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Yefim Davidovich Dead at 54

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Col. Yefim Davidovich, the former Red Army hero and one of the most prominent Soviet Jews denied permission to emigrate to Israel, died yesterday of a heart attack at his home in Minsk, according to Jewish sources here. He was 54 years old. A spokesman for the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry recalled that Col. Davidovich had suffered his fifth heart attack several weeks ago. A number of leading Soviet Jewish activists pleaded with Soviet authorities last month to let him emigrate in view of his condition, but permission was denied.

Col. Davidovich had sought an exit visa for three years but was told it would not be in the interest of the state for him to emigrate. He was pensioned out of the army in 1971 and later became a frequent protester against the repression of Jews in the USSR, and against the authorities’ refusal to let him leave. Last May, activist sources said he had been officially stripped of his rank and deprived of his officer’s pension.

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