Flight of Soviet Jews

The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry charged today that “the screws are now on again” after the combined pressures of the second World Conference on Soviet Jewry and the 25th Communist Party Congress led to the release of several scores of Jews.

The SSSJ reported that Zachar Tesker of Moscow was placed under house arrest after he sought to demonstrate with his wife and child against repeated refusals for exit to Israel. Economist Ida Nudel reported an attempt by police to beat her up and Ilya Shostekovsky of Leningrad was dismissed from work for seeking a visa and was then warned he might be tried as a “parasite.” Maria Neifach of Riga, who is pregnant, was given permission to join her husband Alexander in Israel, but at the same time her in-laws. Emanuel and Tamara Neifach who are in their 70s, were refused visas.

According to the SSSJ, anti-Jewish articles attacking Israel and exit applicants by name have appeared in Derbent’s local press and the Jewish cemetery there has been vandalized. Nevertheless, applications to Israel continue. POC Anatoly Malkin has been transferred to very hard labor and has lost more than 20 pounds.

Gessia Penson of Riga, who journeyed to Moscow three times to demand freedom for herself and her imprisoned artist son Boris, was permitted to visit him after he was brought to Riga from the labor camp. She was subsequently given a visa and is now in Israel, the SSSJ said.

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