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February 22, 1980 - Image 42

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-22

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Leave Everything to Us

Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty
Reach the Jews Behind Iron Curtain


Director of Program Planning,
Radio Free Europe
and Radio Liberty

Wyn & Harold Landis


Phone 557-6157



NEW YORK — Jews in
the Soviet Union and East-
ern Europe more than ever
rely on Western radio
broadcasts for uncensored
information since the era of
detente has given way to a
new and ominous period of
tension between the U.S.
and USSR.
Among the most powerful
voices from abroad that
beam shortwave programs
into the Soviet Union and
its satellites are Radio Free
Europe (RFE) and Radio
Liberty (RL), both sup-
ported by annual grants
from the U.S. Congress to
the Board for International

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Boradcasting appointed by
the President.
More than 1,000 hours
weekly are broadcast over
several 100-kilowatt and
250-kilowatt transmitters
located in West Germany,
Spain and Portugal. In the
course of a week, RFE
reaches an audience esti-
mated at 26 million in Bul-
garia, Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, Poland and
Romania, while RL is heard
by about seven million lis-
teners to programs in Rus-
sian and 14 national minor-
ity languages of the Soviet
Union, including the in-
creasingly important Tur-
kic tongues of the Moslem
population in Soviet Cen-
tral Asia.
Like the Voice of
America, the BBC and
other foreign stations,
RFE and RL regularly
cover events abroad that
correct the distortions of
the Communist-
controlled media. How-
ever, the latter two sta-
tions place greater em-
phasis on internal sub-
jects of special interest to
listeners with varying
ethnic backgrounds. In
the Munich headquarters
and in bureaus in New
York, Washington and
major Western European
capitals, emigre staff
members research, write
and voice programs with
the cooperation of
American specialists.
Among them are many
recent Jewish emigres.

Soviet Jews who hear RL
are kept abreast of Jewish
activities inside the USSR
and abroad. The human
rights struggle in the face of
growing anti-Semitism, the
fate of the refusniks and
Prisoners of Conscience,
and problems of the emigra-
tion are continually re-
ported. Interviews with Av-
ital Shcharansky, Eduard
Kuznetsov and others form
a regular part of RL's pro-
gramming, along with ac-
counts of the efforts of
Jewish organizations in the
U.S., Israel and Western
Europe on behalf of Soviet
In addition, Jewish lis-
teners who have long been
cut off from their religious
and cultural traditions are
provided with a special
weekly program in Russian.
It is frequently interspersed
with Hebrew and Yiddish,
especially during the obser-
vance of major Jewish holi-
days, when prayers and
songs help to restore the
past. Correspondents de-
scribe the vitality of Jewish
life in Israel, Western
Europe and America.
Although the Jewish
population of the Eastern
European countries is
dwindling, RFE's broadcast
desks offer programs of par-
ticular attraction to that
audience. For example, the
Bulgarian service, like the
others, "cross reports" the
activities of Soviet Jewish
The Czechoslovak

service has a regular
free-lance correspon-
dent, Erich Kulka, in
Jerusalem. Its cultural
programs contain fre-
quent contributions from
Avigdor Hagan, the
former Israeli ambas-
sador in Vienna, who is
also a Czech language
writer well-known under
his original name of Vik-
tor Fischl.
The Hungarian broad-
casts include Passover,
Rosh Hashana and Hanuka
programs written by Dr.
Janos Barta, a Hungarian
rabbi living in Stuttgart.
The fate of Raoul Wallen-
berg, the long-missing
Swedish diplomat who
helped save the lives of
thousands of Hungarian
Jews during World War II,
is a subject frequently
treated in the broadcasts to
Among the Polish broad-
casts are discussions of the
Holocaust, relations be-
tween the Poles and Jews in
the U.S. and Western
Europe, and the flourishing
of the Yiddish language in
pre-war Poland. More than
25,000 Jews still in
Romania obtain a perspec-
tive on the problems of their
own community, often by
means of interviews with
Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen
during his trips abroad. Is-
rael is understandably of
great interest to them since
350,000 Romanian Jews
have emigrated there (and
incidentally, RFE has a
sizeable audience among
From the U.S. come reg-
ular reports on the work of
Bnai Brith, the Joint Dis-

tribution Committee and
other Jewish organizations.
Despite jamming and
virulent attacks against
RFE and RL in the Com-
munist press, feedback from
a significant sample of lis-
teners offers evidence that
they appreciate the role of
these stations as a vital
lifeline from the outside

Recently, a report was
made based on an
ABC-TV documentary
dealing with Valerian
Trifa and others accused
of anti-Jewish terror in
wartime Eastern Europe
who are now awaiting
trials and possible depor-
tation from the U.S.
(Editor's note: An RFE
interview of Trifa last
year on the 50th anniver-
sary of the Romanian Or-
thodox Church in
America has been the
subject of a heated de-
bate between members of
Congress, Jewish groups
and the RFE-)
Except for the Hungarian
and Romanian programs of
RFE, all broadcasts to the
USSR and Eastern Europe
are subjected to jamming,
which is particularly effec-
tive in metropolitan centers
of the USSR, Czechos-
lovakia and Bulgaria. This
interference not only is a
considerable financial
strain on the regimes, but it
is also a flagrant violation of
the international agree-
ments such as the Final Act
of the Helsinki Conference
on Security and Coopera-
tion in Europe, calling inter
alia for "expansion in the
dissemination of informa-
tion broadcast by radio."

Russian Apologetic Denies
Jews Are Being Molested

An apologetic from the
Soviet embassy in Wash-
ington, sent as a Novosti
News Agency feature
bylined Iosef Rubin, re-
ceived by The Jewish News,
denies there is anti-Jewish
discrimination in the
USSR. It maintains that
freedom of emigration is
granted and paints a glow-
ing picture of Jewish pro-
gress under Communism.
The portrayal appears in
this article by the Jewish
spokesman. Commencing
with reminiscences of
Czarist oppressions, the ar-
ticle states that Jews make
up less than one percent of
the Soviet population, but
account for 5.7 percent of all
Soviet scientists, 5.2 per-
cent of the artists, 6.5 per-
cent of the writers, 3.4 per-
cent of the doctors and
nurses and 6.7 percent of all
Soviet lawyers.
The article goes on to
mention famous Soviet sci-
entists and generals who
are Jews, and claims that
assimilation of Jews in the
Soviet Union is the same as-
similation that Jews ex-
perience elsewhere.
Rubin then states that
the reason many Jews want

to leave Russia is to reunite
with their families, find a
better life, or "explain their
departure for Israel as the
call of kinship."
He claims that "as far as I
know, 98.4 percent of the
Jews who applied for exit
visas were granted them."

Friday, February 22, 1980 43




Feb. 22 & 23

1 /2 of




No Layaways
No Charges




Iran No Threat

General Yehoshua Saguy,
head of Israel's military in-
telligence, recently said
that Iran is not an im-
mediate military threat to
Israel because of the dis-
organization of the armed
forces following Iran's Is-
lamic revolution.
Only the navy remains
intact, Gen. Saguy said.
However, he added, in any
new Middle East war Israel
would be facing Syria, Iraq,
Jordan, the PLO, and Libya,
Algeria and Kuwait.

Affections, like the con-
science, are rather to be led
than drawn; and 'tis to be
feared, they that marry
where they do not love, will
love where they do not
— Fuller


New Orleans


15600 W. 10 Mile Rd.

at Greenfield




Mon.-Sat 10-5




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