8 Soviet Jewish Cases Cited As Evidence of Harassment

Eight cases in which Jews who have applied for exit visas got into trouble with Soviet authorities were cited yesterday by Avraham Harman president of the National Council for Soviet Jewry as evidence of a pattern of deliberate harassment and intimidation intended to dissuade Jews from applying for emigration. Harman, president of Hebrew University, said this pattern persisted even as Soviet spokesmen were telling the world that nothing hindered the departure of Jews from the USSR.

He mentioned two brothers, Grigori and Yasha Goldstein in Tblisi, Georgia, who were arrested shortly after applying for exit visas. In Rostov, Lazar Lubarsky was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for allegedly slandering the Soviet Union and giving away secret documents, the nature of which were never revealed, after he applied for permission to leave, Harman said.

In Sverdlovsk, Valery Kukui has been under arrest for two years and his friends in Israel have not had any word from him in the past 11 months. In Vinitza, Ukraine, Isak Shkolnik has been placed under arrest for espionage because he was friendly with English engineers who supervised the construction of a factory in the town. Shkolnik was charged only after he applied for a visa, Harman said.

In Minsk, former Col. Yefim Davidovitch was hospitalized for a heart attack after undergoing a series of interrogations by the KGB (secret police) and has been threatened with confinement to a mental institution because his insistence on free emigration for Jews is considered a sign of mental instability, Harman said. Also in Minsk Gedalya Kipnis, 68, a painter and friend of Davidovitch is awaiting trial for allegedly attempting to smuggle out of the country a document by Davidovitch charging overt anti-Semitism in the USSR.

In Moscow, the case of Aleksander Temkin and his daughter, Marina, received world-wide publicity after the girl was forcibly taken to an undisclosed place because her father wanted her to accompany him to Israel. The Matzevitch family in Minsk has not been allowed to take their three-year-old daughter to Israel because her non-Jewish grandmother demands custody of the child, Harman said.

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