MINNEAPOLIS (Apr. 27)
Seven residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul held a three-day hunger strike last week in sympathy with Vladimir Slepak and his family which began a hunger strike April 13. At the start of their fast, the seven Jews said they were joining with “dozens of other people in communities across the United States, in Canada, England and Europe, in a demonstration of sympathy and solidarity with a man who deserves our utmost respect and admiration. Vladimir Slepak symbolizes for all of us the spirit and strength of the Soviet Jewish exodus movement.”
Meanwhile, Slepak today began the third week of his hunger strike in protest against five years of official refusal to allow him and his family to emigrate. According to sources in the United States, Slepak told Western newsmen that he was still feeling well on a diet of mineral water and would continue his fast “as long as I can.”
His wife, Maria, said she ended her fast yesterday. Their eldest son, Alexander, who had also been fasting, began taking food last Wednesday on the advice of doctors. Vladimir Slepak said he had telephoned sympathizers in the U.S. who told him that thousands of letters and telegrams had been sent in his support. He told the sympathizers that he had received only one postcard.