Samizdat Update, March 1972 (24.12)

<<No 24 : 5 March 1972>>


Our Middle-Eastern Friends:
A Survey of the Soviet press, Moscow, 1972

A “collection of quotations” dealing with events in the Middle East, the Middle-Eastern policy of the Soviet Union and its treatment in the Soviet press. The 220 quotations (mainly from Soviet periodicals of 1967-71), arranged in chronological order, are accompanied by a very small number of foot-notes provided by the compilers (which are of a purely informatory nature), and a few epigraphs from the Book of Isaiah (Old Testament) and Antiquities of Judaea by Joseph Flavius.

In their brief introduction the compilers of the collection indicate that their principal objective is to provide the reader of today’s newspapers – who has a poor recollection of yesterday’s and practically none at all of those of the day before – with a view of the history of recent decades which, while it may not be completely accurate, will at least be reasonably sober and thoughtful. To facilitate the comparison of quotations, the survey is provided with indexes by subject and name, as well as an index of the sources from which the quotations are taken.


Confrontation with Oneself, Moscow, 1972

A review of the annotated collection of quotations Our Middle-Eastern Friends summarized above.

After a brief exposition of the history of the Jewish question in the USSR and the development of the attitude towards it on the part of the authorities and of the press, the reviewer points out that the survey is incomplete, as its compilers have consciously concentrated their attention only on certain aspects of Soviet-Jewish and Soviet-Arab relations.

To the credit of the collection the reviewer notes that

“the compilers … do not try … to persuade the reader that [the press] ‘used to tell the truth, but now it tells lies’, or the like. A liar never deserves to be trusted, even when he makes a slip in his lying and happens to let through a particle of the truth. One does not need to study logic in order to understand that lies can be used to prove anything. And if a man calls the same object white one moment and black the next, in response to orders from his superiors, then he is always a liar – irrespective of what colour the object is in reality: red, blue, grey, white, black or green”.


Vladimir Osipov, [55] “The Secret of Freedom”
December 1971-January 1972

A brief essay. The author asks bitterly “our godless intelligentsia ‘why do we need freedom of opinion?’” (“Are we not free to prostitute ourselves, to denounce and rob others? Take a walk around our cities and villages on your day off. Everyone is drunk. Everyone is free … General slovenliness. ‘Freedom …”) and sees the “secret of freedom” in the fact that “each person incorporates into the idea of freedom the concept of FREEDOM FOR HIMSELF” (‘ “Ban this or that party’ – chant some freedom-lovers in the democratic countries …”).

He goes on to say:

“Freedom of opinion must be given to all. Believers and atheists, nationalists and democrats, Zionists and anti-Semites, conservatives and communists – all must have the right to express their point of view. I do not say this out of a love for freedom. I personally find the freedom of certain opinions disgusting. But it must exist IN THE NAME OF LIFE … One might agree that the freedom to govern is the preserve of the few. But the freedom to think and to dissent belongs to all”.


The same author, “Cowards don’t play hockey”
1 January 1972 ([Russian Orthodox] Christmas Day)//

A brief essay. The author compares the “masculine” concept of courage, which is reflected in the ironical title of the essay – following the thought processes of the author, who recalls the dog-eat-dog life he led in the camps, one might also describe this concept as the “criminal [blatnoi] concept” – with the genuine courage of those who possess freedom of thought and who, for the sake of that freedom, are ready to endure deprivations, including  “deprivation of freedom”.

“We are so used to Stalinism that we are afraid of a change. Afraid to straighten our backs, to draw ourselves up to our full height. Suppose we can’t manage to stand on our feet? We feel more secure on all fours.

“The Action Group, the Committee for Human Rights, open letters, [samizdat] journals – finally, thank God, we’re beginning to overcome our fear. We are inspired by the courage of Grigorenko, Ogurtsov, Bukovsky. The courage of real men. Cowards do not speak up for the truth.”


