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January 07, 1983 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-01-07

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Jewish Groups Concerned by Low Soviet Emigration

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
The State Department, voi-
cing "deep concern" over the
large decrease in the
number of Jews emigrating
from the Soviet Union this
year, pledged last week to
continue efforts to convince
the USSR to lift its restric-
tions on emigration.
"Our government is
committed to making every
effort to try to convince the
Soviets to ease their restric-
tive practices," Department
deputy spokesman Alan
Romberg said. He stated
that the figures released in
New York by the National
Conference on Soviet Jewry
and the Greater New York
Conference on Soviet Jewry
that only 2,670 Jews were
granted exit visas in 1982,
as compared to 9,447 in
1981, were "basically cor-
rect."
Romberg noted, however,
that the State Department
does not yet have the official
figures for 1982. "Through
the first 11 months of this
year, 2,512 Soviet Jews
emigrated from the USSR
and the annual figure will
undoubtedly be the lowest
since 1970 when large-scale
emigration first began," he
said. The largest number of
emigrants — 51,320 — was
in 1979.
"The severe constric-
tion of emigration by the
Soviet authorities in re-
cent years is a matter of
deep concern to the U.S.
government," Romberg
said, "and this concern
has been communicated
to the Soviet government
at every level, both in
public forums' and
through ' diplomatic
channels.
"We regard the Soviet re-
ductions in emigration as
clearly contradictory to the
principle of freedom of
movement and family
reunification contained in
the Helsinki Final Act to
which the USSR is a signat-
ory."
He added, "We knckw that
there are still thousands of
people in the Soviet Union
who want to leave but have
been denied that basic right
because of procedural pre-
texts or arbitrary decisions
by Soviet officials."
Theodore Mann, chair-
man of the National Con-
ference on Soviet Jewry,
announced at the year's end
that "deterioration in vir-
tually all facets of Soviet
Jewish life occurred" in
1982, most notably in the
continuing drop in the
number of Jews permitted
to emigrate with Israeli
visas.
"This decline in emig-
ration was accompanied
by a wave of threats and
arrests of Jewish ac-
tivists, and the
heightened oppression of
Jewish culture and reli-
gion," Mann reported. At
the same time, he noted,
"three Jewish prisoners,
all of them active in emig-
ration efforts prior to
their arrests, completed
their sentences."
Mann said, "The total
number of exit visas

THEODORE MANN

granted to Jews last year
fell to over 2,600, represent-
ing an unprecedented 95
percent drop from the
51,320 exit permits granted
in 1979, the peak year for
Jewish emigration. The
nearly 110 visas issued to
Jews who -arrived in Vie-
nna, in December, marked
the lowest monthly figure
recorded since the current
phase of emigration began
in 1971.
"These drastically low
figures, at the year's end,
left an estimated 400,000
Jews who ' have shown an
interest in reaching their
homeland with little hope
for the new year," Mann
said.
Exacerbating this "tight-
ening of the reins on emig-
ration," Mann maintained,
were several arrests of Jews
seeking to leave for Israel,
most recently Novosibirsk
activist Feliks
Kochubievsky, who re-
ceived a 21/2 year labor camp
sentence, and former POC
Iosif Begun, who was exiled
twice before, and was again
arrested and threatened
with an Unprecedented
third trial and a long term
in a labor camp.
Mann observed that al-
though former POC
Evgeny Lein was re-
leased from labor camp
in mid-year, he too was
threatened with re-
arrest.
"These • arrests and
threats nurture fear among
the refusniks throughout
the Soviet Union — the fear
that not only will the ful-
fillment of their dreams of

emigrating to Israel be
stunted indefinitely, but
that their lives will be con-
stantly disrupted by the
KGB (security forces) and
by the misuse of the law
practiced by Soviet
authorities," he stated.
According to Mann, 'The
status of two Jewish POCs
was altered significantly
this past year," indicating
"no change in the unending
abuses inflicted on Jews al-
ready suffering under the
Soviet panel system."
Anatoly Shcharansky,
sentenced' in 1978 to 13
years of imprisonment,
undertook a hunger strike
in September to protest his
isolation by the authorities.
Sentenced in 1981 to three
years in a labor camp, Alek-
sandr Paritsky was trans-
ferred in December to a
strict prison environment
as further punishment.
"Although three Jewish
POCs — Ida Nudel, Boris
Chernobilsky and Vladimir
Slepak — were released
from labor camps "they are
being punished again, and
their futures are dim as
they are thrust back into
the emotionally and physi-
cally - draining difficulties
of refusnik life."
Nudel, who left her
Siberian exile in March
following completion of a
four-year term, was fi-
nally granted permission
to reside in Bendery
(Moldaidan Republic)
after nine months of
wandering from city to
city. Both Chernobilsky
and Slepak returned to
Moscow, after complet-
ing their sentences of
_one-year in a labor camp
and five-years exile, re-
spectively.
Slepak, who in the late
1960s was one of the
creators of the current
emigration activities, had
at one time been singled out
by President Jimmy Carter
for ,public recognition. He
first applied to go to Israel
in 1970. -
Mann found the emigra-
tion of several long-term re
fusniks "a blessing, but,
nevertheless, a vivid re-
minder that the gates have

UL
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-

Dutch Hear Jewish Humor

AMSTERDAM (JTA) —
As 1982 faded and 1983 ap-
proached, Dutch radio lis-
teners were treated to 90
minutes of Jewish jokes,
told by well known Ameri-
can Jewish commedians,
dubbed into Dutch, com-
plete with the Yiddish ac-
cent that seems to define
that type of humor.
The producer of this
cream cheese-and-lox fla-
vored Edam was Nico
Hammelburg, whose pro-
grams specialize in the
humor of ethnic minorities
in The Netherlands —
Turks, Moroccans,
Guyanese or whatever.
Hammelburg, who is
Jewish, takes his subject
seriously.
The jokes were delivered
by such international favo-
rites as Myron Cohn, Robert
Klein, David Steinberg,

closed to over 10,000 refus-
niks who pray that their re
quests to emigrate will
miraculously be approved
and the gates will not lock
them into lives of "oppres-
sion."
Among the long-term re-
fusniks who received visas
in 1982 were former POC
Amner Zavurov, Shmuel
Shvartsband, Zigmund Ro-
zental, Grigory Freiman,
Oleg Popov, and Vladimir
and Hanna Magarik.
• Meanwhile, the Peru-
vian Senate has unanim-
ously approved a resolu-
tion supporting the im-
mediate release from
Soviet prison and free-
dom to emigrate for
Shcharansky, the World
Jewish Congress re-
ported.
Shcharansky is reported
to be in poor health result-
ing.from a hunger strike he
began on Sept. 27 in Chis-
tipol Prison, a strict regime
labor camp. His action was
undertaken to protest the
Soviet authority's confisca-
tion of his mail and their re-

Friday, lanuaryl, 1S3 21

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Woody Allen.
Distinctions were made
between comics who,swere
the rage in the "borscht
belt" and those who made it
big in Hollywood., Las Vegas
and the TV talk shows. In
most cases, they are the
same person.
Hammelburg left noth-
ing to chance. A special
segment dealt with the
prototypical "Jewish
mother." And let it not be
said that Dutch broad-
casting lags behind its
American counterpart
for in-depth analysis. A
Jewish psychiatrist, Dr.
Samuel Janice, was on
hand to explain how and
why American Jewish
comics tick. .

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