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Young Soviet Jewish Activist Who Sought Medical Treatment in the West Dies in the USSR

The death of Alexander Landsman, the 17-year old Soviet Jewish boy whose parents had requested permission for him to emigrate from the Soviet Union in order to seek treatment of leukemia in the West, was announced by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. The Conference was the primary sponsor of the family’s request for permission to leave the Soviet Union.

Landsman died in Tallinn last Sunday, a Conference spokesperson said. The Landsman family was refused permission to emigrate when they first applied in September 1976, but they renewed their appeal to Soviet officials on humanitarian grounds earlier last year, when their son developed cancer. The spokesperson said that the parents had taken Alexander to Tallinn from their home in Moscow in a final attempt to seek treatment of the leukemia.

The boy’s aunt, Bella Belostozki, was granted permission to leave the Soviet Union four years ago and at present lives with her husband and mother in northern New Jersey. Mrs. Belostozki has been active in seeking her nephew’s release from the Soviet Union and has contacted medical experts around the would to intervene on her nephew’s behalf.

“The tragedy of Alexander Landsman is one more example of the Soviet Union’s inhumane treatment of its Jewish citizens,” the Conference spokesman said. “The Landsmans sought nothing more than the right to have their son treated by doctors of their choice.” The spokesperson called on the Soviet government to grant permission to the Landsman family to leave the Soviet Union immediately.

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