Militia Prevents Jews from Attending Choral Synagogue During Rosh Hashana

More than 100 militia men surrounded the Moscow Choral Synagogue this weekend and prevented access to the synagogue at certain times of the day, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry reported here today. Jews were forbidden access to the synagogue after 7 p.m. for Rosh Hashana evening services and after 12 noon for daytime services. Any group which gathered in the area was dispersed, according to NCSJ. In addition, traffic was rerouted from surrounding streets to the narrow street on which the synagogue is located.

A group of 94 Moscow Jews lodged a complaint with the City Soviet in Moscow protesting the actions of the militia which they considered “premeditated action which openly violates constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion,” the NCSJ said. The president of the City Soviet did not offer a solution to the problem, according to NCSJ, so the group sent a telegram to Nikolai V. Podgorny, President of the Supreme Soviet, protesting the inaction.

Outside Kiev, 11 Jews were arrested while visiting Babi Yar and sentenced to 15 days, the NCSJ reported. No immediate reason was known for the arrests and only two of the 11 were identified. They are Yuri Soroko and his wife, both of Kiev.

NCSJ also reported that two Jewish women, Eleanora and Victoria Poltinnikova, both doctors from Novosibirsk, were arrested Saturday in Kiev and held under guard until late evening. The authorities accused the women of informing Jewish activists in Moscow of the Babi Yar arrests, according to NCSJ. Both doctors were instructed to stay out of Kiev until tomorrow, and not to return to Novosibirsk by way of Moscow. According to SSSJ, the two women have been in Kiev visiting their sick grandfather for the last two months.

NEXT STORY