32.8 Soviet Germans want to leave for the Federal German Republic

No 32 : 17 July 1974

Many Germans living in the USSR are trying to obtain permission to leave for the Federal German Republic. It is believed that about 40,000 Soviet Germans are asking to leave. A collection entitled “Re Patria” [10] has come out and states that its goal is the elucidation of the problems of the emigration movement. An association has been formed to unite the Germans of Estonia who wish to emigrate.

On 11 February 1974 a demonstration of Germans who are trying to obtain exit visas took place in Moscow outside the Central Committee building. Ludmila Oldenburger, with her young sons, chained herself to the traffic lights near the building of the CPSU Central Committee on Old Square.

*

On 17 February a similar demonstration took place in Tallinn.

In connection with these demonstrations criminal proceedings were instituted against the president of the Association of Estonian Germans, Pyotr Bergman, and members of the association’s presidium: Waldemar Shults, Gerhard Fast and Ludmila Oldenburger. They were charged under articles of the Estonian SSR Criminal Code that correspond to Articles 190-1, 190-3 and 210 (“Involving minors in criminal activity”) of the Russian Code.

The publishers of the “Re Patria” collection, Vytautas Grigas, Lili Bauer and Friedrich Ruppel, were allowed to leave the USSR in May and June 1974.

*

A court in the town of Dzhambul (Kazakhstan) has sentenced Friedrich Shnarr to two years of imprisonment under the article corresponding to Article 190-1 of the RSFSR Criminal Code.

Shnarr was brought to his interrogations in handcuffs. His cellmates in the pre-trial detention centre tormented and beat him mercilessly every day for three months. The investigator knew about this but instead of halting these outrages he threatened Shnarr with death.

The address of Shnarr’s family is:

Dzhambul Region, Sverdlovsk district, Mikhailovka village, 15 Dzhambulskaya Street

The family consists of his wife Amalia Shnarr and their three children (born in 1962, 1964 and 1972, respectively).