NEW YORK (Sep. 30)
A Jewish doctor in Vinnitsa in the Ukraine has been accused of “attempted poisoning of children,” it was reported today by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. In a letter obtained by the SSSJ, Dr. Mikhail Stern, his wife, Ida, and their sons, Victor, a physicist, and August, a biologist, all of whom have applied for permission to emigrate to Israel, wrote that the charge and various forms of intimidation began immediately after they received an invitation from their relative in Israel.
According to the letter, the Sterns’ apartment was broken into “by unknown persons for unknown reasons. On May 25 our father was arrested by officials of the KGB. Ten men broke into the apartment in the most brutal manner without any warning.” All of Dr. Stern’s possessions and papers were gone through, the letter continued, and an accusation of “attempting to poison little children who were under his care as a doctor” has been prepared.
“Investigating officials are browbeating witnesses to make them lie and give testimony accusing a doctor they have always trusted and respected of the intention to poison their children,” the letter stated. Dr. Stern, 56, has been a practicing physician for more than 30 years. The case, according to the letter, has been handed over to the Procurator’s office “with instructions to prepare some sort of case so that our father could be brought to trial.”
A SSSJ spokesman commented that “this is reminiscent both of medieval ‘poisoning’ accusations against Jews and of Stalin’s ‘doctors plot.’ How can the Kremlin say it will abide by the Jackson Amendment when it openly violates standards of basic human conduct?”