Jewish Emigration from USSR is Same First Two Months This Year As in 1972

Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union bound for Israel continued at approximately the same rate during the first two months of this year as during 1972 when approximately 31,500 reached Israel, a well placed State Department official informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. About 5000 Jews emigrated during Jan and Feb., the official said. During the week ending March 3, the number was 572 which was described as average.

The statistics, the official said, are received from Jewish voluntary agencies engaged in assisting the emigrants, nearly all of whom are flown from the Soviet Union to Vienna where a center nearby functions as a reception area and to transport them to Israel.

Non-Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union the official added, is not on the magnitude of Jewish emigration at this time. About 500 non-Jews, he said, arrive annually in the United States. Many more than that enter West Germany each year in the past few years. The official thought the latter were mainly Volga Germans. Statistics were unavailable on Soviet emigrants to other Western countries.

Meanwhile, it was reported that some 300 Jewish intellectuals have appealed to U.S. Congressional leaders for help in emigrating to Israel. In an open letter to Sen. Henry M, Jackson (D.Wash.) and Rep. Wilbur D.Mills, who have sponsored amendments in both houses of Congress to link East-West trade to a relaxation of Soviet emigration rules, the signers stated that public opinion in the West has already been a significant factor in enabling Soviet Jews to emigrate. The appeal, made available to American newsmen in Moscow, came on the eve of Secretary of Treasury George P. Shultz’s arrival in Moscow.

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