NEW YORK (Jun. 18)
Protests against Russia’s treatment of Soviet Jews, particularly the policy implicitly denying Jews emigration visas are being staged here and abroad.
The National Conference on Soviet Jewry reports five separate hunger strikes by Jews in Russia.
In the United States the demonstrations are coinciding with Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev’s visit for talks with President Nixon.
The Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry, a body of 70 organizations representing 2,000,000 Jews in the Metropolitan area, coordinated and is sponsoring a week-long vigil in front of the Soviet Mission to the UN to denounce Russia’s persecution of Soviet Jews. Students dressed in prison garb carrying placards demanding freedom for Soviet Jews, a prayer service and the showing of slides depicting oppression of the Jews in the USSR, marked the opening of the vigil this morning.
Bronx Borough President Robert Abrams and State Senator Harrison J. Goldin were among those leading the protest which will continue at the Soviet Mission from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through June 25. Representatives of member organizations, civic, religious and community leaders will take shifts during the week.
One thousand American professors today appealed to Brezhnev to release the Jewish prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union and to permit free movement for all classes of people, including academics, scientists, and professionals.
FORTY JEWS IN SOVIET CAMPS
The National Conference on Soviet Jewry reported that four of the hunger strikes in the Soviet Union mark the third anniversary of the first Leningrad trial.
According to the National Conference, there are presently over 40 Jewish prisoners of conscience in Soviet prison camps.
In Minsk, Lev Ousishcher, Naum Alshansky, Michil Matsevich, Schlomo and Ilya Golden began a hunger strike in front of a monument dedicated to the war-time death of 5000 Jews. It was reported that 7 persons in Kiev also initiated a hunger strike but no names were released.
The hunger strike by Jewish scientists which was begun in Moscow on June 10, is still continuing although one of the original seven strikers, Anatoly Liebgrober, received a visa and left the strike.
(Several Jewish organizations announced today in Paris that they will demonstrate on behalf of Soviet Jews during the coming visit of Leonid Brezhnev. The Soviet leader is due in Paris on June 25 for a three-day unofficial visit, at the invitation of President Georges Pompidou.)