NEW YORK (Dec. 27)
Soviet secret police squads conducted all-day searches late last week at the home of Victor and Irina Brailovsky and those of three other Jewish activists, according to information received by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ). The Brailovskys, both doctors of science, first applied to emigrate in 1972 and were denied permission because Irina allegedly had access to secret information. Their 17-year-old son, Leonid, applied for an exit visa on his own at the beginning of this year and was also refused. Victor is an organizer of the Moscow Seminar of Jewish Scientists.
Also searched in Moscow was the apartment of Larissa Vilenskaya, one of 22 “refusnik” women who met with Deputy Minister of the Interior Boris Shumilin Nov. 15. Vilenskaya and Irina Brailovsky are both members of the Moscow Women’s Group.
In Leningrad, the KGB searched the apartment of Gregory and Aleksandr Genusov. Both brothers have had their emigration applications refused because they are considered to have had access to state secrets because they were in the army.
Jerry Goodman, executive director of the NCSJ, said this type of harassment often occurs just before major holidays and Americans, therefore, are unaware of the incident. “Emigration has been on the rise and a number of people have been suggesting that the Soviets are finally shaping up. Of course, this regressive step reminds us that Soviet Jews are susceptible to many types of pressure,” Goodman warned.
“We consider this particular incident a setback,” Goodman added. “It occurred just as Secretary of State Cyrus Vance was meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and must be interpreted as a signal to the United States that the Soviets are not going to let foreign countries interfere with what they call ‘internal affairs.’”
The Brailovskys had scientific books and articles confiscated, along with mathematical notes and formulas and a permit to use the Lenin Library. Prof. Grigory Frieman, who was visiting at the time, was detained, but it is unclear whether charges were filed against him. The fourth search was conducted at the home of a Mrs. Rappaport, who is believed to be an English teacher. The secret police took historic research materials dealing with the Middle Ages and a number of philosophy books, the NCSJ reported.