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May 28, 1971 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1971-05-28

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Secret Riga Trial Stirs Gr eat Revulsion

(Continued from Page 1)
Meanwhile, in Marseilles, an
The prosecution asked that Algerian-born Israeli tried to com-
Shpilberg be sentenced to four mit Hara-Kiri Tuesday during a
years in prison, Shepshelovich to demonstration against the Riga
two years and Ruth Aleksandrovich trial. Daniel Baccry, 38, plunged
and Boris Maftsier to one year
each. The defense said there was
Related Stories
no proof of "anti-Soviet activities,"
Pages 11, 12
which carry a maximum sentence
of 15 years and asked that the a knife into his stomach and was
charges be reduced to dissemina- hospitalized.
tion of anti-Soviet literature with
Haggard from her almost non-
the knowledge that the action is stop efforts to alert Americans
illegal, which carries a maximum to the situation of her daughter,
three-year term.
Ruth, and three other Riga Jews
The sources reporting to the on trial in that Soviet Latvian
JTA said the prosecution asked city, Mrs. Rivka Aleksandrovich
for only one-year sentences for called again for an upsurge of
Miss Aleksandrovich and Maftsier public opinion against such trials
because the former suffers from of Jews. "I am sure that to keep
an asthmatic condition and the silent today is a grave sin," she
latter asked for mercy.
Miss Aleksandrovich's fiance,
"If anything helps it is public
Isaiah Averbuch, and Misha
Neuberger, who were jailed May opinion—perhaps a call from the
17 for 15 days, reportedly to White House would help . . . To
prevent them from testifying at stand aside, not to interfere is to
sin." Therefore, she pleaded with
the Riga trial, have gone on
a hunger strike, the sources 120 Jewish women leaders: "Don't
said. As they are being held in- sin."
Mrs. Aleksandrovich addressed
communicado, their only sources
of sews are the prison authori- a. press conference and then a
meeting arranged by the Women's
According to Tass, the official Plea for Soviet Jewish Prisoners
Soviet news agency, 22 witnesses of Conscience, an ad hoc commit-
testified, among them five Jews* tee representing 17 Jewish organi-
who were convicted and sentenced zations and Church Women United,
at the first and second Leningrad the National Council of Negro
trials for allegedly plotting to hi- Women, the National Council of
Catholic Women and the Young
jack a Soviet airliner.
Tass alleges the Leningrad de- Women's Christian Association.
Mrs. Aleksandrovich, whose
fendants implicated the Riga
defendants. Jewish sources denied United States tour is being coordi-
this and identified the Jews who nated by the American Jewish
testified as Silva Zzlmanson, her Conference on Soviet Jewry, said
brother Israel, Mendel Bodnia and the new Soviet trials represented
Anatoly Altman, all convicted at "a new page in our (Jews') mourn-
the first Leningrad trial last De- ful age-old history." Three speak-
cember, and Vladimir Osherovich ers—two Catholics and a black—
Moaever, one of the nine con- spoke out at the meeting in sup-
victed at the second Leningrad port of Mrs. Aleksandrovich's
trial which ended a week ago.
The Riga trial has been con-
(Mrs. Aleksandrovich will
ducted in almost total secrecy in a
speak at a rally in Detroit June
special building on a heavily
9, sponsored by the Jewish Com-
guarded peninsula outside the Riga
munity Council in cooperation
city limits. The foreign press and
with the Action Committee on
s p ectators were barred.
Soviet Jewry,. 8:15 p.m. at Tem-
The courtroom was filled with ple Emanu-El. See story Page
KGB (secret police) officials. Rela-
tives of the accused were not per-
Mrs. Dorothy Goldberg, the wife
mitted in the court except to take of former United Nations Ambas-
the witness stand. The presiding sador Arthur J. Goldberg, an-
judge was identified as Latka and nounced that on 'June 22, at a lo-
the state prosecutor Tsibisov. Their cation to be set, a newly formed
first names were not given.
"Committee of Inquiry" will hear
The only official news from public testimony on the situation of
the trial comes from Tass, which Soviet Jews.
.7ewish sources say is not to
The panel will consist of Gen.
he trusted. According to these Telford Taylor of Columbia Uni-
sources the defendants looked
versity, chief prosecutor at Nurem-
well and conducted themselves berg; Bayard Rustin, black civil
with dignity. They reportedly rights leader; Rabbi Abraham
refused to confess to any crimes Joshua Heschel of the Jewish Theo-
against the Soviet state.
logical Seminary of America; Prof.
Evidence introduced but not George Wald, Nobel laureate of
produced in court included a suit- Harvard; former Sen. Charles E.
case said to have contained Goodell of New York; Prof. Hans
"pamphlets from Israel" which
was dug up from the sand dunes J. Morgenthau of New York and
Chicago, and J. Brook Mosley,
near Riga.
The sources told the JTA that 12 Seminary. of the Union Theological
Riga Jews who had planned to
Ilya Grigory (Hillel) Butman,
demonstrate against the trial were
given exit visas last Friday on who received the heaviest sentence
condition that they cancel the dem- at the second Leningrad trial-10
onstration and leave the country years at hard labor for "treason"
within five days. The sources said and "anti-Soviet activities"—main-
that one member of the group, tained a dignified bearing in court
Misha Neuberger, whom the au- as he denied the charges against
thorities regard as an extreme him and asserted that he wanted
militant, was arrested and sen- only to go to Israel, reliable Jewish
tenced to 15 days in jail for "hooli- sources reported to the JTA.
Also on the last day of the Len-
Jewish sources in Riga said ingrad trial, Luba Kaminsky, 17-
that Jews there have been year-old daughter of defendant
plunged into gloom and fore- Lassal Kaminsky, who received a
boding since the trial opened. five-year sentence, stood up in
There was slight hope among them court and cried: "I am proud of
that the Soviet authorities might you, daddy!," the source said.
reconsider and end -the trial under
JTA learned that a Mr. and Mrs.
the pressure of world public opin- Druk, sister and brother-in-law of
ion. Because of the secrecy of the Yosif M. Mendelevich, who was-
court proceedings, the stringent sentenced to 15 years at the first
police measures to keep away spec- Leningrad trial last December,
tators and newsmen, and rumors have been blocked in their attempt
of a demonstration of defiance by to gain an emigration visa. The
local Jews, an atmosphere of ten- Druks went to the Ovir (visa office)
sion prevails in the Soviet Latvian in Riga and asked the head of the
capital—and not, only among the office, identified by sources as
Jews. Kaya, for permits. Jews waiting

outside for their turn said they
heard Kaya shout at Druk: "You
are a bastard. I would beat you
up and even kill you." Then,
sources said, Kaya and his assist-
ant, a Capt. Bolshakova, warned
the couple that if they brought
charges against the ovir chief they
would be charged with perjury.
(Broadcasts of smuggled tapes
of Soviet Jewry protest songs, in
Russian and Yiddish, were sched-
uled by WQXR-AM-FM, New
York, for May 22 and May 29.
The American Jewish Congress
will release them this summer
on a recording by Theodore
Bikel, with proceeds to scholar-
ships for Soviet Jews at the
Hebrew University.)

10—Friday, May 28, 1971


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