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Soviet Poet Says Remains of Holocaust Victims in Crimea Were Looted for Gold Fillings

A mass grave in the Crimea containing the remains of 3,000 Jews murdered during the Holocaust was looted two years ago by local people who removed gold tooth fillings from the skeletons, according to Andrei Voznesensky, an outspoken Soviet poet and cultural leader who visited Geneva last week for a poetry reading. He told the newspaper La Suisse that he saw the grave robbers in action. The authorities wanted to keep the ugly incident quiet but he wrote a poem about it. Later the authorities erected a monument at the site where at least 12,000 Jews died, the poet said.

Voznesensky was largely responsible for the exhibition which opened in Moscow this month of the paintings of the late Marc Chagall, an old friend of his. He told La Suisse that he received death threats from an anti-Semitic organization in the USSR known as “Paymat.”