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June 29, 1973 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-06-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Brezhnev's Emigration 'Facts' Proven Inflated

(Continued from Page 1)

credits, credit guarantees or
investment guarantees to the
Soviet Union and other Com-
munist countries cannot take
place unless the President re-
ports to the Congress that the
country in question does not
deny its citizens the right or
opportunity to emigrate.
Therefore, if emigration from
the Soviet Union were truly
free, the addition of the Jack-
son amendment to the statute
books would not limit the
President's authority to make
trade concessions to the So-
viet Union.
' M r . Brezhnev reported

Soviet Union for the West.
Thus, Mr. Brezhnev has over-
stated by nearly 100 per cent
the number of visas granted
and the percentage of appli-
cants permitted to go in 1972.
' M r . Brezhnev reported
that, in the first five months
of 1973, some 10,100 exit per-
mits have been granted.
What he failed to say was
that this represents a decline
in the rate of emigration
from last year, a slowing-

down since the Moscow sum-
mit. (NOTE: 10,100 in five

months is an annual rate of
24,240, well below the 31,700
of 1972). Moreover, Mr.
that last year 61,000 persons Brezhnev failed to mention
applied to emigrate and that that the rate for the last
60,200, all but 800, were several weeks shows a steep
granted permission to leave. decline. In the first half of
The fact is that in all of 1972 June, the number of visas
only 31,700 persons left the dropped to a rate of 1,700 a
month. (Equivalent to annual
rate: 20,400 vs. 31,700 in
1972).

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prison and to mental institu-
tions.
Despite these inhuman
measures, more than 110,000
brave men and women have
placed themselves in jeop-
ardy by securing from
abroad the documents neces-
sary to file emigration appli-
cations. And there they re-
main, in the Soviet Union,
making a mockery of Mr.
Brezhnev's assertion that 95
per cent of those wishing to
emigrate are free to do so.
How many thousands more
would apply if emigration
were as free as Mr. Brezh-
nev says it is c a n n o t be
estimated."
The Brezhnev claim also
was immediately challenged
in Israel where Nathan Pe-
led, minister of immigration
and absorption, pointed out
that while only 32,000 Jews
were permitted to leave the
USSR, more than 100,000
exit visas had been re-
quested.
Jewish Agency Executive
Chairman Louis Pincu s,
speaking on a radio inter-
view, said that while Brezh-
nev claimed that 250 exit
visas are granted out of 750
applicants on a list of "hard-
ship" cases presented by Dr.
Henry Kissinger to the Soviet
authorities, only 10 persons
on the list have emigrated.

Pincus conceded that the
Soviet authorities appear
more flexible on the emigra-
tion issue now than in the
past.

(Addressing 1,500 persons
at a rally for Soviet Jews
outside the Rusian Consulate
in San Francisco Sunday
night, Mikhail Shepshelovicz,
a recent emigre from the
Soviet Union remarked that
Brezhnev may have been
sincere in his presentation to
the U.S. congressmen but
might not be getting the right
information from his subor-
dinates.
The National Conference on
Soviet Jewry asknowledged
that it has compiled a list
of over 1,200 names of Soviet
Jews who have repeatedly
been denied permission to
emigrate. According to Jerry
Goodman, executive director
of the conference, these lists
represent people who have
signed petitions in the Soviet
Union appealing for their
right to emigrate.

According to the National
Conference on Soviet Jewry,
which maintains data on a
month-to-month basis, the
total emigration of Soviet
Jews from the years 1948 to
1973 was 68,000. Between Oc-
tober 1968 and May 1973,
61,163 Soviet Jews were al-
lowed to emigrate. Goodman
pointed out that the total
number of Soviet Jews al-
lowed to emigrate covers a
period of 25 years. At the
same time, over 178,000 in-
dividual affidavits for emi-
gration by Soviet Jews were
requested and sent to the
Soviet Union.

An application to emigrate
is preceded by a request for
an invitation from a relative
from Israel or elsewhere.
Goodman pointed out that
"an. invitation is the first
step in a lengthy and admin-
istratively horrifying emigra-
tion process. At the present
time there are approximately
116,000 Soviet Jews still wait-
ing for permission to emi-
grate. The rate of application
of Soviet Jews averages 5,000
per month. For each Jew
allowed to emigrate, approx-

imately 21/2. Soviet Jews
apply. Therefore, the backlog
of Soviet Jews increases.
"For some time now,"
Goodman asserted, "Soviet
officials have been insisting
that about 95 per cent of all
Soviet Jews who apply to
emigrate actually leave. This
is a manipulation of statistics
since it ignores those Soviet
Jews who apply to emigrate
but are not granted permis-
sion to leave. The 95 per
cent figure probably refers
to Soviet Jews who, upon
finally receiving permission
to leave, actually do leave."

16—Friday, June 29, '1973

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•••• •• •••• • ••••1110111116

Providing background data
to "appraise Brezhnev's
statements in a more mean-
ingful context," the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee
pointed out:

"Nearly twice as many
Jews as have been allowed
to leave are still waiting to
get out. Between 110,000 and
120,000 persons have filed the
required affidavits and are
now awaiting visas which
may or may not be granted.
"The actual number of per-
sons who wish to emigrate
is probably even greater, for
anyone who applies for an
exit visa immediately sub-
jects himself and his family
to social ostracism, loss of
employment, "anti - Zionist"
insults and other forms of
harassment — without any
assurance that he will ever
be allowed to leave. Some
applicants have been jailed;
some have been declared
mentally ill and confined to
institutions.

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"Highly trained persons,
particularly scientists, a r e
often refused exit visas on

alleged security ground s,
even though they may not
have worked recently, or
ever, in fields requiring se-
curity clearance. Right now,
seven scientists who are in
this situation are conducting
a hunger strike in Moscow.
(since concluded). Virtually
all scientists who apply are
promptly fired and indefinite-
ly forced into menial jobs
rather than allowed to leave.

"Such exit visas as are
granted are unevenly appor-
tioned. In the more heavily
Jewish parts of the Soviet
Union — Russia proper, the
Ukraine, Byelorussia—where
85 per cent of Soviet Jewry
lives, only 10 to 15 per cent
of applicants have been given
exit visas; in the rest of the
country, where Jews are few,
85 per cent of all applicants
have received visas.
"Mr. Brezhnev sets the
number of Soviet Jews at
2,151,000. This is the official
figure, but it understates the
total. 'It is known that per-
sons of mixed Jewish-gentile
ancestry ha v e frequently
been counted as non-Jews by
Soviet census takers, as have
Jewish spouses of gentiles on
some occasions. Most spe-
cialists estimate the Jewish
population of the Soviet
Union as close to 3,000,000—
which makes the 68,000 total
proportionately still smaller."

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