O. Altayev,
“The dual consciousness of the Russian intelligentsia” [51]

The author is irritated by the disappearance from the psychological profile of the contemporary Russian intelligentsia of “aristocratic asceticism and a sense of guilt before the people”; by its acquisition of “philistine” and “bourgeois” characteristics, in particular its dyed-in-the-wool atheism, its denial of the religious foundations of morality, its proclivity for liberal illusions and its readiness to live in symbiosis with the authorities, who are the object of its criticism. All these qualities of the intelligentsia, which the author is none the less inclined to consider “the principal historical motive force of our society”, are leading, in his opinion, to the next historical disaster.

Note 1 — Clearly a variant of Altayev’s article “The Dual Consciousness of the Intelligentsia and Pseudo-culture”, published in Vestnik RSKhD, No. 97, 1970 (pp. 8-32).


Anonymous: “An attempt to understand the point of O. Altayev’s essay
‘The dual consciousness of the Russian intelligentsia’”

In the opinion of the author of this review, O. Altayev (see the foregoing item), basing himself on “premises which nobody can understand”, ascribes to the intelligentsia “a disproportionately great, nay, satanic significance”, and also “raises the significance and uniqueness of his own psychological portraits to the level of an absolute”, whereas the intelligentsia of today (all educated persons) is in fact “a part of the people, and works, and plays an important role in overall production”.


Moskovit, Applied Metaphysics (400 pages)

An exposition of a philosophical system in which the ideas of Kant and Schopenhauer play an important part. The system of postulates put forward by the author (the basic ones are: “Man is the will to achieve freedom” and “The feelings of pleasure and displeasure are symptoms of the expansion or contraction of the boundaries of freedom”) is appended by the author to an analysis of human passions and an analysis of historical and political events from ancient times to the present.


Solzhenitsyn, “Autobiography”
First published in the Yearbook of the Nobel Foundation
for 1971, [52] Stockholm

Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk [North Caucasus] on 11 December 1918. In 1914 his father, a Moscow student of philology, volunteered for military service; he spent the entire war as an artillery officer at the German front, and died in summer 1918, six months before the birth of his son. A. S. was brought up by his mother, a short-hand typist.

In 1936 he graduated from secondary school in Rostov-on-Don. “Even as a child I felt spontaneously drawn towards writing, and I wrote plenty of the usual childish nonsense …” A few days before the outbreak of war (in 1941) he graduated from Rostov University in physics and mathematics (since 1939 he had also been an external student at IFLI [Moscow’s Institute of Philosophy, Literature and History]). In 1941-42 he served in the army as a driver of horse-drawn vehicles, after which he took a short course at an artillery training school; from November 1942 until his arrest (in February 1945) he fought in the front lines as commander of an artillery reconnaissance battery.

He was arrested in Eastern Prussia (where [his novel] August 1914 is mainly set) for “disrespectful references to Stalin” in letters to a friend (these “references” mentioned the Best Friend [of the People] under a pseudonym, but still this was sufficient for an expert censor to denounce him) and for “drafts of short stories and debates”. In July 1945 he was sentenced by decision of the Special Board to eight  years in the camps. He served the first part of his term in camps of a general type (The Tenderfoot and the Tramp), the middle part in a sharashka, i.e. a scientific research institute staffed by prisoners (The First Circle), and the last part in a special camp for political prisoners in Ekibastuz (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich). He spent an extra month in the camp, and then from 5 March 1953 until June 1956 he served his sentence of “eternal exile” in Kok-Terek (Southern Kazakhstan).

At the end of 1953 he was at death’s door from a recurrence of cancer, which he had contracted in the camps and which had never been completely cured. During the course of 1954, however, he made a virtually complete recovery in a Tashkent hospital (Cancer Ward, Right Hand).

“… Throughout my years of exile I taught mathematics and physics in the village school, and as my life was unrelievedly lonely I wrote prose in secret (in the camp I could only write poetry, since everything had to be committed to memory). I managed to preserve it and bring it back with me from exile to the European part of the country, where I continued as before – overtly I taught, covertly I wrote, at first in the Vladimir Region (Matryona’s Homestead) and later in Ryazan.

