-professional relationship between the trial lawyers of the US and USSR, and as a representative of Judy Silver Shapiro, Gavriel’s American wife. Fuchsberg said that Shapiro is “well, courageous and deeply committed to his religion and his convictions. He considers that he has dual citizenship and wants very much to live in Israel,” the lawyer said. Fuchsberg evaluated Shapiro’s lawyer as “competent and experienced in political cases like this.” As a result of the publicity in the West, Fuchsberg claimed, the Soviet officials took the unusual step of freeing Shapiro while his case undergoes further investigation.

Fuchsberg said he met with the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union Jacob D. Beam and with State Department officials. He said that he had meetings with other high Soviet officials, which he could not discuss at the moment.

The results of his trip, Fuchsberg said, were to open the door to a relationship between Soviet and American attorneys. While he does not himself intend to return to Moscow for the Shapiro trial, he is considering having another lawyer to represent him.

Jewish students distributed leaflets in Mexico City on behalf of Soviet Jews during a recent performance there of the Russian Moscow Circus.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund