NEW YORK (Aug. 9)
“I am surrounded by stone walls which thus far have proved to be impenetrable to my personal efforts,” prominent Soviet scientist. Prof. Benjamin G. Levich summed up the efforts of months of appeals, on behalf of his son, Evgeny Levich, a 25-year-old astrophysicist. Evgeny was drafted into the army May 16, in apparent retaliation for his father’s activities in his own struggle to obtain permission to emigrate to Israel.
In a telephone conversation, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry reported, Prof. Levich pleaded: “Evgeny has been made to serve in the army in spite of his being totally unfit. The conditions of his service are such that his life is in danger.” In response to Prof. Levich’s contention that his son is unfit for military duty, officials answered that “since he has been drafted — that means he is healthy.”
The case of Evgeny Levich has attracted the attention of prominent political and academic figures who have issued appeals to Soviet authorities on his behalf. According to Prof. Levich, the authorities’ activities thus far have been “in violation of all the accepted legal standards in the country ..it is necessary to emphasize that what has happened to Evgeny Levich is by no means an ordinary procedure… All this is meant as a severe punishment for his openly expressed national and moral convictions.”