The Jewish Movement to leave for Israel, January 1972 (23.6)

<<No 23 : 5 January 1972>>

On 10 December, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights, 27 Jews were apprehended outside the premises of the UN Information Centre in Moscow, where they had intended to hand in a protest at being refused permission to emigrate. They were held for several hours at a sobering-up station, where they were accused during questioning of attempting to carry out an anti-Soviet provocation. On the same day several Jews were detained outside their homes. [95]

Numerous cases have become known of Jews being subjected to coercion, threats and physical violence after stating their desire to emigrate to Israel.


On 5 October, for example, while taking the lift up to her flat, Rozita Rozenblyum was threatened by “an unknown man” who held a knife at her throat. These animal acts were accompanied by anti-Semitic abuse: “You want to go to Israel, you Jewish bitch! ”


The family of Dr. Yuly Nudelman has also been the object of bullying anti-Semitic attacks.[96] On 27 September, School No. 8 in Lyubertsy [suburban area near Moscow], a meeting was held at which Nudelman’s daughter Anna, a pupil in the tenth class, was expelled from the Komsomol, whereupon the school-children came to the house where the Nudelman family resides and for about two hours chanted: “Beat it to Israel, Yids! ” The police were called, but did not arrive for one-and-a-half hours.

No measures were taken, and after the police had left stones were thrown through the windows of the flat. The windows of Nudelman’s flat were again smashed on the night of 11-12 October, the festival of Simchat Torah. Major Sofiisky, who arrived in response to a call for the police, stated that it was difficult to protect Nudelman’s family, since they were going to a fascist state, and consequently all the members of Nudelman’s family” were fascists.


At a meeting held in Simferopol [Crimea] for the purpose of issuing a reference to Yelizaveta Zhukovskaya, the mother of two children, there were shouts of  “Her sort ought to be mercilessly done away with”.


A Moscow oil refinery engineer Gennady Shner [97] was shouted at in terms such as: “Put him up against a wall! Send him to the tundra! Not enough of you were shot in the war! They all ought to be wiped out! We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again!”

At a Komsomol meeting held at the October Revolution Institute of Musical Education to consider the question of issuing a reference to Alla Kleyer, a student at the Institute,’ Mikhailenko, a student and Komsomol committee member, stated in’ the presence of the administration, lecturers and 150 students in Kleyer’s year: ‘ ‘They used execute traitors. I still would.” At this there were shouts from the hall: “String ’em up, do them in!”

Issa Yakovlevna Ginzburg-Chernyak, senior lecturer in French at the Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages [Moscow], has worked there for 26 years. At the age of nineteen she was a secret agent fighting against fascism. Six years ago her ten-year-old son was murdered by anti-Semitic criminals. At an augmented meeting of the Party committee of the Institute, her colleagues shouted at her: “So first you struggle against fascism, then you embrace fascism?” [98]


Cases of dismissal after the submission of applications for a reference have become more frequent.

Here are a few examples.

(a) Dismissed from work under various articles
[of the Code of Labour Legislation]:


Yury Belyavsky, member of the All-Union Radio Large Symphony Orchestra, has been dismissed during an illness;

Galina Ginzburg was dismissed from the All-Union Radio the day after submitting an application for a reference; Yuly Nudelman, head of the department of surgery at the Moscow Railwaymen’s Hospital, has been dismissed under Article 70 (at the request of trade union organisations); Pavel Goldshtein, a literary historian, has been dismissed from the Museum of Literature, after sixteen years’ service as a senior research officer, under Article 47 (unsuitability for one’s post (1));

Issa Ginzburg-Chernyak has been dismissed from the Maurice Thorez Institute during an illness;

Vladimir Zaretsky, senior research officer at the Institute of Biological and Medicinal Chemistry of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, has been dismissed “on grounds of redundancy”;

Grigory Sivashinsky, a mathematician, has been dismissed from a mechanics research institute;

Engineer G. Shner has been dismissed after a meeting resembling a pogrom from the All-Union Research Institute for the Oil-refining Industry [VNIPIN], at the request of the local trade union committee.

(b) Reduced in rank


Senior engineers Edgar Zhukovsky and Arkady Skteinbuk;


Boris Orlov, a section head at the All-Union Research Institute of Standardization, transferred to the post of research officer;

Karavanova, senior foreman at a footwear factory, reduced in rank with a decrease in salary of one third. [99]

(c) Obliged to resign by the creation of
intolerable conditions .at their places of work

Joseph Begun, Master of Technical Sciences;

Vladimir Slepak, leading engineer at the Special Construction Bureau of the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the USSR Academy of Sciences;

Larissa Milyavskaya, a teacher;

Ilya Korenfeld and Victor Polsky, engineers;

Alexander Slepak, laboratory assistant;

Chernyavskaya, senior editor of the journal Standards and Quality,

Gabriel Shapiro, Aron Usyansky and Vladimir Rozenblyum, engineers;

Rozita Rozenblyum, translator.

