Leonid Slepak Arrives in Israel

Leonid Slepak, son of Soviet-Jewish activist Vladimir Slepak, arrived in Israel last night with his wife Olga, 19, their three-month-old daughter and a message from his father who was arrested six months ago and is serving a five-year sentence in a forced labor camp in Siberia.

The elder Slepak, who has been seeking an exit visa for the past 10 years, sent an appeal to all aliya activists to work for his release and emigration to Israel. It was on his advice that his 20-year-old son refused to enlist in the Soviet army when he was due for military service and hid out for two years in a village where he met his wife. He described his own release from the Soviet Union as something of a miracle attributable to the vagueries of the Soviet bureaucracy.

Although he had evaded military service, he explained, one government agency in the USSR does not interfere in the affairs of another. He was not only granted a visa but was allowed to visit his father shortly before he left Russia, he said.

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