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October 03, 1986 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-03

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

YEAR N REVIEW 5746 YEAR IN REVIEW

THE JEWISH NEWS

YEAR
IN
REVIEW

GARY ROSENBLATT

Editor

FREE AT LAST, Anatoly Shcharansky addressed 300,000 people at a rally in New York.

a
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Wo rld Wide Pho to

cc
cc

FREE AT LAST,' above, Anatoly
Shcharansky was escorted by U.S.
Ambassador Richard Burt after crossing the
East-West border in Berlin at the start of a
spy and prisoner exchange.

ANATOLY SHCHARANSKY top right,
addressed a huge crowd at the annual
Solidarity Day rally for Soviet Jewry this
spring in New York and was given flowers
by the grandchildren of refusenik Vladimir
Slepak.
REUNITED IN ISRAEL, right, Anatoly
Shcharansky hugged his mother, Ida
Milgrom, at Ben-Gurion Airport after her
arrival in Israel this summer along with
other family members after their release
from the Soviet Union.

Defiant to the last, he zig-zagged across
the snow-covered Glienicke Bridge in
Berlin that cold February morning be-
cause his captors had told him to walk in
a straight line. As he crossed over between
the two Germanys, between slavery and
freedom, the world was watching, caught
up in the drama of one man's ten-year
struggle for human dignity. Balding, thin,
pale and small, Anatoly Shcharansky had
become a genuine Jewish hero and he was
about to receive a fitting welcome in the
eternal homeland of his dreams, in Israel.
His arrival there that night was the
stuff of dreams. The two day journey from
a Soviet prison to the Western Wall in
Jerusalem, from Russian pariah to Israel's
favorite son, may have been overwhelm-
ing but he maintained the composure and
impish humor that sustained him during
his long imprisonment.
As correspondent Helen Davis reported
in the JEWISH NEWS from Jerusalem, the
impact on Israelis was profound. Shchar-
ansky's arrival, she observed, "had the
same cathartic impact as Entebbe or the
rescue of Ethiopian Jewry. It reminded
everyone — for a while at least — that
there is a life beyond economic crisis,
political infighting and peace processes
that don't quite make it off the ground.
Here, in the flesh, was a man who had
defied the might of a powerful state for the
right to live in the Jewish homeland. The
result was a spontaneous outpouring of af-
fection that included more than a touch of
gratitude."
A conscience of his people, Anatoly
Shcharansky reminded us of our purpose
as Jews and of the blessing of freedom. As
he stood before an estimated 10,000 sup-
porters at the Western Wall, his beloved
wife Avital at his side, he spoke briefly,
in hesitant Hebrew, of his long struggle
and how, alone in his cell, he would sing
Hebrew songs like "Hinei Matov U'mana'-
im," (How good and pleasant it is for



33

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