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Russians Return Letters from Israelis to Their Relatives That Have a Mail Stamp Bearing the Likeness

Hundreds of letters mailed by Israelis to their relatives in the Soviet Union recently have been returned to Israel because the Soviet authorities object to the stamp on the envelopes.

The overseas mail stamp bears the likeness of Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism. The Russians, unwilling to have his picture distributed among Soviet Jews, have not allowed the letters to reach their destination and are returning them, overprinted with the words “addressee unknown.”

Soviet aliya activists in Israel are appealing to the Israeli postal authorities to supply stamps for letters to the Soviet Union with the portrait of a Jewish personality that would not cause the Russians to object.