Moscow Scientists Appeal to U.S. Nobel Laureates to Join Fight for Rights

Three Moscow scientists have appealed to American Nobel Prize Laureates in Science to help them in halting the harassment of scientists in the Soviet Union, which prevents them from choosing their own place of residence and work. The appeal was contained in a letter forwarded to the Nobel Laureates by the Academic Committee on Soviet Jewry.

"The fate of scientists in all countries is interconnected as never before," the Moscow scientists wrote. Before it becomes natural for other governments to join that of the USSR in considering scientists the property of the state, the world’s scientific leaders must band together and protest, they said. "If there will be no fight for our rights today, tomorrow may be too late."

The three who signed the letter are Moisey Giterman, Aleksandr Voronel, and Mark Azbel, all professors in Moscow. All have applied for exit permits and been refused. In transmitting the letter, Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau, chairman of the Academic Committee on Soviet Jewry, asked the Nobel Laureates to imagine themselves in the position of their Soviet colleagues, most of whom, as a result of applying for exit visas, are unable to work or leave. In those circumstances, he wrote, "you will not be able to remain silent."

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