Kharkov Authorities Claim to Have Uncovered a ‘zionist Cell’

Authorities in Kharkov have called a series of meetings to “expose” a “Zionist cell” allegedly operating in the Ukrainian city, it was reported by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. Workers are being urged to attend these meetings which are being held in work places throughout Kharkov.

This latest development, the Conference reported, follows the arrest on Aug. 28 of Alexander Paritsky, a 43-year-old doctor of engineering who is one of the leading figures of the Jewish emigration and culture movements in Kharkov. Paritsky and his wife Polina are two of the principals of the Kharkov “Free Jewish University,” which instructs refuseniks and their children in secular and Jewish cultural subjects. The Paritskys and their two children have repeatedly applied to emigrate to Israel since 1976.

The Conference said that reports coming from the Ukraire speak of a general climate of fear gripping the Jewish community in that city. Eight Jews who had sent a letter of protest to the Central Committee of the Communist Party in September 1980, have been called to the Procurator’s office and instructed to sign a statement confirming that the letter was, indeed, an “anti-Soviet” document. It is known that at least one of those Jews refused to sign the statement. According to the Conference the authorities intimated that refusal to sign the statement would lead to severe punishment.

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