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Woman Demonstrates for Husband

July 3, 1980
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Throwing the wraps off a two-year effort to release her husband Boris from the USSR, 24 year old Lisa Aleiner, a Philadelphian, demonstrated yesterday at Aeroflot Russian Airlines’ Fifth Avenue office with their 11-month-old son Sasha, whom his father has never seen. Lisa and Sasha were joined by her relatives who live in the New York and Philadelphia area. Their campaign is being aided by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.

Lisa explained: “I first met Boris when I was 19 on a week tour in Leningrad with my family. I returned the following summer with my sister for a six-week visit and our romance blossomed. I was very much in love with Boris and our separation was terribly painful. In our letters we decided to marry. I returned the next summer to Leningrad. There were obstacles when we tried to arrange our marriage, but we were able to get married on August 28, 1978.”

Living until April, 1979 in Russia, Lisa was able to get a unique glimpse into the off-shrouded daily world of a Soviet citizen. She left when she was seven months pregnant. Boris twice applied for an exit visa, but was refused — the last time on May 25 — on the grounds given to many other Jewish applicants, that he somehow had acquired “state secrets.”

Boris only sees his son in photographs, and hears his baby talk on the phone. Lisa hopes that her campaign will highlight the Ironic contrast between thousands of foreign athletes coming to Moscow for the Olympics and Boris’ refusal, and might finally unlock the door to his freedom.

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