The Human Rights Movement in USSR: Western publications (1972)

<<No 27 : 15 October 1972>>

[in English, French, Dutch, German and Italian]

(The same categories are used, with some extra sub-categories)

  • [1] Collections of Documents



1.1 General

J Bivemer and M. van den Heuvel (eds.), De demokratishe Beweging in der Sovjet Unie. Dokumenten, Amsterdam, 1971. An excellent, wide-ranging collection with photographs.

Cahiers du samizdat, Brussels. This excellent monthly translates a wide range of new samizdat documents, with the necessary minimum of commentary.

C. Gerstenmaier, The Voices of the Silent, Hart: New York, 1972. 230 pages of documents and 300 pages of analysis; this is a (rather inexpert) translation of the very useful Die Stimme der Stummen.

N. Karsov, S. Schechter (eds.), Kronika biezazych vydurzen, Polonia Book Fund, London, 1972. This excellent Polish translation of the Chronicle includes Nos. 1-12 in full and Nos. 13-16 in summary and carries photographs and an introduction.

La lunga strada di un’alternativa nell l’URSS. Samizdat politico, Jaca Book: Milan, 1972. A very useful collection of political samizdat.

Borys Lewytzkyj, Politische Opposition in der Sowiet Union, 1960-1972. Analyze und Dokumentation, Deutscher Taschenbuch: Munich, 1972.

  • An excellent and wide-ranging collection of documents and commentary, plus pen-portraits of 14 leading dissenters, a good bibliography which includes magazine and press articles, and an invaluable 40-page list of 670 political prisoners of recent years, with details of their arrest, sentence, etc.
  • The documents include the “Programme of the Democratic Movement of the Soviet Union” (1969), the appeal of 17 Latvian communists (1971), an informed analysis of the Leningrad “All-Russian Social-Christian Union for the Liberation of the People” (1969) and a document recording the discussion between Mikoyan and a Volga German delegation in 1965.

Russischer samizdat, Kuratorium Geistige Freiheit: Bern, Switzerland. A magazine which publishes translations of samizdat documents.

1.2 Trials, Demonstrations, Persecution, etc.

Abuse of Psychiatry for Political Repression in the Soviet Union (Washington, D.C.), 1972. the December 1972 report of the US Senate contained “translations of Fainberg’s 1970 appeal, Borisov’s letters of 1969-1971 and V. Chernyshov’s 1971 declaration” (see CCE 27.6, end-note 3).

Condannati alla folia, Garzanti (Milan), 1972. A translation of Kazniymie sumashchestviem (Frankfurt, 1971), this book gives massive documentation from samizdat sources on a wide range of victims of political psychiatry up to early 1971.

C. Gerstenmaier (ed.), Wladimir Bukowskij. Der unbequeme Zeuge, Seewald: Stuttgart, 1972. A very useful collection of documents by and about Bukovsky, including the long samizdat account of his trial in January 1972.

K. van het Reve (ed.), Nicht geladene Zeugen. Briefe und Telegramme an Pawel M. Litwinow, Hoffmann und Campe: Hamburg, 1969. Translation of Letters and Telegrams to Pavel M. Litvinow.


1.3.1 National Movements

La repressione culturale in Lituania, Jaca Book: Milan, 1972. A collection of documents on the national and religious movements in Lithuania.

R.W. Schloss, Lass mein Volk ziehen. Die russischen Juden zwischen Sowietstern und Davidstern. Eine Dokumentation, Munich-Vienna, 1971. Documents on the Soviet Zionist movement.

S. Stetsko (ed.), Revolutionary Voices: Ukrainian Political Prisoners Condemn Russian Colonialism, Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations: München. Although edited from the viewpoint of extreme Ukrainian nationalism, this book is a very useful anthology of writings by leading Soviet Ukrainian dissenters.

Ukrainian Intellectuals in Shackles: Violation of Human Rights in Ukraine, Ukrainian American Congress Committee: New York, 1972. This booklet contains extracts from, and summaries of, samizdat documents.

1.3.2 Religious Movements

X. Howard-Johnston and M, Bourdeaux (eds.), Aida of Leningrad: The Story of Aida Skripnikova, Gateway Outreach: Reading, 1972. Moving documents about a leading young Baptist, including a transcript of her trial in 1968.

