Victor Perelman, Family, in Israel
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Victor Perelman, Family, in Israel

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Vieter Perelman, the Soviet Jewish journalist who refused to pay the head tax to leave the Soviet Union, arrived here Friday from Vienna with his wife, daughter and his parents together with a group of Soviet Jews. “At least 20 Jewish academicians and their families in the Soviet Union who insisted on not paying the ransom money demanded by the authorities have received exit visas without paying anything,” Perelman told newsmen at Lod Airport. “This is the only way to fight the ransom money. Only this is the right way.”

Perelman, 43, a former member of the editorial staff of the Soviet Writers Union publication, Literaturnaya Gazetta, was ousted from his position the day after he asked for exit visas. When he was asked to pay 17,000 rubles and refused, the authorities “gave in and here I am,” he said.

Following the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes in Munich Sept. 5, Perelman said that some 70 Jews demonstrated near the Lebanese Embassy in Moscow and that he was one of those arrested after the demonstration and charged with organizing it. Those arrested, he said, were questioned by senior investigators but were not prosecuted because the Russians did not want to focus public attention again on the issue of Soviet Jewry.

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