LONDON (Oct. 24)
New reports of harassment, break-ins and threats against visa applicants and Jews generally continued to pour in from the Soviet Union today, less than a week after the announcement in Washington of the U.S.-Soviet understanding that was supposed to eliminate harassment and ease visa restrictions.
Jewish sources in the Soviet Union reported that militiamen continued to invade the apartments occupied by Moscow Jews who lost their jobs after applying for exit visas. The militiamen said their orders were to check on unemployed persons of Jewish nationality who had applied for emigration, the sources said.
In Kiev, hooligans broke into the apartment of Jewish activist Yuri Tartakowski and stole money and documents while Tartakowski was staying with his grandfather, Jewish sources reported. It was the second time since Oct. 18 that an attempt was made to enter the flat. The sources said that since Tartakowski has been under day and night surveillance by the KGB, the burglars could not have broken in without the connivance of the secret police.
INCIDENTS IN ODESSA, MINSK, MOSCOW
The Odessa flat of another Jewish activist. Lev Roitbard was searched by the KGB last week. They confiscated Hebrew books and a food parcel from abroad. On the next day. Mrs. Roitbard was charged with black market activities. Her husband was asked to give evidence against her but refused, Jewish sources reported.
In Minsk, the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Republic, warnings were distributed to workers not to talk to foreign correspondents. Although the warnings were addressed to all workers, they were handed only to Jewish workers, sources reported. The Byelorussian state publishing house announced a second printing of Vladimir Begun’s book accusing Jews of counter-revolutionary activity. About 25,000 copies of the anti-Semitic book have already been distributed.
Meanwhile. Alexander Voronel, the 43-year-old Jewish physicist, has gone into hiding to avoid arrest on charges of parasitism. Voronel who had to leave his job 2 1/2 years ago because he applied for an exit visa and has been unable to find other employment, was summoned to a hearing in Moscow yesterday. He was accused of “parasitism” and given two weeks to find a job or go to jail.
CAUTION ON COMPLIANCE UNDERSCORED
(In New York, commenting on these latest developments, Stanley H. Lowell, chairman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, said today that this only underscores the need to watch closely Soviet compliance with the terms of the Kissinger-Jackson letters of understanding and once again shows that compliance in practice by the Soviets must be the basic consideration in the trade-emigration issue.
“Ten years ago, responding to a rash of economic charges levelled against Jews, the International Commission for Jurists documented the anti-Semitic nature of these trials.” Lowell said “If the Soviet leaders are attempting to revive this technique and use it against potential emigrants, then the understanding between Congress and the President will be rendered meaningless.”)