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Two Soviet Jewish Prisoners Describe Conditions in Labor Camps

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Arkady Voloshin and Lazar Abramovich Trakhtenberg. arriving here early this morning after serving prison terms decreed in Kishinev, confirmed that Sylva Zalmanson Kuznetsov, the 28-year-old engineer serving a ten-year term ending in June, 1980, was transferred from Potma prison two weeks ago to solitary confinement for six months for aiding another Jewish woman prisoner. Convicted of complicity in a skyjacking plot, she has long been reported in worsening health.

Voloshin, 27, and Trakhtenberg, 26. went on trial in Kishinev in June, 1971, They were convicted on “anti-Soviet propaganda” and sentenced to two-year terms dating to their arrest in Aug. 1970. Arriving here with a large group of Soviet emigrants, they reported that the situation of the Jewish prisoners in Potma, in Soviet Mordovia, is deteriorating because of the authorities’ persistent “anti-Semitism.” They said “clashes with the camp’s management” over adequate medical care and normal routines “are a daily occurrence.”

Trakhtenberg and Voloshin told how they and two other Jewish prisoners conducted a Hebrew ulpan without books in that language, as the five books allowed each of them contained no Hebrew. They said the ulpan was conducted from memory. They stated that Soviet Jews’ desire for aliya had reached massive proportions, commenting: “Since our release we have visited some friends and seen in the various cities long queues near the Ovir (visa) offices of Jews desiring to come to Israel.” Among those welcoming the two ex-inmates were Trakhtenberg’s wife and Voloshin’s fiance; the latter came to Israel only a few months ago.

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