Kampf des Glaubens. Dokumente aus der Sowjetunion, Schweizerische’s Ostinstitut : Bern, 1967. A collection of samizdat documents about religious persecution in the early and mid-1960s.

André Martin, Les Croyants en l’URSS, L’Eglise officielle contestée. Persécutions et procés des croyants, Fayard: Paris, 1970. A useful collection of Orthodox and Baptist documents of 1965-1969.

Russia Cristiana, Milan. This bi-monthly journal regularly and promptly prints Christian documents from the USSR, with commentaries.

Russian Christians on Trial, European Christian Mission: London, 1970. This 45-page booklet consists of the samizdat transcript of a trial of some Odessa Baptists in 1967.

Terra nuova sotto la Stella rossa. Samizdat religioso, Jaca books: Milan, 1971. A very useful collection of religious samizdat.

Nadeshda Khodorowitsch, Religion und Atheismus in der UdSSR. Dokumente und Berichte, Claudius: Munich, 1970. An excellent collection by one of the leading western authorities on religion in the USSR.



2.1 Problems of Soviet Society

Anon, Renaissance du bolshevisme en URSS: Mémoires d’un bolchevik-leniniste, Maspéro: Paris, 1970. Memoirs of a Trotskyist, written around 1968, about political struggles in the Party in the 1920s, then about the prisons and camps he experienced. Documents by Yakir, Pisarev, Plyushch, Grigorenko and Yakhimovich are added as appendices.

Anon, White Book of Exodus, National Conference on Soviet Jewry, New York, 1972. A collection of documents brilliantly edited in Moscow, which illustrates the major aspects of the persecution to which active Zionists are subjected, even when they have an excellent knowledge of the law.

Evgenia Ginzburg, Into the Whirlwind, (London), 1967; Penguin, 1970. A well-known, moving and impressive account (many other translations) of life in Stalinist prisons and camps.

Pyotr Grigorenko, The Thoughts of a Madman (provisional title), Souvenir Press (London), due in late 1973. This translation of Mysli sumashedshego (Herzen Foundation, Amsterdam, 1973) contains the major writings by and about Grigorenko, plus a detailed bibliography.

Eduard Kuznecov, Senza di me. Diario da lager sovietico in 1970-1971, Longanesi: Milan, 1973. Kuznetsov describes his experiences during the Leningrad “aeroplane case” (see CCE 17.6) and then in the appalling conditions of special-regime camp No. 10 in Mordovia, where he is still. His style is reflective, analytical, sometimes bitter, always moving. To appear in other languages.

Nadezhda Mandelstam, Vtoraya kniga (her “Second Book”), YMCA: Paris. Due to appear in various languages in 1973. In it she continues her remarkable and penetrating memoirs, begun in Hope against Hope, which shed light on many aspects of her husband’s life, Soviet history and the Soviet intelligentsia.

Roy Medvedev, De la démocratie socialiste, Grusset: Paris, 1972. An ambitious work (to be published in other languages) which analyses the different political forces at work in the USSR, including different types of opposition, from a liberal Marxist perspective.

Valentyn Moroz, A Chronicle of Resistance in Ukraine, PIUF: Paris & Smoloskyp: Baltimore, 1970. Moroz’s stirring essay about preserving the Ukrainian nation.

Valentyn Moroz, Among the Snows: Protest Writings from the Ukraine, Ukrainian Information Service: London 1971. Moroz’s brilliant essay of 1970, polemicizing with Dzyuba, is the centrepiece of this small book, which also includes documents about Moroz and other Ukrainian dissenters.

Sergei Scheludkow [Zheludkov], Ist Gott in Russland tot? Stuttgart-Berlin, 1971. A translation of the Pskov priest Zheludkov’s book on the relation of religion to society. His modernist approach holds that the relation should be close, cf. CCE 25.5.

Pyotr Yakir, A Childhood in Prison, Macmillan: London, 1972. These vivid and revealing memoirs, written without self-pity, concern Yakir’s first years in imprisonment, after his arrest in 1937 at the age of 14. French, German and Dutch editions have already appeared, too.

