Letter from Francis Crick to Nikolai V. Podgorny, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.
In his letter Crick interceded with the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., Nikolai Viktorovitch
Podgorny, on behalf of Alexandre Goldfarb, a molecular biologist who was prevented from immigrating to Israel because Soviet
officials had deemed his research important to national security.
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1 (79,219 Bytes)
1974-12-02 (December 2, 1974)
Podgorny, Nikolai V.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Office of the Chairman
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
I understand that the scientist Alexandre Goldfarb and his wife have been denied an exit visa to go to Israel on the grounds
that his scientific work has given him information which is important to the security of the U.S.S.R. I know Goldfarb personally,
having met him in Moscow in 1971 and am familiar with his work. I should like to assure you that the idea that such work
is important to your security is quite ridiculous. Excuses of this type, made by petty officials, only make your government
an object of ridicule in informed circles. I am sure you would wish to avoid giving such an impression.
I hope that now that the matter has been brought to your attention you will ask your officials to remove this objection to
his going to Israel. Otherwise I should have no option but to raise the matter in a public manner. If you are not prepared
to take my unsupported opinion on this matter, may I ask you to approach Academician Engelhardt (or some similar Russian scientist
of international standing) and ask him to confirm that the excuse given in this case can only appear ridiculous to scientists
I feel I do not need to restate the general reason for allowing certain of your Jewish scientists to go to Israel as this
has been done many times already by others. In the case of Alexandre Goldfarb the fact that he has at the moment no employment
in your country suitable to his capacities would appear to be an additional reason for allowing him and his wife an exit visa.
Perhaps you would be so good as to acknowledge receipt of this letter as you would a diplomatic one.