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Soviet Emigres Retain Jewish Identity

May 24, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Just back from the Geneva meeting of the Executive Committee of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), which approved a budget increase of $700,000 to aid in transporting Soviet Jewish emigres to other countries, Rep. Hamilton Fish, Jr. (R.N.Y.) said today that he had been impressed with the emigres he saw at the stopover point at Schloss Schoenau, near Vienna.

“The people I saw had very definitely kept their Jewish identity,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at the offices of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. In addition, he said, “They came from so many different parts of the Soviet Union” and many of them were professionals and families –some of whom had waited as long as 25 years to get permission to leave. Fish said the emigres cheered when he wished them “Good luck and great happiness in your new country.”

Fish, whose Congressman-father was known for his anti-Communism and his prewar isolationism, added that while in Geneva he urged Marcel Naville, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, to “continue his efforts” to aid Soviet Jews. He made this appeal at the request of the Westchester (N.Y.) Conference on Soviet Jewry, he said.

Fish told the JTA that he would write to Frank Shakespeare, director of the United States Information Agency, in support of continued Voice of America service to the Soviet Union. He pointed out that he had already written to President Nixon and that Congress “has made it very clear to the President that we want him to speak out on the problem of Soviet Jewry.”

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