Heinemann Believes USSR Taking Positive Steps Toward Jewish Emigration

West Germany’s President Gustav Heinemann believes that the Soviet Union has taken a “positive attitude” toward Jewish emigration and that separated families will soon be re-united. Those sentiments were expressed on President Heinemann’s behalf in a letter written by an aide, Prof. Fritz Caspari, to Mrs. Esther Markish. Prof. Caspari, who is deputy director of the President’s office, assured Mrs. Markish of the President’s concern for the fate of her family.

Mrs. Markish is the widow of the Jewish poet Peretz Markish who was murdered during the Stalin purge of Jewish intellectuals in the early 1950s. She and her son, David, have been trying without success to emigrate to Israel where they have relatives. Their application for exit visas have been rejected repeatedly by Soviet authorities.

Prof. Caspari said in his letter the Dr. Heinemann “noted with deep concern the tragic fate of the Markish family but that the Soviet Union’s recent positive attitude toward emigration has allowed many Jews to leave the country” and “all signs point to the fact that this positive development will continue.”

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