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KGB Launches Manhunt for 13 Jewish Activists Who Have Gone into Hiding Face 7 Years in Prison in Sib

May 8, 1972
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Two more Soviet Jewish activists – now a total of 13 – have been ordered to report for active duty in the Soviet Army Reserves, it was reported today by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. At the same time, the Soviet secret police (KGB) has launched a manhunt for Gavriel Shapiro of Moscow, one of the 13, and the other 12 who, according to the SSSJ, "have gone into hiding." The names of the latest two activists were not immediately available.

In a telephone conversation today with Jewish activist Boris Kogen and Shapiro’s parents, the SSSJ was told that five militia officers came to Shapiro’s home last night and warned his parents that he must appear at the army induction center by Wednesday. Failure to do so, the officers said, would result in a seven-year prison sentence in Siberia. The officers also warned that the same fate was in store for the other 12. According to the SSSJ, the militia officers and the KGB appeared at the homes of all the activists who have gone into hiding to seek their whereabouts.


Judy Silver, spokeswoman for SSSJ, said that according to an earlier conversation with Shapiro’s father, militia officers told the younger Shapiro Friday night to report for duty Saturday morning but he "refused categorically" saying that "a man going to Israel cannot go into the Soviet army." Several official cars arrived at Shapiro’s home several hours before he had been told to report for duty, but the activist was gone.

Miss Silver said that in a telephone conversation with Prof. Aleksander Lerner, a leading activist and the father of Vladimir Lerner, he said that the situation was "very, very dangerous because in a matter of two or three days Gavriel and my son may be in Siberia." The younger Lerner is one of the 13 activists. Prof. Lerner, who reported that the militiamen were spending yesterday at his and the Shapiro home, urged world public opinion to speak out to ease the "crisis."

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