Prisoners of Zion. 1986.

Vladimir Lifshitz, his wife Anna
and daughter Masha on the first
day at home after his release
from the Gulag camp.

He was born in 1941 in Novokuznetsk, (where his mother was evacuated to from Leningrad). The family was assimilated, but the Jewish holidays were celebrated. In 1964 he graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics with a degree in Electronics Engineering; in 1969 he graduated also from the correspondence branch of Leningrad State University with a degree in Mathematics. In 1971 he defended the PhD thesis in Automatic Control Engineering. From 1964 till 1971 he worked in the defense industry, from 1971 till 1981 in the jewelry industry. In 1981 he applied for the exit visa to leave the USSR for Israel, but was refused to go without explanations of reasons. Only later he was informed (orally), that the reason for his refusal up to 1984 was the (indirect) clearance of his mother (who did not even apply for the exit visa) and then it was changed to the "inexpediency for the state". From 1983 he was involved in Zionist activity: his family started to learn Hebrew, in their apartment was held an open seminar on the Jewish history for beginners, and also were organized celebrations of Jewish holidays for children. He was arrested on January 6th, 1986 on charge of "fabrication of knowingly false materials that defame the Soviet state and social system". The basis for this charge were personal letters to his friends abroad with the description of the everyday life in the Soviet Union, and also his signatures under collective petitions to various international organizations with the requests to help of obtaining the exit visas from the USSR for refuseniks. On the trial in March, 1986, he has sentenced to three years of imprisonment in the Gulag camp on Kamchatka. He was pardoned on March, 17th, 1987, and left for Israel on November 1st, 1987. Now he lives in Jerusalem.

The information was provided by Vladimir Lifshitz.

Alexei Maharik

He was born in 1958 in Moscow, to a mixed and assimilated family, but with anti-Soviet sentiments. In 1978 he began to study Hebrew, and after some time also to teach it. In 1984 he applied for the exit visa to leave for Israel, but was refused to go by the reason of "inexpediency". He was arrested in March of 1986 in the heat of campaign against Hebrew teachers. The occasion for the arrest in this case was storage and transport of narcotics (6,6 grams of marijuana). On the trial in July 1986 he was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in the Gulag camps. He spent his sentence first in the 1st zone of a camp in Tsulukidze, Georgia, and then in Omsk, in the Eighth zone. He was released in September 1987 and in the same year left for Israel.

The information was provided by Alexei Maharik

Shalolashvily Betsalel

Born in 1964 in Tbilisi, Georgia, he, being a university student, was involved in an illegal Zionist propaganda among Jewish youth and also in distribution of books about Jews and Israel in other towns of the USSR. In 1986 he was expelled from the university and sentenced to 1 year of imprisonment because of the draft evasion. He was released in 1987 and in the same year left for Israel.

To the page "Prisoners of Zion"