“All those years, until 1961, not only was I certain that I would never see a single line of mine in print during my lifetime, but I could hardly bring myself to give any of my work to anybody to read, fearing that word of this would spread. Finally, at forty-two, I began to find it oppressive to be a writer in secret. Most oppressive of all was the impossibility of trying out my work on sophisticated readers. In 1961, after the 22nd Party congress and the speech Tvardovsky gave there, I made up my mind to come out of hiding and submit One Day … for publication. Coming out into the open like that seemed to me at the time – not without reason – to be fraught with danger; it might have led to the destruction of all my manuscripts and my ruin. But at the time it turned out well: a year later, after long efforts, A. Tvardovsky succeeded in publishing my story. But the printing of my works was stopped almost immediately …

Even events which we have experienced can hardly ever be evaluated and comprehended immediately after they have taken place; how much more unpredictable and surprising shall we find the course of future events.”


Yury Glazov, “From the Russian Diaspora’’
Moscow, 9 October 1971 (22 pages)

Reflections on the fate of the Jewish people; on the place of the Jews in the culture and society of the country in which they were born and bred; on the complex, contradictory and agonising problems facing Jews of the “Russian diaspora” when they try to resolve the question of emigration to Israel; on the motives which inhibit them from deciding to leave; on the legitimacy and eventual inevitability of this decision.

“By returning to Israel the Jews, as it were, come down from the cross of degradation … They return home with warm feelings for those countries where it has been their lot to know much joy and not a little sorrow … The descendants of Bar-Kochba and Akiva return to their native land bearing, like bees, the nectar of those cultures in whose bosom they have found themselves living. They re-examine much of what has formed a stumbling-block in their relations with other people. This hard road takes decades …”


Cornelia Mee,
“The Internment of Soviet Dissenters in Mental Hospitals
” [53]

Translated from the English. (The English text was produced for a “Working Group on the Internment of Dissenters in Mental Hospitals”). Moscow, 1972.

This report is concise in form but extremely rich in information, being based on materials from the Chronicle: the evidence of Bukovsky (including his appeal to Western psychiatrists – CCE 19 –  which is quoted in full as an appendix), of A. Yesenin-Volpin, Zh. and R. Medvedev, P. Grigorenko, N. Gorbanevskaya, S. Pisarev, G. Shimanov, M. Naritsa, V. Fainberg and others; and also on material by V. Chalidze and a number of other documents. About fifteen specific “cases” (“medical histories”), which have already been publicised by the Chronicle, are described in greater or lesser detail.


Vercors,Hitler won the war”
Translated from the French (published in Le Monde, 8 February 1972).

“Is it really all starting again?

“Do you remember thirty years on, my fellow-countrymen, our common sense of impotence when the Vichy government arrested our friends or connived at their arrest, dismissed professors and eminent public figures or connived at their dismissal, gagged “intellectuals too fond of philosophising” or connived at their gagging, hunted down thousands of innocent people or connived at their hunting-down? What did we do when every month, every week, every day we heard one piece of news like this after another? We clenched our fists … in impotent rage, and that was the extent of our actions … With each new crime we merely clenched our fists tighter with the fury of impotence, for we could do nothing to stop it.

“And now it is all starting again. We feel that frightful sense of impotence over what is happening in Prague and throughout Czechoslovakia. Our friends are being persecuted there … University professors are being hunted down, starved, deprived of their rights, evicted from their homes, and their children not allowed to go to university … And then, finally, they are arrested. People take up arms against them with a malice and cruelty very like the stench of the past.

“And again, to counterbalance all this … we can only clench our powerless fists … Nothing can be done … except what I am doing now – writing these pitiful words of protest … I dare not even name names, for fear of calling down new catastrophes on the heads of those I mention. Nothing can be done except compose yet another supplication or protest – and get not even a reply, not even reassurance, not even justification, nothing but black silence permeated with sneering cynicism and contempt.

“For Hitler won the war.

“With each day that passes he arises anew. He lost on earth, but he was victorious in the centuries to come and in the hearts of men. For after Hitler force, if not the gun, and the more or less brutal power of the police, have  reigned everywhere … And we can do nothing … For Hitler won the war …

“And now it is all starting again … Now – and how long will it go on? – they are persecuting and imprisoning those whose names I dare not mention.”


