WASHINGTON (May. 21)
President Nixon and Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev are being asked by Congressmen to bring about the release of Evgeny Levich, the 25-year-old Soviet Jewish astrophysicist who was abducted by Soviet officials in a Moscow street last week and reportedly sent to the Zabaikal military camp in Eastern Siberia on the Sino-Soviet border. Earlier, Evgeny’s distraught mother, Mrs. Tanya Levich, in a telephone conversation from Moscow to a representative in New York of the Student-Struggle For Soviet Jewry, dictated a letter in English to President Nixon beseeching him to “use your influence to save my seriously ill son.”
Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (R.NY) urged Brezhnev and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin to “Use their good offices” in obtaining the release of Levich, the son of the famed Soviet Jewish physicist Benjamin Levich. “Both father and son have made public their desires to leave Russia.” Gilman said in reporting that he had sent messages to the Soviet leaders.
Another letter on the subject was sent to Nixon and Dobrynin by Rep. Bertram L. Podell (D.NY). Podell said today that the Levich kidnapping provided further evidence of the need to pass the Mills-Vanik Bill which would deny most favored nation status to the Soviet Union until it relaxed its emigration policy.
In his letter to the President Podell said that Levich’s abduction “particularly at this crucial point in the relations between these two nations is unconscionable.” Writing to Dobrynin, Podell demanded that young Levich “be immediately released and returned to Moscow for the medical treatment he so desperately needs,” and then permitted to emigrate.