TEL AVIV (Sep. 11)
Silva Zalmanson landed at Ben Gurion Airport shortly before midnight last night and the throng on hand to greet her gave vent to the emotions that attended her long ordeal of imprisonment in the Soviet Union and her struggle for the right to emigrate. Acting Premier Yigal Allon greeted Mrs. Zalmanson with a kiss as she stepped off the plane from Vienna.
MK Zalman Abramoff welcomed her on behalf of the Public Committee for Russian Jewry. She was embraced by Ruth Alexandrovitch who had herself endured a term in a Soviet prison before she was permitted to leave for Israel. Silva’s uncle Abraham Zalmanson, and other Israeli relatives surrounded her. She was engulfed in a sea of flowers and presented with a silver Star of David. Russian customs officials confiscated her gold necklace and Star of David at Moscow Airport yesterday.
Mrs. Zalmanson, who served four years at a strict regime labor camp out of a ten-year sentence imposed at the first Leningrad hijack trial in Dec. 1970, tried to express her feelings in Hebrew. But she soon lapsed into Russian as, tearful and smiling, she spoke of her gratitude to the thousands in Israel and throughout the world who supported her and helped secure her release She pledged to continue her struggle until the last “prisoner of conscience” is released from Russian prisons.
Mrs. Zalmanson’s husband, Eduard Kuznetsov, is serving a 15-year sentence and her brothers Vulf and Israel are serving sentences of 10 and eight years, respectively. She told reporters that she had been allowed to visit her husband in prison six days ago. She said he was keeping a diary, parts of which have already reached Western sources and may soon be published.
Silva was taken from the airport to her uncle’s flat in Bat Yam where she immediately put through a telephone call to her father, Joseph, in Riga. “Papa, it’s me, Silva, I’m home,” she said in an outburst of joy.