TEL AVIV (Aug. 13)
David Markish, son of the Jewish poet, Peretz Markish, who was murdered in 1952 with 23 other Soviet Jewish intellectuals by Stalin, said Kaddish in Hebrew yesterday at a Moscow crematorium in one of many observances throughout the world of the 20th anniversary of the executions. More than 50 Jews attended the service at the crematorium where Solomon Michoels, one of the 24, was buried, according to a telephone report today by David to his wife Irene, in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of Jews visited the Markish home yesterday where the poet and his mother, Esther, are living, denied permission to leave the Soviet Union, despite worldwide protests. The Markishes received many letters and cables from foreign countries. The young poet, who has been forced to work as a porter since he applied for a visa, also told his wife that the Soviet Interior Ministry had rejected his request and that of his mother to relinquish their Russian citizenship.
He added that he intends to appeal to the Supreme Soviet on the request. The Herut Party world executive sent expressions of solidarity to the Markishes, declaring the party would do all in its power to help them leave for Israel.
(About 100 passersby joined a brief ceremony at the Isaiah Wall near the United Nations Friday in New York to commemorate the 1952 murders. Wreaths from Hadassah, the Congress for Jewish Culture, the Zionist Organization of America, the Labor Zionist Alliance, B’nai B’rith and other Jewish groups were placed on the steps from which speakers denounced Soviet anti-Semitism. The memorial service was organized by the Workmen’s Circle.
(The National Conference on Soviet Jewry issued a booklet, “The Night of the Murdered Poets,” containing English translations of the works of some of Stalin’s victims. The booklet said that until repression against Soviet Jews ceased, “the echoes of Aug. 12,” the anniversary of the murders, “will not be stilled.” Some 100 writers and scholars addressed an appeal to Soviet President Podgorny, urging him to “restore to the Soviet Jews their fundamental human rights.”
(The NCSJ pamphlet was described by Sen. George McGovern as “a deeply moving document.” In a letter to Richard Maass, chairman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, Sen. McGovern added that “the most compelling memorial to those Jewish artists and poets” murdered 20 years ago “is the effort that hundreds of thousands of Americans, Jews and non-Jews, are now making in support of oppressed Soviet Jews who wish to emigrate so that they may live freely as Jews.”
(In London, more than 40 leading British, American and French writers, Jewish and non-Jewish, sent yesterday an appeal to the Soviet Union on the anniversary. The letter said in part “20 years later, in the absence of reparation of an irreparable wrong, is it too much to hope that we can call on the Soviet leaders to authorize Soviet Jews who wish to live a full Jewish life and have the possibility of self-expression, to be entitled to do so?”
(In Rio de Janeiro, a mass meeting was held today to commemorate the anniversary. The occasion was the commemoration of the Chaim Nachman Bialik Library. Dr. Samuel Malamud, president of the Rio Jewish Federation, speaking at the meeting called for the liberation of imprisoned Jewish activists in Soviet prisons and for an end to mistreatment of Russian Jews seeking to emigrate.
(In Montreal, the Canadian Jewish Congress sponsored the sending of hundreds of cables by Canadian Jews to Soviet officials in Canada and Russia, asking for the release of the Markishes from Russia. To commemorate the 20th anniversary, Melech Ravitch, the Jewish writer, and Mrs. Rochel Cohn, both of Montreal, wrote a Yiddish poem honoring the memory of the 24 Jewish martyrs.)