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Uaw Protests Soviet Visa Fees

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The new head tax imposed by Soviet authorities on educated Jews wanting to emigrate to Israel is “a grim reminder of Nazi Germany’s attempt during World War II to ransom Jews for trucks and materials,” the UAW International Executive Board stated in a resolution several days ago. It termed the tax “a direct violation of all codes of civilized behavior as well as the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.”

The board added: “A UAW delegation, on a recent visit to the Soviet Union, noted everywhere strong evidence of industrial progress and social development. The head tax, however, can only be interpreted as a throwback to Russian practices of other centuries when prices were set on the liberty of serfs…” Whatever the dictates of Soviet foreign policy in the Middle East might be, “this act can only be interpreted as one of thinly-disguised anti-Semitism (or)…anti-intellectualism.” the resolution added.

“To justify the tax on the grounds that the Soviet State has paid for the education of the emigrants is an act of crass cost accounting which not even the most voracious private corporation would dare emulate. Elementary principles of social justice which we, as workers, have always struggled for, tell us that educational opportunities should be equally available to all, not used as a carrot to the political conformist or as a stick to the non-conformist.”

The resolution noted that the average prospective emigrant could never save enough money to pay a head tax which, in some cases, is an high as $37,000. The UAW “deeply regrets and is saddened by this Soviet act and calls upon that government…to rescind the policy and…to permit the free movement of all Soviet citizens across their own national frontiers,” the IEB resolution declared.

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