GURZUF (Crimea).

Joseph Shoikhet [see NBSJ, No. 202] and Riva Remenik, who had been members of their trade union for more than 30 years, have been expelled from the union and are now unemployed.

In July 1971 Joachim Braun (b. 1929), a graduate of the Latvian State Conservatoire (in violin), a Master of Arts and a member of the USSR Union of Composers, submitted an application to emigrate to Israel to the OVIR [Department of Registrations and Visas] of the Latvian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

On 26 July 1971 Braun was expelled in his absence from the Union of Composers by the Presidium of the Latvian Union (according to the constitution of the USSR Union of Composers, the personal cases of members must be examined in their presence). In August the Liesma publishing house [in Riga] withdrew from the press a research work by J. Braun on musical instruments after it had passed the second stage of proof-reading, and the publication of the entire ninth issue of the collection Latvian Music, which included this work of his, was postponed for a year.

The Directorate of the book trade, in a letter of 22 November 1971 (no. 5/1306), gave instructions that J. Braun’s books, The Development of Violin Music in Latvia (1962), The Violin and the Viola (1964) and Violin Technique (1968) be withdrawn from bookshops.

On 1 September Braun was dismissed from the post of teacher of violin at the E. Darzin Special Musical School by order of the headmaster of school No. 68-k, under Article 15 of the 30 November 1970 Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (this article confers the right to dismiss persons engaged in educational work for committing an immoral act).

The people’s court of the Leningrad district of Riga, in a decision of 13 October 1971, dismissed J. Braun’s action for reinstatement: the submission of an application to leave the USSR to take up permanent residence in a capitalist country was deemed to be an “immoral act”. The Latvian Supreme Court, in a decision of 3 November 1971, upheld the decision of the people’s court, stating: “the behaviour of the plaintiff, expressed in his intention to renounce Soviet citizenship, justified the administration of the school in no longer entrusting him with the education of its pupils”.

J. Braun had been working at the school since 1952.

Braun was refused permission to emigrate on 23 August 1971. The refusal was confirmed on 13 September and 29 November.


Yakov Mikhailovich Levin, head of the surgical division of medical post no. 47 of the Chief Moscow Construction concern [Glavmosstroi], was demoted in December for requesting a reference for emigration to Israel, and on 7 December was compelled to resign. His family consists of five persons.


At the beginning of October 1971 Burshtein, a junior research officer at the Gamalei Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, who had announced his decision to emigrate to Israel, failed to be re-elected to his post for a further term by the Academic Council of the institute. Besides the members of the Academic Council, the administration also invited to the meeting other leading employees and heads of laboratories who had been removed from the Council in 1968 (before the meeting which considered the case of A.E. Gurvich, who had signed one of the protests against the conviction of A. Ginzburg [100]). Many of those invited were Jews. The director of the institute, O. V. Baroyan (a KGB official of long standing [and an Assistant to the Director-General of the World Health Organization since 1963]), pressed them to state their opinion of Burshtein, though they had not requested the floor. Those who spoke condemned Burshtein and cited his decision to leave for Israel as a reason why he should not be re-elected.


On 7 December Itala Belopolskaya, who had worked as proof-reader for the Kiev newspaper Youth of the Ukraine for 15 years, was dismissed after applying for a reference for emigration to Israel. The terms of her dismissal – “unsuitability for her work”.


Three fifth-year students at the Leningrad Electro-technical Institute, S. Rinehel// (from Chernovtsy [Ukraine]), E. Rubinshtein and N. Fridman (from Kishinyov [Moldavia]), have been expelled from the Komsomol and recommended for expulsion from the institute for studying Hebrew and the history of the state of Israel.


23.6     The Jewish Movement to leave for Israel

[95] See list Jews detained on 10 December in News // Soviet Jewry (NBSJ), No. 207, 1-14 December.

[96] On the Nudelman family see also NBSJ, No. 202, 25 September-4 October. Later, in mid-November, the family later, left for Israel.

[97] See the text of Gennady Sher’s letter to the UN Commission on Human Rights, in which he describes the events leading up to his dismissal on 20 September, in NBSJ, No. 203, 6-17 October 1971.

[98] On the episode at the Party meeting where Ginzburg-Chernyak was abused see NBSJ, No. 205, 1-15 November.

[99] On Zhukovsky, Shteinbuk and Zoya Karavanova (wife of Lev Shenkar) see NBSJ, Nos. 202 and 203.

[100] For A.E. Gurvich see P. Litvinov, Protsess chetyrekh (The Trial of the Four).