Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Jews Mark 5th Anniversary of Soviet Mass Arrests

June 16, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Jews across the Soviet Union were scheduled today to begin hunger strikes in connection with the fifth anniversary of the June 15, 1970 mass arrests which led to the Leningrad trials of 1970 and 1971, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry said today. The protests will draw attention both to the plight of prisoners of conscience in labor camp and to the Soviet government’s harassment of Jews seeking exit visas.

In Tel Aviv, many Soviet immigrants including former prisoners of conscience demonstrated today in front of the Finnish Embassy which represented the USSR here. Some of the demonstrators joined in the hunger strike which is being held in the Soviet Union.

In New York a massive campaign aimed at gaining freedom for the scores of Soviet Jewish “prisoners of conscience” was launched at a Foley Square rally in Manhattan Friday by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry, Bronx Borough President Robert Abrams, a vice-chairman of the Greater New York Conference, presided at the rally, at which an “Amnesty Appeal” signed by prominent humanitarians, civil libertarians, and public officials, was released urging the Soviet Union to grant freedom to the Soviet Jewish prisoners.

In Washington, Friday, passersby near the Soviet Embassy, as well as Soviet personnel, were greeted at the noon hour with copies of an “Open Letter to Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin” that noted June 15th is the fifth anniversary of the mass arrests of Soviet Jews in 1970 which “led to the infamous ‘Leningrad trials’ and to the continuing imprisonment of Jews who seek to emigrate to Israel.” The letter was signed by Frank Ridge, chairman of the Jewish Community Council’s Soviet Jewry Committee. The letter said that “175 synagogues and Jewish organizations in the Washington metropolitan area, together with others in cities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, have observed the date of June 15th as an anniversary of the USSR’s crass and open violation of the principles of justice and human rights.”

Recommended from JTA