Where we are from
After emigrating to the US from the ex-Soviet Union in 1979 Ben was trying to free his family, his brother, Roman, and their father, who were still in Leningrad, not being allowed to leave Russia. Their father never made it out of Russia. He died of a heart attack while trying to reunite his family in a free world. Roman with other refuseniks were demonstrating in Moscow with signs "Let My People Go". These were not exactly safe demonstrations. A mob was attacking "refuseniks" while local police silently watched.
In 1988 Ben went to Washington to meet with US senators to free his brother. Senators Bill Bradley and Frank Lautenberg wrote a colleague letter signed by 33 senators.
President Reagan had his own list of 100 separated families when he flew to Moskow to meet with Michael Gorbachev. Roman was on that list. The minute Reagan's plane landed in Moscow, Roman and his family were freed to join Ben in the US.
The picture on the right: Ben is thanking Bill Bradley a few years later. (The picture was sent from Bill Bradley's office)