15.6 Searches and Arrests of Jews wishing to emigrate to Israel

No 15 : 31 August 1970

[1]

On 9 July two Georgian Jews, Venyamin Dzhanashvili and Abram Dzhandzhikhanashvili, were arrested in Tbilisi. For a long time they have been trying to obtain permission to emigrate to Israel. The pretext for the arrest was an incident on 26 January 1970 in the reception-room of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, where a group of Jews appeared with a petition which asked that they be allowed to leave the USSR, and were received rudely by Major Kiknadze. An investigation is being carried out.

[2]

In connection with the aeroplane affair in Leningrad (Chronicle 14.11 [3] wrote about this) searches and arrests of Jews have been carried out in a number of cities of the Soviet Union.

LENINGRAD. Besides those mentioned in Issue 14, G. Vertlib, a lawyer aged about 38, and G. Shur, an engineer aged 34, were arrested in July under Articles 64 and 70. On 8 July V. Boguslavsky, an engineer aged 30, who has been charged under articles 70 and 72 of the Russian Criminal Code, was also arrested.

[3]

KISHINYOV [Moldavia], On 23 July 1970 Alexander Galperin, a 24-year-old engineer, was arrested. Searches of seven Jewish families’ flats were carried out simultaneously. Books on Jewish history were confiscated during the searches, as well as textbooks on the Hebrew language, recordings of Jewish songs, and also the [Warsaw Yiddish] newspaper Volks Stimme, which is distributed by the kiosks of Soyuzpechat [the official Soviet agency] .

At the end of July technician David Rabinovich was arrested. Aged 24, he has actively participated in Jewish amateur cultural activities in Kishinyov. During a search manuscripts of dramatic parts and poetry in Hebrew were confiscated. Two other persons, whose names are unknown, were also arrested. They have all been charged under Articles 70 and 72 of the Criminal Code.

[4]

RIGA. On 15 June searches were carried out at the homes of Boris Maftser, aged 26, and Aaron Shpilberg, aged 30 (he has a three-year-old daughter and his wife is pregnant). Samizdat materials on the Jewish question were confiscated, as well as books on Jewish history and tape-recordings of Jewish songs. On 5 August B. Maftser and A. Shpilberg were arrested. They have been charged under Articles 64 and 72.

Searches have been carried out at the homes of thirteen more people.

In the middle of August searches were carried out at the homes of five Jewish families who had submitted applications to emigrate to Israel.

[5]

In Moscow First Lieutenant Yegerev, an investigator of the Leningrad KGB, has questioned a number of people as witnesses in the case of the aeroplane. He said to one of them: “Why are you defending them? Nothing can save them now!”