2.2 Belles-lettres

Andrey Amalrik, “Die Nase” and “Ist Onkel Jack ein Konformist?”, Diogenes Theaterverlag: Zurich, 1971; and Six Plays, Harcourt Brace: New York, due in early 1973. Translations from Amalrik’s Pesy (Amsterdam, 1970), a collection of his comic, surrealist plays.

Varlam Chalamov, Recits de Kolyma, Paris, 1969. This small selection from Shalamov’s powerful stories of camp life under Stalin have also appeared in German.

Lydia Chukovskaya, Going Under, London and New York, 1972, and The Deserted House, London, 1967. These two beautifully told stories concern life in the Stalin period.

Julij Daniel, Berichte aus dem sozialistischen Lager, ins Deutsche gebracht von Wolf Biermann, Hoffmann und Campe: Hamburg, 1972. Brilliant, free translations by East Germany’s leading poet of some of the poems in Daniel’s Stikhi iz nevoli (Amsterdam, 1971), which were written in camp and prison.

Oles Honchar, Der Dorn von Satschipljanka, Hoffmann und Campe: Hamburg, 1970. A translation of The Cathedral, which set off a furore when it was first published in Kiev in 1968, then withdrawn.

A-H. Horbach, Ein Brunnen fur durstige und andere ukrainische Erzahlungen, Horst Erdmann: Germany, 1970. An anthology of modern Ukrainian literature, including works by contemporary dissenters.

G. N, Luckyj (ed.), Four Ukrainian Poets, Quixote: New York, 1969. Poems by Drach, Korotych, Kostenko and Symonenko.

M. Maslow (ed)., La nouvelle vague litteraire en Ukraine, PIUF: Paris, 1967. An anthology of the Ukrainian Writers of the 1960s, including Kostenko, Drach, Symonenko, Dzyuba and Svitlychny.

Wladimir Maximow, Die Sieben Tage der Schopfung, Scherz: Bern and Munich, 1972. His devastating novel (The Seven Days of Creation) about Soviet life is due to be published in various languages.           

Andrey Sinyavsky, For Freedom of Imagination, Holt, Rinehart: New York, 1971. A selection of essays on Pasternak, Akhmatova and others.

Andrey Sinyavsky, Unguarded Thoughts, Collins and Harvill: London, 1972. Sinyavsky’s brilliant and epigrammatic reflections of the mid-1960s on life, death and God.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, August 1914, 1972 (in many languages); and Stories and Prose Poems (London and New York), 1972. Works by and about Solzhenitsyn arc now too numerous to list in full.



3.1 General

Martin Dewhirst and R. Farrell, (eds.), The Soviet Censorship [provisional title], Scarecrow Press: Metuchen (New Jersey), due in 1973. This meticulously edited record of the proceedings of a conference of 1970 addressed by various former Soviet writers, including A. Belinkov and A. Kuznetsov, is the first well documented book on a subject of great relevance to many dissenters.

John Dornberg, The New Tsars: Russia under Stalin’s Heirs, Doubleday: New York, 1972. This book by Newsweek’s Moscow correspondent from 1968 to 1970 devotes Parts II and III to an informed description of samizdat and dissenters, some of whom the author knew personally.

Peter Hubner, Literatur contra naturwissenschaftliche Dogmatismus in der UdSSR heute, Koln, 1970. A study of recent writers, including those published in samizdat, who are opposing dogmatism in Soviet science.

Index, Writers and Scholars international, London. This quarterly contains a regular section on the world-wide persecution of writers, scholars, artists, etc., and also pays considerable attention to samizdat and censorship in the USSR.

Susan Jacoby, The Friendship Barrier: Ten Russian Encounters, New York and London, 1972. An account by a perceptive journalist, who lived in Moscow in 1969-1971, of her friendships with various Russians, including dissenters like Bukovsky and Gyuzel Amalrik.

Peggy Kettenis and others, Opposite in de Sovjet-Unie 1960-1970, Amnesty International: Netherlands, 1972. A small but imaginatively edited collection of documents and commentaries over a wide range of subjects.

Peter Reddaway, The Forced Labour Camps in the USSR today: An Unrecognized Example of Modern Inhumanity, International Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR, Brussels, February 1973.

  • This 45-page study, also available in French and Dutch, is a preliminary report, accompanied by a map showing the exact locations of 250 camps and the approximate locations of the roughly 750 more which exist. Together these camps are estimated to hold a total of at least one million prisoners, and their most inhuman feature is the constant semi-starvation which the prisoners face. A full report will be published later in 1973.

