Suspension of Case Against Mikhail Naritsa, 31 May 1976 (41.1)

Released on 7 May 1976 after signing a promise not to leave Jelgava [Latvian SSR] (CCE 40.15 “News in Brief”), Mikhail NARITSA was summoned by the town’s procurator on 31 May. The investigator Grasis was also present during their conversation. Announcing that the case had been suspended, the Procurator emphasized that this was being done only on humanitarian grounds, as the criminal nature of Naritsa’s activities had been proven. “But if you continue to take part in such activities,” said the procurator, “then you will answer for them to the Law, in spite of your age.”

Mikhail Naritsa, 1909-1993

Naritsa wanted to know on what basis he had been accused of “disseminating knowingly false fabrications” [Article 190.1], and he was allowed to read the excerpts made by the investigation from his “Notebook” and from articles he had written: “The Naked Kings”, “Which Way is Art Going?”, “Education” and “Beginning or End?” The charges against Naritsa also included his “Crime and Punishment”, “My Testimony” and his statement on emigration.

Naritsa commented that the inclusion in the case-evidence of certain quotations looked comic, for example the quotation of two phrases from the “Notebook” which praised certain Chinese national characteristics. The investigator replied that this had been prepared not by himself, but by the previous investigator. (There was no testimony in the case material, either by witnesses or by Naritsa himself, who had refused to participate in the investigation in any way.)


Naritsa was then shown the text of the decree suspending the case, as announced by the investigator and dated that same day, 31 May. The decree stated that Naritsa’s guilt had been proved by the investigation, but that in view of his advanced age and weak health (in fact, at the age of 67, Mikhail Alexandrovich Naritsa has no complaints about his health, Chronicle), he could be released from criminal responsibility. In addition, as a result of a change of circumstances the accused had ceased to be “socially dangerous” (Article 6 of the RSFSR Code of Criminal Procedure). The typewriter seized during a search of Naritsa’s house was confiscated.

The question of Naritsa’s emigration from the USSR was also touched on. The Procurator said that he should not apply to the central authorities and that applications to emigrate should be handed to the local police. Naritsa objected that he had been trying to obtain permission to emigrate for 15 years. The investigator hinted that times had changed. Those who talked to Naritsa did not refer directly to the following declaration but perhaps they had it in mind:

from Mikhail Alexandrovich Naritsa (b. 1909),
resident in Jelgava, Latvian SSR,
Kr. Baronis Street 5, flat 13.

To USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs

10 May 1976


I request you to grant me and my wife, Lyudmila Vasilyevna NARITSA (b. 1912), a visa to emigrate from the USSR. My world outlook has nothing whatever in common with Marxism and, what is even more important, I cannot endorse a single action taken by the communists (and the Soviet government), either in internal affairs or in foreign policy.

For their part, the representatives of your government display unremitting hostility towards my literary works, describing as libel what I consider to be the plain truth, with no exaggerations.

M. Naritsa

I wish to emigrate together with my husband. L. Naritsa

On 2 June Naritsa was told at the police station that applications to emigrate would not be accepted without an invitation from abroad.