Harassment Still Lot of Soviet Jews Seeking Exit Visas
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Harassment Still Lot of Soviet Jews Seeking Exit Visas

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Hardships, harassment and delay continue to be the lot of Soviet Jews applying for emigration visas according to the latest information reaching here from the Soviet Union. In Kishinev, where newspapers have carried anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic articles in recent weeks, applicants who were granted visas have been forced to evacuate their apartments one month before their scheduled departure for Israel.

For the past six months, the family reunion invitations from Israel which the Soviet authorities require before they, will even consider a visa application, have not been getting through to Jews in Kishinev. The same situation prevails in Kiev. In the latter city, a scientific seminar run by “refusniks” was harassed by police. The last one was held in a park after two Jewish scientists who came from Moscow to lecture were physically elected from the city. In Moscow, the 100th session of a seminar on “mathematical application to medicine” was held, however, at the apartment of Prof. Alexander Lerner.


Jewish sources reported that Boris Shtern, a member of the journalists’ union in Kaliningrad, has been refused an exit visa and his son, Maurice, has been threatened with conscription into the army. In Moscow, Joseph Elkind, a lawyer who once headed a colony for the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents, has applied for an emigration visa but has received no reply. He fears he may be turned down because his former employer was the Ministry of Interior. A group of Jewish army veterans in Moscow who were refused visas because of their military service, took their case directly to the Soviet Defense Ministry last month. They were interviewed separately and told their cases would be reviewed.

Thirty-four Jewish activists in Minsk, among them former Red Army Col. Lev Ovischer, have signed a petition to the Soviet government urging it to resume diplomatic relations with Israel in the interests of Middle East peace. Ovischer had applied for a visa to go to Israel but was refused. It was reported, meanwhile, that the widow of the late Col. Yefim Davidovich, the Red Army hero who died in Minsk last April, has applied for an emigration visa for herself, her daughter and grandson. Her husband had been repeatedly refused a visa on grounds of security.

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