Jewish sources in the Soviet Union said today that six Siberian Jews who asked Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger to intervene with Soviet authorities in their behalf were misquoted in media reports that said they had charged that Kissinger and President Nixon were partly responsible for the “persecution” of Jews in the USSR. The reports carried by the BBC and British and American newspapers were “quite inaccurate,” the sources said.
According to the sources, the six sent a letter to Kissinger on his arrival in Moscow yesterday asking his intervention and stating that American silence could be interpreted as tacit consent to the harassment of Jews for the sake of U.S. Soviet detente. This, the sources said, is a far cry from the charge they were alleged to have made against Kissinger and Nixon.
Meanwhile, the Secretary was appealed to by 16 Latvian Jews in an open letter made available to Western journalists in Moscow today for his help in their bid to emigrate. The letter said that Soviet authorities refused to grant them exit visas “for many years without foundation,” that Soviet Jews were “doomed to moral destruction” deprived of the right to a normal life, and were “subjected to every kind of restriction including isolation in prison.”
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.