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Natan Scharansky


Born Anatoly Scharansky in Donetsk, U.S.S.R. Married to Natalya Stiglitz, now Avital Scharansky, in 1974. They have one child. Employed as mathematician and computer programmer in the Soviet Union.

He was an activist for the Jewish emigration movement. Natan was a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Monitoring Group. He was arrested by Soviet authorities in 1977 and sentenced to 13 years in prison on charges of treason. He was released in an exchange for spies and moved to Israel in February 1986. Author of Fear No Evil published in 1988.

Natan and Avital Shcharansky were honored with Congressional gold medals by act of May 13, 1986. The two original medals were presented by President Ronald Reagan January 11, 1989. The medal was designed by Jim Licaretz. Bronze copies were sold to the public in two sizes, 3 inch (USM 691) and 1.5 inch (USM 692).

bio: IntWW 91-92; WWA

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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