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November 08, 1985 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-08

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

30

Friday, November 8, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Russia is reading them," she
said. "Somebody is knowledge-
able that there are people in
America who know these people
exist ... They can't come on in-
ternational TV and say, 'There's
no problem with the Jews.' "
Recently, Soviet Premier
Mikhail Gorbechev told French
journalists that the Jews in the
Soviet Union enjoy more free-
dom than in any other country
in the world. Still, Franklin
seems somewhat optimistic
about the new Soviet leader and
has written to him about the
Volvovskys.
"Gorbechev seems to be more
lenient in his thinking towards
the Jews; at least his past his-
tory seems to indicate that," she
said.
Franklin had fewer kind
words for two other political
leaders she has written to:
President Reagan and Secretary
of State George Shultz. She has
not received a reply from either
of them.
"I really don't think Reagan
cares," she said. "He is now a
`lame duck' President and he
has nothing to lose or gain by
helping the Soviet Jews."
Franklin said that out of all
the politicians she has written
to, the only ones who have
shown any interest are Carl and
Sander Levin. Carl has followed
up by writing letters to Soviet
officials and Sander recently re-
turned from a trip to the Soviet
Union. He has not had an
opportunity to speak with the
Westons about his trip yet.
News from the Soviet Union,
however, does not promise to be
good. Apparently, the state-run
newspapers are waging an
anti-Jewish campaign.
On June 7, The Gorky Worker
published an article written by
V. Pabintsev entitled "Remarks
in the Margin." He described
Judaism as a reactionary and
inhuman philosophy which
hates all nations and teaches
that Jews are chosen and all
others are hated. Pabintsev also
described Judaism as the back-
ground of Zionism, which
teaches people to disrespect
their own nation.
Ludmilla described the article

in one of her letters as "one of
the most dreadful ever pub-
lished in the Soviet press ... fil-
led with slander and open hos-
tility towards the Jews."
A week after the article ap-
peared, somebody wrote "Death
to the Jews" on a wall outside
Volvovsky's apartment, and
signed it "KKK."
Ludmilla said that the Soviet
government, local and national,
is turning its back to the prob-
lem.
"All our efforts to seek protec-
tion from those who are offi-
cially responsible for the defense
and protection of Soviet citizens
from intimidation and slander,
regardless of race or religion,
were in vain," she wrote.
"For more than a year, we
tried to draw attention ... to
the local police ... and to the
party bodies including the Cen-
tral Committee in Moscow. All
was useless ... The representa-
tive of the local police explained
to us that such insignificant
things were not worth atten-
tion."
In spite of the Soviet Union's
hostile climate towards Jews,
Weston said he still would like
to visit the country; not to see
the sights, but to try to gain
more information about his fam-
ily.
"I'm not interested in Moscow
or Leningrad as a tourist," he
said. "I'm interested in going to
meet my family."
Weston believes he may have
more relatives in Russia who he
does not know about. His
mother came from a family of
eight girls. Only five of the sis-
ters have been accounted for.
The other three may still have
families in the Soviet Union.
To Weston and Franklin, fam-
ily is what this is all about. In
the United States, they only
have a small, but close, im-
mediate family. The rest are
trapped inside the Soviet Union.
"I remember my grandfather
telling us stories about how he
got out of Russia," Franklin
said. "But my children don't
have that same benefit of a liv-
ing heritage."
Franklin and Weston are also

Continued on Page 32

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