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The First Leningrad Trial

Sylva Zalmanson's story posted by Anat Kuznetzov-Zalmanson on December 19, 2012 at 5:00 am. Sylva emigrated from Riga, Latvia to Jerusalem, Israel in 1974

A group of 16 Soviet civilians, mostly Jewish, who in 1970 had the courage to stand up and fight for their freedom. They plotted to buy all the ticktes to a small plane, throw out the pilots before takeoff, and fly it to Sweden, knowing they faced a huge risk of being captured or shot down. They proceeded in the hopes that this action would give them a platform to inform the world of the conditions behind the Iron Curtain. They were arrested near Leningrad, imprisoned in Siberian work camps and two of them where sentenced to death. However, their message got out and as a direct result of their bravery, world pressure forced the USSR to open its curtain and throughout the 1970's 163,000 Jews were liberated from the USSR. It started with the action of a few, the few became many, and the echoes of their bravery have reverberated through history. The documentary "Next Year In Jerusalem" directed by the daughter of the group’s leaders, will tell the whole story for the first time. To watch to trailer and help this film become a reality, please visit