NEW YORK (Dec. 20)
Five thousand cablegrams were dispatched to Kremlin leaders today appealing for amnesty for 44 Jewish “Prisoners of Conscience” on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the USSR, when amnesties are generally granted to political prisoners and others. The cables, bearing signatures of more than 20,000 Americans of all faiths, were part of a new campaign on behalf of the prisoners launched by the Greater New York Conference for Soviet Jewry. They were addressed to President Nikolai V. Podgorny and Premier Aleksei N, Kosygin.
The campaign was announced at a press conference by Brooklyn District Attorney Eugene Gold, president of the Brooklyn Coalition for Soviet Jewry and vice-chairman of the Greater New York Conference. Gold said that past experience has shown that cable campaigns and other pressures on Soviet leaders bring results. He said the Greater New York Conference has also asked President Nixon to intercede on behalf of the prisoners.
Among those attending the press conference with Gold were Brooklyn Borough President Sebastion Leone; Rabbi Benjamin Kreitman of Congregation Shaare Torah; Rabbi Solomon Scharfman of the Young Israel of Flatbush; Malcolm Hoenlein, executive director of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry; and Rev. Charles Straut, Jr. of the Council of Churches.