Advertisement

8,011 Soviet Jews Left in 1987, Most Since 1981, Panel Reports

January 05, 1988|From Times Wire Services

GENEVA — A total of 8,011 Soviet Jews were allowed to emigrate in 1987, with only 1,955, or 24.4%, going directly to Israel, the Intergovernmental Committee for Migration said Monday.

The 1987 figure was eight times more than the number of Jews who left the Soviet Union in 1986 and the largest number since 1981, when 9,860 Soviet Jews were allowed to leave. The emigrants go first to a transit center near Vienna, from where they decide to go either to Israel or to other countries.

Committee officials attributed the increase to liberalized emigration policies promoted by Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

But last year's 8,011 total was still far below annual figures in the 1970s before the Kremlin cut the departure of Soviet Jews to a trickle.

The Geneva-based committee, formerly called the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, was established after World War II to aid the millions of refugees and displaced persons in Europe.

The group began assisting Soviet Jews in 1971, when 12,680 arrived at its reception camp in Vienna.

The number of emigrants rose steadily to a record high of 51,330 in 1979, when the Soviet government began to place more severe restrictions on exit visas. There were 21,470 emigres in 1980 and 9,860 the following year.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|