BONN (Nov. 13)
Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union arriving in Germany has dropped to about 20 people a day, according to the East Berlin office which handles the applications of newcomers.
The office, which was inherited from the former East Germany, is about to be closed in the coming days or weeks.
The office staff said that two or three weeks ago, more than 50 Soviet Jews were arriving daily in Berlin. The declining number since then is explained by restrictions and controls imposed at the borders since Germany was united Oct. 3.
About 2,500 Soviet Jews have come to Germany since the time the Berlin Wall was breached last November.
On Tuesday, Heinz Galinski, the head of the German Jewish community, asked the government to open its doors to Soviet Jews.
The issue of accepting and absorbing Soviet Jews here is still a hotly contested one. The German Jewish community has called for unrestrictive immigration of Soviet Jews, citing the need to reinforce and revitalize its ranks.
The government has been trying to restrict the immigration but is stopping short of sending home Soviet Jews who have already arrived in the country.