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April 15, 1977 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-04-15

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

-

14 Friday, April 15, 1977

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Soviet Harassment of Jews Seen Increasing

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NEW YORK (JTA)—In a
series of moves against Jew-
ish prisoners, detainees and
activists. Soviet authorities
have launched a new cam-
paign ranging over the en-
tire USSR, the Greater
New. York Conference on So-
viet Jewry reported.
The actions included the
levelling of new charges
against a Jewish prisoner
of conscience, an attempted
arrest, stepping up of inter-
rogations, new apartment
searches, and the simultane-
ous firing of four refusniks
from their jobs.
In Moscow, the confer-
ence learned that the home
of Anatoly Sharansky's par-
ents was searched for
seven hours by KGB agents
who claimed they were look-
ing for foreign currency,
but eventually confiscated
the Jewish activist's driv-
er's license and military dis-
charge papers. ' ,

Sharansky, a leading
press spokesman for Soviet
Awry, is being held in Mos-
cow's Lefortovo Prison
where he is being ques-
tioned on charges of trea-
son and espionage. If tried
and convicted, he would
face the death penalty.

The Federation of Jewish
Agencies, the parent body
of Jewish community serv-
ices in Philadelphia, has
"adopted" Sharansky.
In Central Asia, the Con-
ference reported, the new-
est Jewish prisoner of con-
science may be facing addi-
tional charges even as he
begins his three-year sen-
tence.
Amner Zavurov, a 26-
year-old watch repairman
from the Uzbek city of Shak-
hriyazb, told his father in a

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prison visit that he may
well be charged with as-
saulting and beating an
Uzbek individual several
months prior to his impris-
onment. This incident is al-
leged by Soviet authorities
to have occurred in March
1976. Zavurov flatly denied
any validity to the charges.
, In Moscow, the Soviets
tried to arrest a long-term
refusnik on charges of para-
sitism. Lev Gendin, a
young engineer whose wife
has waited for him in Israel
for several years, was
away from his, home when
a policeman confronted his
parents looking for the ac-
tivist. He has since gone
into hiding, according to
the conference.

In Kharkov, Victor Len-
der was given an exit visa
only to have it revoked a
few days later without ap-
parent cause. Lender is in a
precarious situation as
those in receipt of per-
mission to emigrate general-
ly sell their possessions, re-
sign from their jobs (if they
have not already been dis-
missed), and give up their
apartments.
Four other prominent ac-
tivist-refusniks were fired
from their jobs at roughly
the same time. Pavel Abra-
movich,- Iosif - Beilin, Vladi-
mir Prestin and Lev Ula-
novsky—all without employ-
ment now—fear that they
were fired as a pretext to
charging all of them with
parasitism.
A 4000-word report, "The
Downward Slide," written
by Jewish refuseniks has
been released by the Stu-
dent Struggle for Soviet
Jewry and Union of Coun-
cils for Soviet Jews. The
booklet describes Soviet
repression of Jews and Jew-
ish activist reactions.
For copies, write Student
Struggle for Soviet Jewry,
200 W. 72nd St., Suites 30-31,
New • York, N.Y. 10023.
In Chicago, a former re-
fusnik leader said the ar-
rest of Soviet Jewish refus-
nik Sharansky on charges
of spying for the Central In-
telligence Agency indicates
a Soviet move to discredit
the entire human rights
Movement in the USSR by
linking it to the activities of
Jews, who have been vili-
fied in a recent government
propoganda campaign.

Speaking at a press con-
ference in the Jewish Feder-
ation building, Mikhail
Steiglitz said that the
charges against Sharansky
are the first charges of trea-
son leveled at an individual
_since the death of Stalin in
1953 and may spark mass
trials and executions of
Jews similar to those of the
early 1950s.
Steiglitz is currently tour-
ing American cities to gar-
ner support for Sharansky
with his sister Avital, who
was expelled from the So-
viet Union the day after she
married Sharansky.
Meanwhile, Dr. Naum Sa-
lansky, a leading Jewish ac-
tivist of Vilna, received an
exit permit to emigrate to
Israel and is- expected to
leave' the Soviet Union-
April 26, it was reported by

the National Conference on
Soviet Jewry.

.

In a related development,
a Congressional vigil on be-
half of divided Soviet Jew-
ish families, known - as the
"Orphans_ of the Exodus,"
was read in the House of
Representatives, under the
sponsorship of Reps. Josh-
ua Eilberg (D-Pa.) and
Elizabeth Holtzman (D-
N. Y. )

will be represented in "The
Art of Freedom" is Ernst
Neizvestny, a Soviet Jewish
emigre who is regarded as
the most important artistic
figure to quit the Soviet
Union since Kandinsky and
Chagall.
Three other Jewish art-
ists will also show their
paintings at the exhibition.
They are: Igor Galinin, for-
merly of Moscow, and Ilya
Shenker and Alexande .
Richter, both from Odes
"The Art of Freedom" w
continue daily (except Sat-
urday) through Sunday.

.

Based on the testimony of
64 members of the House
the NCSJ, which helped or-
ganize the project, has re-
printed the entire series of
statements which arose out
of its publication "Orphans
of the Exodus." The origi-
nal publication initiated by
the South Florida Confer-
ence on Soviet Jewry, was
prepared in cooperation
with the NCSJ.
"The focus of our vigil,"
Rep. Holtzman explains,
"was the Soviet violation of
the Helsinki Accords. In
1975 at Helsinki, the Soviet
government pledged to re-
spect human rights and as-
sist in reuniting families
across national borders .
The stories of the "Orphans
of the Exodus" demon-
strated the Soviets' con-
tempt for this commitment.
Among the many recipi-
ents of the collection will be
all members of the House
and Senate, as well as those
representatives no longer in
office who took part in the
vigil.

In a related development,
more than 50 blacks,
whites, Catholics and Prot-
estants conducted a prayer
vigil on behalf of Soviet
Jews. and Christians Easter
Sunday opposite the Soviet
Embassy. in Washington.

A proudinian is hated
even by the people of his
own house.
—The Talmud

"FIRST FOR
A REASON"

.

Meanwhile, in response to
the opening one block away
in the Metropolitan Mu-
seum of Art of Russian and
Soviet paintings, a
"counter-exhibition" en-
titled "The Art of Free-
dom" and featuring works
by Jewish artists who left
the USSR after rebelling
against officially-sanctioned
Socialist • Realism will be
presented by the American
Jewish Congress at Stephen
Wise Congress House.

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