A. Rothberg, The Heirs of Stalin. Dissidence and the Soviet Regime 1951-1970, Ithaca and London, 1972. A discussion of the best-known Soviet dissenters and their situation by a versatile but not always expert author.

Samizdat, bi-monthly bulletin in Flemish of the Flemish Action Committee for Cooperation with Eastern Europe, Mechelen, Belgium. Documents and commentary, edited by a group which has organized human rights demonstrations in Moscow.

H. von Ssachno, M. Grunert, Literatur and Repression: Sowjetische Kulturpolitik seit 1965, Munich, 1970. A discussion of Soviet policy on literature, the censorship and repression since 1965.

Yakobson and R. V. Allen, Aspects of intellectual Ferment and Dissent in the Soviet Union. Study printed by the US Government Printing Office on 4 October 1968 for the Committee on the Judiciary of the US Senate. A useful study of different aspects of dissent, especially in the years 1966-1968.

3.2 National Movements

Baltic Events, edited by R. Taagepera, School of Social Science, University of California. A bi-monthly newsletter, formerly called “Estonian Events”, which provides information in a documentary way about various aspects of life, including human rights.

Julian Birch, The Ukrainian Nationalist Movement in the USSR since 1956. Ukrainian Information Service: London, 1971. A short but knowledgeable and well documented analysis.

“Ethnic Pressures in the Soviet Union”, Conflict Studies No. 30, Institute for the Study of Conflict,  London. Comprises studies of the Western republics and Soviet Central Asia. See details in notes 1 and 51 to this issue of the Chronicle.

G. Hodnett, P. J. Potichnyj, “The Ukraine and the Czechoslovak Crisis”, Occasional Paper No. 6, Dept, of Political Science, Australian National University, Canberra, 1970. A careful academic study of the relation of Ukrainian dissent to developments in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Soviet Jewish Affairs, Institute of Jewish Affairs, London. This excellent journal, which appears twice yearly, is the most academic publication on Jewish affairs, and treats both contemporary and historical themes.

3.3 Religion

Catacombes, Courbevoie, France. An inter-denominational monthly which publishes samizdat documents and commentaries on the churches in the USSR and East Europe.

Giovanni Codevilla, Stato e Chiesa nell Unione Sovietica, Jaca Book: Milan, 1971. Part of this work has been published as a small book in English; The Attitude of the Soviet State towards Religion. Russia Cristiana, Milan. The work is concerned to examine Church-State relations in the USSR from a basically legal viewpoint, in order better to understand contemporary religious dissent.

John Dunlop, The Recent Activities of the Moscow Patriarchate Abroad and in the USSR, St. Nectarios American Orthodox Church: Seattle, 1970. The second half of this capable study, “The ‘Unofficial’ Voice of the Persecuted”, makes extensive use of Orthodox samizdat.

ELTA-Press, Rome. This monthly information bulletin publishes documents and commentaries on Lithuanian church affairs.

Battista Mondin, Cristo Ancora Clandestino, Edizioni Izme-Pime: Milan, 1972. This small book is an objective eyewitness account of the predicament of the Soviet churches today.

The Orthodox Word, Flatina, California. A bi-monthly which publishes both documents and commentary concerning the Russian Orthodox Church and especially its persecution.

Religion in Communist Lands, Chislehurst (UK).

  • This new bi-monthly journal, the organ of the “Centre for the Study of Religion and Communism”, publishes samizdat documents and commentaries on the churches in the USSR (also material on East Europe and China). Its bibliographical section incorporates the Centre’s previous publication, Documentation Service on Religion in the USSR, which from 1968 to 1971 listed and annotated systematically all religious samizdat reaching the West.

Joshua Rothenberg, The Jewish Religion in the Soviet Union, Ktav: New York, 1971. An authoritative analysis of the religious conditions available for Jews in the USSR, from a legal angle. The extensive discrimination and harassment which the laws support and encourage (against other religions too) help to explain the rapid growth of Zionism.

Gerhard Simon, Die Kirchen in Russland, Berichte, Dokumente, Munich, 1970; translated as The Churches in Russia, London, 1973. A very useful combination of documents and commentary by a leading specialist.