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Two Jewish Colonels in the USSR Demoted to Privates; Stripped of Pensions After Applying for Visas

Two Jewish colonels, retired after 25 years service in the Soviet Army, were reduced in rank to privates and stripped of their pensions after they applied for visas to go to Israel, it was learned today. The two have written of their plight to veterans organizations in Israel. Their pensions apparently were the only source of income for their families.

The two men identified themselves as Col. Leib Petrovitz Obsistcher and Lt, Col. Nahum Mordechowitz Ilashansky, both holders of medals for valor in World War II, Both retired from the Army in 1961 and asked recently for permission to emigrate to Israel. In their letters, copies of which have been sent to veterans organizations in Europe and the US, the two officers asked for membership in the Israeli Veterans Association for their help in their efforts to leave the USSR.