Plight of Soviet Jews

Lev Gendin, a 33-year-old Jewish activist from Moscow was beaten by hooligans who provoked him while he was standing in line for a drink of water, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry reported today. As he was being beaten around his head he called for help, but no one came to his aid. Bleeding from the head, he went to the local clinic where his cuts were stitched, the NCJS said. Gendin has been provoked previously by hooligans but this was the first time he was beaten. An electronics engineer, he applied in April, 1971 for an exit visa. The beating occurred last Thursday.

In another incident, the NCSJ reported that 25 Kishinev Jews, who had lost their jobs because they applied for exit visas, were warned against participating in a May Day parade in that city. The group had gone to the Kishinev municipal building to ask how they could participate in the parade for workers when they were unemployed. The deputy mayor told them that if they left their homes on May Day they might not return.

The NCSJ also reported that Eitan Finkelshtein, a 32-year-old scientist, was taken off a plane in Vilna as he was about to leave for Moscow reportedly to press his case for an exit visa.

Meanwhile, Alexander Feldman’s second lawyer, who has been trying to find documents to support his efforts to appeal the 3 1/2-year prison sentence at hard labor Feldman received last Nov., has been told by Soviet authorities that she can no longer represent the 26-year-old engineer, it was reported by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. Feldman’s first lawyer, I.S. Ezhov, who accused the Soviet government of railroading the Kiev activist to jail on trumped up charges of “malicious hooliganism.” was also forcibly “retired” from practice while trying to make an appeal. The second lawyer had tried to arrange a meeting between Feldman and his family but at the last moment the prison commandant refused, the SSSJ said.

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