Yury Glazov, Yury Shtein, Yury Titov, Alexander Volpin,
and Vladimir Gershovich: “To the Editor of
The Times[54], Moscow, 5 March 1972

The letter opens with the words: “Quite soon, perhaps, each one of us will be given a visa, mount the steps of an aeroplane and leave the territory of Russia. On the eve of such a turning-point in our lives it is our sacred duty to state our attitude to what is happening”. The authors go on to speak of the intensifying political terror in the USSR and of the inactivity and silence of the intelligentsia, and express their “solidarity with the victims of recent oppression”, their “deep concern over the possible turn of the wheel of domestic policy”, and say that they are leaving “part of their hearts” behind them.


Pyotr Yakir, “To the honourable Soviet writer Varlam Shalamov”,
29 February 1972

Placing a high value on Shalamov’s creative work and his moral qualities, the author expresses his sympathy in connection with the circumstances which obliged the author of Kolyma Tales [55] to “sign” a letter to the Literaturnaya gazeta published in that weekly newspaper on 15 February. He reproaches Shalamov with “only one thing” – the sentence stating that “the problems dealt with in Kolyma Tales have long since been solved by life”.


V.G., “An Open letter to the author
of the book
Fascism under the Blue Star

To the journalist Yeliseyev. The addressee had numbered Hermann Goerring and Heinrich Himmler among the allies of Zionism, and managed to discover that Otto von Bismarck was of Jewish descent.


I. Raikhlin, “The Reference”

An autobiographical story dedicated to the memory of the author’s father, who was killed in battle near Moscow in 1941.

Goldberg, a successful engineer (the hero of the story), submits an application to emigrate to Israel, whereupon he is expelled from the Komsomol, given a negative reference and dismissed. His wife is visited by “representatives of public opinion” who “hint” that if they emigrate their relatives will suffer; these hints are larded with remarks about “the honour of the collective”. The reactions of the hero’s former colleagues cover a wide range: from petty Judo- phobia to the following monologue by engineer Koshkin: “ ‘Go to Israel? Do you think I’ve gone off my head?’ said Vadim, incensed. ‘You have to work over there. That doesn’t suit me at all. All I can do is read the papers and smoke. Anyone who likes work can go if he wants to!”’


A letter from V. Chalidze
with 56 attached documents

In his letter to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Chalidze draws the attention of the Presidium to the insuperable obstacles confronting believers in their desire to open churches. 56 documents are appended to the letter. Most (53) of them [56] deal with the protracted struggle (covering 1968-71) of the Orthodox Christians of Naro-Fominsk [Moscow Region] to open a church in the town.

Two court cases [57] figured in this campaign: actions were brought against the Council on Religious Affairs of the USSR Council of Ministers, seeking compensation for material damage, and against the Naro-Fominsk newspaper Znamya llycha, alleging defamation of character. Neither action was successful. The three-year campaign ended in failure. In Naro-Fominsk, as before, there is not a single functioning church. The remaining three documents are: two letters to Academician Sakharov (one from the Chernigov Region, asking his assistance in the opening of a Roman-Catholic church; the other from Chernigov itself, on the opening of an Orthodox church); and a letter to Brezhnev (from believers in Gorky campaigning for a church to be opened).


Social Issues, issue No. 14

The collection consists of three sections.

Section One “Documents from legal practice” comprises:

1. A complaint for review [by the Supreme Court] on the case of V. Bukovsky, from Chalidze, Sakharov, Tverdokhlebov and Volpin (see CCE 23).

2. Two complaints for review, compiled by Chalidze, on the case of Father Adelgeim, who was sentenced in June 1970 to three years’ imprisonment by the Tashkent City Court under Articles of the Uzbek Criminal Code equivalent to Articles 190-1, 218 and 112 of the Russian Code.[58]

3. A statement by Chalidze, Sakharov and Tverdokhlebov on the case of Abelson, Trifskin and Tessel, who were arrested in Riga in August 197I on a Judge’s warrant and imprisoned for fifteen and ten days.

