Prominent New York Women Place Soviet Union on Trial
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Prominent New York Women Place Soviet Union on Trial

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The Soviet Union was placed on trial yesterday by a group of prominent New York women who accused the USSR of violating the UN Declaration of Human Rights by its “crimes against Jewish women and systematic persecution and harassment of Soviet Jews.” The trial, held in the New York County Lawyers Association building in Manhattan, was sponsored by the Women’s Coalition on Soviet Jewry, an affiliate of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry.

Participating in the trial were a number of prominent public officials and civic leaders, including Lieutenant Governor-elect Mary Ann Krupsak; New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Elinor Guggenheimer; City Council-women Carol Greitzer and Aileen B. Ryan; Ann Kielszek, the Mayor of Teaneck, N.J., and Irma Badillo and Billie Fish, wives of the New York congressmen.

Other participants included Ronnie Gold, wife of the Brooklyn District Attorney; Susan Carey Dempsey, daughter of the Governor-elect; Marlene Manes, wife of the Queens Borough President; Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city’s Human Rights Commissioner; Genevieve Vergari, wife of the Westchester District Attorney; attorneys Rita Houser and Jane Gilman, among others. Mrs. Margie Davis was coordinator of the event.

Mrs. Krupsak told the participants: “The women now seeking to emigrate to Israel from the Soviet Union stand by themselves in courage and heroism. Separated from their husbands and families, threatened with long prison terms and denied all means of religious and cultural expression, they have nevertheless continued their struggle to live in freedom with dignity.” She added: “American women, as they claim an equal role in American society, must also lay equal claim to their humanitarian responsibilities….It is our duty to ensure that the rights which have long been guaranteed to all men and women, are finally granted to Soviet Jews.


The event was one of hundreds of national activities marking the day as United Nations Human Rights Day. The trial here, attended by nearly 300 women, served to dramatize the

A first-hand account of the Soviet Union’s persecution of Jews was given by Bronya Veinger Chernoglaz. Her husband, David, one of nearly 40 Soviet Jewish “Prisoners of Conscience” languishing in Soviet prisons, had applied for an exit visa and was sentenced to a five-year term in June, 1971, for alleged “anti-Soviet activities.” Presently, he is incarcerated in the Vladimir prison, where treatment of prisoners is acknowledged to be especially severe.

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