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Appeal for Soviet Jew

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Grigori Svirski, a professor of Russian language and literature at the University of Maryland, has appealed to people of good will to help his cousin, Lev Rozenberg, emigrate from the Soviet Union along with his wife and mother-in-law to live with relatives in Israel.

According to Svirski, a former Moscow activist and author, Rozenberg, 50, his wife, Valentina, 49, and his mother-in-law, Shifra Sharf, 83, first applied for an exit visa in 1975. The visa application was rejected because Soviet officials claimed that Rozenberg’s former job as an engineer at the Toupolev airplane plant was classified as “secret.”

Svirski said that “the term within which secrecy must be maintained long ago expired. More than five years have passed since he changed his ‘secret’ job for a ‘non-secret’ one.” The family, Svirski added, re-applied eight times since the first refusal and four times was turned down without any explanation; four other letters of visa requests remained unanswered.

“Mr. Rozenberg has been writing letters to (Soviet President Leonid) Brezhnev, (Supreme Soviet chairman Nikolai) Podgorny, and other authorities demanding a formal written explanation of the refusals, reasons, and the exact time they would have to wait. He never received an answer, ” Svirski said.”The point of the matter is blatant lawlessness, even from the standpoint of ‘Soviet law.'”

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