Soviet Refusenik Arrives in Israel

Mark Nashpitz, a long-term Soviet refusenik, arriving here last night with his wife Ludmilla and their five-year-old son Benjamin, said the first thing he wanted to do was to taste his mother’s gefilte fish.

Nashpitz, who first applied for an exit visa in 1971, had been told some weeks ago that he would never get a visa. But last Friday, he was suddenly informed that he and his family had to leave the Soviet Union within 48 hours.

They left Moscow for Vienna yesterday morning and arrived at Ben Gurion Airport last night and were met by Mark’s parents, Chaim and Ita who live in Haifa, who came to Israel some years ago. Chaim Nashpitz defected while on a mission with a delegation to Denmark 29 years ago, when Mark was eight years old.

Mark, a specialist in mouth diseases, was first arrested after attending a peaceful emigration demonstration in Moscow and sent to Siberia for five years. Also arrested with him was Boris Tsitlyonik and others who received sentences of 10-15 days in prison.

Nashpitz and Tsitlyonik were the first refuseniks to be granted Israeli citizenship while in the Soviet Union, and the latter was allowed to leave for Israel some years ago. Boris received an additional prison term for refusing to serve in the Red Army when called to the army reserves, on the grounds that he was an Israeli citizen.

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