Oral History Excerpts
"We drove up to 16th and K streets NW [near the Soviet Embassy]...There, we marched in a constricted circle with the posters and handing out leaflets explaining our cause. I remember Ernie Shalowitz holding up a poster and telling me with a smile that this was the first time in his life that he carried a poster. "
"When I saw former refusnik Natan (Anatoly) Sharansky in Israel many years later and told him of my role with the [Jackson-Vanik] amendment, he thanked me warmly and stressed how crucial the legislation had been in making possible the Soviet Jewish emigration.
Of all the meaningful professional positions I have been privileged to hold, I believe the most significant in its impact was my work in helping ensure Congressional passage of the Jackson-Vanik amendment."
"For my efforts to assure a conference was held according to international [human rights] standards I was called a 'well-known international agitator.' When my daughter heard this, she was thrilled to have her father be known as a well-known international agitator. "
Dr. Jack Minker
"I met former [Prisoner of Conscience] Shimon Grillius. When I told him I was from Washington, he became very excited. He told me that he had received a package of matzah sent by someone in Washington. He traded a guard some cigarettes for the package just before Pesah. He told me how moved he was to have the matzah and how much it meant to him."