4. A petition from Chalidze to the USSR Procurator-General, asking for citizens to be allowed to acquaint themselves with documents relating to criminal cases involving them or their relatives.

Second Two “Documents of the Committee for Human Rights”[59] comprises:

1. A message of greeting from members of the Committee for Human Rights to UN Secretary-General U Thant (see CCE 23).

2. The opinions of V. Chalidze and of the Committee for Human Rights on A. Volpin’s report “The International Pact on Civil and Political Rights and Soviet law”.

3. An appeal to the President of the USSR Supreme Soviet calling for the ratification of the Pacts on Human Rights.

4. A report by V. Chalidze on creative contacts established by the Committee for Human Rights since its formation.

Section Three consists of a summary of the contents of the journal Social Issues (Nos 9-14).


Herald of the Exodus No. 3, 1972

The collection includes numerous letters, telegrams, appeals, statements, complaints and applications from Jews in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Vilnius, Kishinyov, Tbilisi, Odessa, Novosibirsk and other cities, which were sent between September 1971 and January 1972 to various Soviet and international organisations and government figures.

The authors tell of the obstacles, of every conceivable sort, which the authorities have placed in the path of those who wish to emigrate to Israel: of the unjustified refusals by OVIR to issue exit visas; of dismissals and expulsions carried out without due process of law; of the beatings and extra-judicial persecution to which those wishing to emigrate have been subjected. Professor A. Lerner, for example, Doctor of Technological Science and an eminent Soviet cyberneticist, was dismissed for wishing to emigrate to Israel by the Institute of Control Problems of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where he had worked for over twenty years, and by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, where he had taught for over ten years.

At the same time Lerner was removed from his elected offices: those of chairman of the sub-committee for the applications of automated mechanisms of the USSR National Committee for Automated Control, member of the Cybernetics Board of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences, member of the Academic Board of the Institute of Control Problems, member of the editorial boards of the Large Soviet Encyclopedia and of the journals Automation and Remote Control and Instruments and Control Systems, and so on. An attempt was also made to remove A. Lerner from the position of deputy chairman of the Committee for the Applications of Automated Mechanisms of the International Federation of Automatic Control, but this was rebuffed by the Federation.

The Nauka and Metallurgiya publishing houses deleted books by A. Lerner from their prospectuses, although publication of them had already been announced. References to his work are being removed from all books and articles on control theory currently appearing. Since 1 December 1971 A. Lerner and his wife are no longer entitled to medical attention under the Academy of Sciences scheme. His son and daughter were expelled on the same date from graduate studies at the Institute of Control Problems. On 23 December 1971 A. Lerner and his family were refused permission to emigrate to Israel.[60]

Alexander Livshits, aged 34, Master of Chemical Sciences and Reader at the Novosibirsk Electro-Technical Institute,[61] was suspended from teaching work the day after he had stated his desire to emigrate to Israel. On 10 November 1971 his father Solomon Livshits was also suspended from teaching work, on the verbal instructions of the Rector of the Novosibirsk Institute of Commerce. Solomon Livshits, aged 63, Master of Economic Science and Reader in the Department of Political Economy at the Institute, was a founder of the Institute and one of its foremost lecturers; he is a veteran of World War II and the holder of many decorations and medals. Soon afterwards he was illegally dismissed. The reason for his dismissal was his refusal publicly to condemn his son Alexander and call him a traitor.

The collection also sets out the content of an interview given on 25 September 1971 by A. I. Ivanov, a section-head in the Administrative Department of the Central Committee of the Party [see also CCE 22]. In the course of the interview Ivanov made the following statement: “… the right to decide the question of whether or not to let the Jews go is exclusively that of the state … Your desire to emigrate to Israel imposes no obligation on the organs of the MVD [Ministry of Internal Affairs] to let you go. You do not have the right to emigrate to Israel … The right to demand and to insist is not one of your rights …”

The collection includes several letters protesting at articles by Academician M. Mitin (“Zionism – a variety of chauvinism and racism”, Pravda 18 December 1971) and G. Deborin (“The social countenance of Zionism”, Izvestia, 5 January 1972).

