Zalmanson on Way to Israel; Left Moscow and Arrived in Vienna

Silva Zalmanson, released from a Russian prison three weeks ago after serving four years of a 10-year sentence for an alleged hijack attempt, is expected in Israel tonight. She left Moscow this morning for Vienna where she is expected to board a plane that will bring her to Israel at about midnight. Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon was reportedly planning to greet her at the airport.

Mrs. Zalmanson was one of a group of Leningrad Jews convicted and sentenced in Dec. 1970 for allegedly attempting to hijack a Russian plane to escape to Israel. Her husband, Eduard Kuznetsov is serving a 15-year sentence for the same offense. Her brothers Vulf and Israel Zalmanson are serving sentences of 10 and 8 years, respectively.

According to reports from Moscow, Mrs. Zalmanson had a four-hour meeting yesterday with her husband but was not permitted to see her brothers. She told reporters at Moscow airport that she believed the pressure of public opinion abroad played a big part in her release and that she thought her husband would also be released before completing his sentence. One report said Mrs. Zalmanson expected to spend a day or so in Vienna before coming to Israel where she has an uncle.

She arrived in Vienna by a regular Soviet airliner and was immediately whisked off by police without permitting any newsmen to talk to her. At the Moscow airport she reportedly had difficulties with Soviet customs officials and only reached the plane the last minute, after the officials confiscated a golden bracelet and a necklace with a Star of David.

NEXT STORY