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Dukakis Calls for End to Jewish Barriers in USSR

August 15, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts has called for the lifting of cultural and emigration barriers to Jews in the Soviet Union.

Dukakis’ message was conveyed by his Middle East and Jewish affairs adviser Hyman Bookbinder, a former Washington representative of the American Jewish Committee, at a City Hall memorial service Friday for the murdered Yiddish poets.

The poets were a group of 24 Jewish cultural figures, writers and dramatists in the Soviet Union who were killed en masse on orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin on Aug. 12, 1952.

Dukakis’ entreaty accompanied those of Jewish cultural leaders at the ceremony organized by The Workmen’s Circle, the 88-year-old Jewish fraternal organization which has annually sponsored commemorations marking the liquidation of the 24 Soviet Jewish poets.

The ceremony in New York, held in the chambers of the Board of Estimate at City Hall, was played out simultaneously in 18 American cities in a campaign organized by the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council.

Dukakis, in his statement, said “the massacre of these brave individuals continues to cast a dark shadow on the freedom of the Jewish culture within the Soviet Union.

“In remembering this day, let us renew our call on the Soviet leadership to lift all barriers to Jewish cultural and religious expressions, and to open wide the doors of emigration to those who wish to depart the Soviet Union.”

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