Other items [62] in the collection include an incomplete list (43 names) of persons who are serving terms of imprisonment for their desire to live in Israel, together with the biographies of some of them; details of the grave physical condition of Silva Zalmanson and Reiza Palatnik, and of the systematic beatings administered to Valery Kukui by the criminal [i.e. non-political] inmates of his camp; excerpts from letters sent by Reiza Palatnik and Valery Kukui from their camps; and letters in defence of prisoners.

A detailed account is given of the hunger strike held on the days marking the first anniversary of the Leningrad “aeroplane” trial in solidarity with the accused (CCE 23).

An account is given of the persecution, of every conceivable kind, of the Jewish religion, Jewish culture and Jewish traditions in Trans-Carpathia.

The story of Leonid (Jonah) Kolchinsky (born February 1952) is set out in detail. In reply to his statement requesting an exit visa he was made the object of all sorts of outrages.

In spite of his renunciation of Soviet citizenship (September 1970) he was refused permission to emigrate (November 1970) and hastily called up into the army (December 1970). In November 1971, a year after the refusal, serviceman Kolchinsky of the town of Angarsk in the Irkutsk Region requested the Irkutsk OVIR to accept his application to emigrate to Israel. His application was not accepted. When Kolchinsky returned to his unit, a campaign of terror was mounted against him.

The soldiers were incited to beat up Kolchinsky by their officers, and threats were made against his life for wishing to emigrate to Israel. Kolchinsky insists that OVIR is obliged to accept his application, since soldiers in the Soviet Army enjoy all civil rights.


Review No. 2, January 1972

1 “Where are we going?” – The article describes the “three waves” of arrests in Czechoslovakia beginning in November 1971.

Among those arrested were the son of Rudolf Slansky (who was later released – “apparently the Czechoslovak authorities themselves took fright at what they had done”), Jan Sling (the son of another leading figure in the Czechoslovak Communist Party who was hanged by the Stalinists in 1952) and Irina Buhova, one of the founders of the Slovak Communist Party and formerly a deputy editor of Rude Pravo.

For publishing several critical articles on [Polish leader] Gomulka in 1968, the journalist Jiri Lederer was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. In all more than 200 people were arrested, including the Italian left-wing journalist Valerio Occheto; Unita correspondent F. Zidar was deported (the Italian Communist Party delivered a strongly-worded protest).

The author of the article links these facts with the “new campaign against dissenters in the USSR”, mentions the searches and arrests of mid-January 1972 in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Lvov, and expresses the opinion that the KGB has been given instructions to liquidate the Chronicle and the Ukrainian Herald at all costs [see note 13]. After a one-page excursion into the history of our country in the post-Stalin period, the author reaches the conclusion that the activation and unification of all the anti-Stalinist forces in our country is “a matter of top priority and extreme urgency”. Despite the obvious vagueness of phrases like this, the influence of the classics [of Marxism-Leninism?] is manifest: “And this must be done not tomorrow, but today. Tomorrow may be too late. Our children will never forgive us if, after all we have lived through, we repeat the mistakes of 1964-65.” (The article makes no mention of earlier “mistakes”.)

2 “The scions of Stalin” – Thus the author of the article characterises [S. P.] Trapeznikov, a section head of the Central Committee apparatus (in which connection he discusses the merits of Minin, [Yu.] Steklov and [F.] Raskolnikov, slandered as “Trotskyites” by Trapeznikov); General Yepishev, head of the Political Directorate of the Soviet Army (in 1951 he was appointed deputy to S. //Ignatyev, who had taken the place of [V. S.] Abakumov as Minister of State Security), who acted as “consultant” to the Czechoslovak Stalinists on the Slansky trial (after 1953 Yepishev was demoted to secretary of a regional Party committee, only to be promoted again after [the fall of Khrushchev in] October 1964); Gen. Shtemenko; Golovanov, Chief Marshal of the Air Force, whose “servile memoirs” have appeared in the journal Oktyabr, the Red Cavalry Commander Budyonny, who was a member of the military tribunal which sent the Tukhachevsky-Yakir group to the firing-squad; “and of course the entire editorial board of the journal Oktyabr, headed by the obscurantist Kochetov”.

