Downward Trend Continues in Emigration of Soviet Jews

Although the number of Jews leaving the Soviet Union increased slightly last month compared to the previous month, the general trend is downward, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) reported today. According to SSSJ spokesman Glenn Richter, 1141 Jews arrived in Vienna from the USSR in May while the figure for April was 1115. Of the latest arrivals, 84 percent did not proceed to Israel.

This was confirmed today by information given the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by the Intergovernmental Migration Committee in Geneva which reported that of the 1141 arrivals in Vienna last month, only 250 went to Israel.

Richter noted that during the 12 months of 1979, the average monthly figure of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union was 4200 and that in 1980 it dropped to an average of 1800. The Soviet authorities “completely controled the situation,” he said. He reported that the “current tactic” of Soviet authorities is to send letters to “refuseniks” saying they can emigrate. However, the date on which they are ordered to report to the immigration office is invariably later than the date of expiration of their exit visas, Richter said.

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