Two young Jews, Elle Joseph, 19, of London, and Gilead Freund, 20, of New York, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency of their expulsion from the Soviet Union last Friday following a five-day visit in which they met with Soviet Jewish activists and went to the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs to offer to serve Dr. Mikhail Stern’s eight-year labor camp sentence. The two said they went to Moscow last Monday to establish contact with the Jewish aliya movement.
Last Thursday they went to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and demanded to see a senior official to discuss with him their offer to serve Dr. Stern’s sentence. They were admitted to the Ministry despite the fact that they were carrying with them iron chains with which they intended to chain themselves to the building if they were refused admittance or in case their request for a meeting was turned down.
They were shown into the office of Col. Alpachnikov, a senior ovir official, who listened to their complaint about the treatment of aliya applicants and replied that 85 percent of those wishing to leave were granted exit permits. Joseph and Freund denied this and insisted on discussing the Stern case which they described as a gross miscarriage of justice. After three hours of exchanges, Alpachnikov summoned the KGB.
KGB agents bundled the two men into a car and drove them into a forest some 15 kilometers outside Moscow. They threatened them with prison sentences but in the end took them to Moscow Airport on Friday night and put them on a plane bound for London. George Evnine, the general secretary of Herut in the United Kingdom, told the JTA that Freund is a member of the Executive of American Betar. Joseph is the leader of British Betar.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.