3 “Literary Chronicle” – Notes on the following works are given: “Stalinism shall not pass”, a collection of three documents by P. Yakir (Open Letters to the journal Kommunist , to the captain and crew of the steamer Jonah Yakir and to the 24th Party congress); unpublished verse by Alexei Markov; the novella The Way to the Stars (based on life in a camp) by Roald Mukhamedyarov; the novel New Appointment by Alexander Bek (after the censorship had rejected it for publication in Novy mir, the Novosti press agency offered it for sale in 1965 to Western publishers, all of whom rejected it as “too communist”; nevertheless it has now been published in the West [63]); Veche No. 3; CCE 23.

4 “From the history of samizdat” – Material on the Chronicle, which especially emphasises the fact that the Chronicle “carries out no propaganda” and “does not put forward any political programme of its own”.

5 Kaleidoscope – An account of the expulsion from the Writers’ Union of A. Galich (who was accused of “inciting Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel” and who was referred to at the meeting as “Comrade Ginzburg”); it is reported that in addition to Valentin Katayev (see CCE 23), another three of the nineteen persons present at the meeting (A[gnia] Barto, A[leksei] Arbuzov and Alexander] Korneichuk) considered that Galich’s punishment could be limited to a reprimand.

An account of the expulsion from the Writers’ Union of Yevgeny Markin, the real reason for which was his poem The White Buoy (in Novy mir 1971, No. 10), which is Abundant in repentant allusions [to his failure to oppose Solzhenitsyn’s expulsion from the Writers’ Union].

A report of the “one minute’s silence” in Pushkin Square on 5 December 1971.

A recommendation to compare the two editions of Vladimir Maximov’s book Strides towards the Horizon (issued by Pravda in 1966 and by Sovetsky Pisatel publishers in 1967): “and you will understand what our censorship is and what powers it possesses”.

An account of how the poet A. N. Markov, a member of the Writers’ Union CCE 20], sent a book of his poetry to a friend in Kharkov two years ago, with the inscription: “Slav blood on Russian tanks. Russia’s irredeemable shame. Eternal glory to Czechoslovakia …” how the book then “miraculously” fell into the hands of the Kharkov Regional KGB; how V. Ilyn// “miraculously” reported this at a meeting of the board of the Writers’ Union, at which Markov was almost expelled from the Union “for a politically incorrect and dangerous assessment of defensive measures taken by the Soviet government”.


Veche No. 4, 31 January 1972 (238 pp)

The issue contains:

  • the Christmas message of Patriarch Pimen;
  • chapters from the anonymous manuscript The Heritage of Dostoyevsky (chapter 1, “The dominant idea”, ch. 12, “The attainment of tranquillity”);
  • a chapter on Dostoyevsky and the novel The Brothers Karamazov from the book L’Homme Revolte by A. Camus (translated for the journal Veche);
  • the continuation of the article “The views of Konstantin Leontyev”;
  • the conclusion of the article “General Skobelev as soldier and statesman”;
  • poetry by Valentin Zozha (Sokolov);
  • an essay by A. Rayevsky, “The clothes without the king”, on modern music.

The Criticism and Bibliography section includes: “Two views of August 1914”: “Alone with Russia”, a rapturous review by V. Alexeyeva; and “The writer Solzhenitsyn and Professor Serebryakov”, a critical article by A. Skuratov.

The editors promise a continuation of the discussion.

The “Letters” section opens with a letter from Roald Mukhamedyarov, in which he asks the editors for their attitude towards the national movements within Russia, to religious persecution and to anti-Semitism. In their reply the editors refer to the fact that the use of force in the world was not invented by the Russians, and say that the tolerance of the Russian State can be characterised by its respect for the valour of General Bagration and for the intellect of Loris-Melikov [two 19th-century figures, a Georgian and an Armenian, respectively, who rose to become army general and minister of state].

