HIAS declares 1974 “the Year of the Russian Migrant.” Of the 9,000 Soviet Jews who have immigrated to the U.S. with HIAS’ help since 1968, more than one third, 3,490, arrive in 1974. A change in U.S. immigration processing results in a logjam of Soviet Jews in Rome, where many have to wait months for U.S. entry visas.
The rate of Soviet Jewish emigrants who choose a destination other than Israel falls to 18.5 percent.
The Senate passes the Trade Reform Act, including the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which denies normal trade relations to countries with non-market economies that restrict emigration rights, and the Stevenson Amendment, which places limits on Export-Import Bank loans to the Soviet Union.
Richard M. Nixon resigns the presidency of the United States.
- Jewish emigrants from the USSR: 29,628
- Soviet Jewish immigrants to US: 3,490
- Soviet Jewish immigrants to Israel: 16,816
In February, Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose book Gulag Archipelago documents the horrors of Soviet labor camps, is charged with treason and deported from the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn’s expulsion is protested by Soviet dissidents, as well as by individuals and groups in the West.
The KGB uses bulldozers to close down an outdoor exhibition by “unofficial” artists in Belyaevo Park in Moscow. Publicity overseas prompts the authorities to permit another outdoor art show, and KGB agents stand by as 10,000 spectators flock to Izmailovo Park to see 150 paintings in a variety of styles not sanctioned by the regime.
The authorities continue to repress commemoration of the Holocaust. Jews who gather to memorialize a Nazi massacre in Rumbula near Riga are dispersed by the police. A group of Jews in Kyiv are prevented from commemorating the 1941 Babi Yar massacre. Several years later, the authorities will install a monument with an inscription honoring 200,000 Soviet citizens “of various nationalities” murdered at the site, with no mention of the large proportion of Jewish victims.