Nudel: No Secrets

Long-time refusenik Ida Nudel has produced a lengthy and detailed account of her work as an economist in the technical evaluation section of a microbiological institute concerned with the needs of agriculture and the food industry, according to the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.

Employed there 16 years ago when she applied to emigrate, Nudel, 55, writes that if her section was concerned with issues other than food and agriculture, “I was not and am not aware of them.” She adds that although some sections of the institute were “closed,” her own work was based on general areas, which the authorities have classified as merely “second-degree security.”

Told in 1971 by an official at the Moscow OVIR, “You had a second-degree security clearance until September 1971… we know that you do not possess any secret information, but you could have overheard something,” Nudel was advised that her emigration ‘is undesirable until 1977.”

In 1978, Nudel hung a banner from her Moscow apartment window which stated “KGB, give me my visa.” When agents tore the banner down, she replaced it with others, and finally with a cloth bearing the Star of David. For this, she was arrested, imprisoned and sent into exile on charges of malicious hooliganism. She has been living in the Moldavian city of Bendery, where she has been frequently followed and harassed. On occasion, she has been able to visit friends in Moscow.

Nudel seeks to join her sister, Elana Fridman, in Israel. Lilith magazine has mounted a national women’s campaign for Nudel’s freedom, asking that individual petitions be sent to Raissa Gorbachev, wife of the Soviet leader, via Lilith, 250 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

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