An item entitled “A significant Duet” sharply criticises the gutter-press character of articles in the [German] journal Stern and in Literaturnaya gazeta about Solzhenitsyn’s family circumstances.[64] It includes an interview given to a correspondent of the Veche editorial board by the mother of N. A. Reshetovskaya, Solzhenitsyn’s first wife, [65] which is accompanied by a photocopy of a letter from Solzhenitsyn’s aunt – both documents refute the version in the Literaturnaya gazeta, according to which the aunt was not well received at the home of her nephew at a time when he had not yet achieved fame (1961).


Alexander Goltsov and Sergei Ozerov,
The Distribution of the National Income of the USSR,
Leningrad, 1971

This work of economics is devoted to ascertaining the real size and distribution of the national income of the USSR, and in particular to the portion expended on defence. Its sources are the published statistical indices of the Central Directorate of Statistics.

The authors reach the conclusion that the national income of the USSR is not 70% of that of the USA (as is officially claimed), but 17-20%., The portion absorbed by military expenditure is 41-51 % of the national income of the USSR, while consumer spending accounts for only 21- 31% – which is quite unique in the modern world. (In the USA military expenditure absorbs only 10% of the national income, while in other developed countries the percentage is still lower.)



  1. [51] Clearly a variant of Altayev’s article “The Dual Consciousness of the Intelligentsia and Pseudo-culture”, published in Vestnik RSKhD, No. 97, 1970 (pp. 8-32).

0. [50] See the long interview which Osipov (aged 34) gave to the Baltimore Sun (5 June 1972), mostly about himself and his journal Veche, and also his article of 1970, “Three Attitudes to one’s Homeland”, in Vestnik 103, Paris, 1972.

2. [52] This text is also in L. Labedz, ed., Solzhenitsyn: A Documentary Record, Penguin Books, 1972 (pp. 24-27).

3. [53] Cornelia Mee’s booklet is distributed by Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Rd., London, N1.

4. [54] The letter “to the editor of The Times” was published on 9 March.

By June the first four signatories had all left the USSR. See Shtein’s appeal to world opinion to resist the new repression in Peace News, 5 Caledonian Rd., London, N1, 23 June; an account of the KGB’s destruction of Titov’s paintings in a UPI dispatch from Rome of 8 June, an interview with him in Russkaya mysl, 29 June, and articles about his work in Vestnik RSKhD No. 100 and Russia Cristiana, Milan, No. 123, 1972; a press-conference given in Uppsala by Volpin at a conference on the right to leave one’s country and return to it, The Jewish Chronicle, London, 30 June; articles by Glazov on V. Maximov in Russkaya mysl, 8 and 15 June; and an article on them all in The Economist, London, 17 June.

5. [55] Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales were published in Russian at regular intervals in recent years by Novy zhurnal (New York) and in big collections in French and German. Two stories have also appeared in English in Michael Scammell (ed), Russia’s Other Writers. For reactions to, and information about, Shalamov’s letter see Possev 4, 1972 (pp. 9-11) and 7, 1972 (p. 63).

[6. 56] One of these is a petition of 1970 from 1,450 believers of the town.

7. [57] The materials of the two Naro-Fominsk church cases have been edited by Dr. B. Zuckermann of Jerusalem, who plans to publish them.

8. [58] On the case of Father Adelgeim see CCE 13, Possev: 4-i spets. vypusk, June 1970, p. 39. and an analysis in Vestnik RSKhD No. 97 (pp 157-63).

9. [59] A collection, Dokumenty Komiteta prav cheloveka, containing the Committee’s documents published in Nos. 8-13 of Social Problems and its message to U Thant, was published in June by the International League for the Rights of Man (777, UN Plaza, New York, N.Y.10017).

10. [60] Much material on Lerner has appeared in NBSJ and other Jewish publications, also in The Observer, London. 12 December 1971.

11. [61] See materials by and about Livshits in NBSJ Nos. 213-215.

12. [62] On all these, see recent issues of NBSJ.

13. [63] Alexander Bek, Novoye naznachenie, Possev-Verlag, Frankfurt.

14. [64] For a good analysis of this episode see Possev 2, 1972, pp. 10-13.

15. [65] The Baltimore Sun of 9 June summarizes the memoirs of Reshetovskaya herself, as published in Veche (probably No. 5).