Names in the News : American Wins Soviet Exit Battle
Abe Stolar, an American Jew who fought in the Red Army in World War II but was later refused permission to leave the Soviet Union, said today he has won a long battle to emigrate to Israel with his family.
“There is no joy in winning this battle, there is only relief,” Stolar, 77, said. Stolar, born and raised in the South Side of Chicago, went to the Soviet Union with his Soviet-sympathizing parents at the age of 19. His father disappeared in 1936 during the Stalin purges and his mother and sister died in Siberian concentration camps. Stolar, his Russian wife, Gita, and his son, Michael, were granted visas to leave in 1975, but authorities said Michael’s Russian wife could not leave. Stolar refused to leave without all members of his family.