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Simone De Beauvoir Expresses Fear Only 25 Israeli Pows Still Alive

February 21, 1974
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Simone de Beauvoir, the French writer, philosopher and fighter for women’s liberation, said here that of the estimated 130 Israeli soldiers captured by the Syrians during the Yom Kippur War only 25 of them may still be alive. She made this statement at a press conference at the conclusion Monday of the one-day International Conference for the Liberation of Israeli Prisoners of War in Syria which she helped organize and which she chaired.

Ms. de Beauvoir told the press conference that of the 130 POWs “we are only certain that 25 of them are still alive, because they have been shown by the Syrians a few times” in newspapers, magazines and films. “The fact that the same group of prisoners are shown repeatedly only deepens our worst fears,” she said.

Meanwhile, in addition to 15 American Nobel Laureates, academicians and internationally prominent members in the world of arts and letters who sent messages to the conference protesting the actions of the Syrian government and demanding that a list of POWs be released and International Red Cross officials be allowed to visit them (reported in Tuesday’s Bulletin) were:

Nobel Laureate Heinrich Boell, British playwright Arnold Wesker, and American actress Shelley Winters. Boell, who last week hosted the exiled Soviet novelist and Nobel Laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn, said in his message: “I wish success to the conference and I hope for the liberation of all the Israeli prisoners.”

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