Samizdat update, February 1969 (6.8)

<<No 6 : 28 February 1969>>


Roy Medvedev, Before the Court of History

This book has long been known to a narrow circle but has only begun to circulate widely in samizdat. It is a three-volume study of the life and personality of J.V. Stalin, his administration and his crimes.


“Svetlana Stalin and her Twenty letters to a friend

In analysing Svetlana Alliluyeva’s book, the anonymous author [Roy Medvedev, CCE 7.11, item 6] charges her with insincerity, and with an attempt to justify Stalin and shift the blame onto Beria and the commander of Stalin’s guard, General Vlasik.


Pyotr Yakir, “A Letter to the Party Central Committee
and the Editors of the Journal Kommunist

The letter was prompted by the publication in Nos. 2 and 3 of Kommunist of an article of apologetics on J. V. Stalin. The writer of the letter enumerates the crimes of Stalin in accordance with the current Criminal Code, citing a large number of little-known facts, such as the list of women shot as wives of ‘enemies of the people’, and a list of twenty-two Heroes of the Soviet Union, mainly pilots, heroes of the fighting in Spain, who were shot without trial in October 1941.

These same articles also provoked a letter from Leonid Petrovsky, the historian and grandson of G. I. Petrovsky, who lost his father during the era of the Stalinist repressions.


The Trial of Four

A collection of materials about the case of Galanskov, Ginzburg, Dobrovolsky and Lashkova, compiled and supplied with a commentary by Pavel Litvinov. This book, finished by Litvinov literally on the eve of his arrest, contains the fullest possible collection of documents linked to the trial: a record of the proceedings and the appeal hearing; collective and individual letters, written before and after the trial; Soviet press materials, and letters to the press, about the trial.


Valentin Turchin, “The inertia of fear”

A philosophical examination of issues concerning contemporary [Soviet] society.


“State and Socialism”

A Marxist analysis of our State. A work by student historians from Gorky, who were mentioned in the previous issue in the section about acts of extra-judicial repression [CCE 5.3, Nos 128-136].


Yekaterina Olitskaya, My memoirs

The reminiscences of a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party about her first arrest in 1924 and long years spent in the camps of Solovki [Northwest Russia] and Kolyma [Soviet Far East].


A.S. Volpin, “A legal memorandum for
those faced with interrogation”

Anyone may be faced with interrogation – sometimes it is enough for one’s telephone number to be found in a notebook removed during a search. However, few people know either their rights or the limits to the rights of the investigator conducting the interrogation. Volpin’s “memorandum”, although written in the author’s characteristic and complex style, contains a great deal of legal information which is indispensable to anyone under interrogation who wishes to avoid either a possible violation of legality or becoming an unknown accomplice to such a violation.