20.10 Extra-judicial Persecution

No 20 : 2 July 1971

[1] The “Service Record” of M. Rostropovich (November 1970-May 1971)

At the beginning of November 1970 Rostropovich wrote an Open Letter in defence of Solzhenitsyn (CCE 16.1).

1. Since the end of November 1970 there has not been a single radio or television broadcast with his participation. (Broadcasts by his wife G[alina] Vishnevskaya were also cancelled for some time.)

2. December 1970. Return from abroad. There was an offensively thorough search at the Brest customs post [at the Polish border], during which his personal letters were read.

3. January 1971. The newspaper Soviet Culture published a report of the award of a Grand Prix to Soviet musicians for a recording made in France of the opera Eugene Onegin. The prize was handed personally to Rostropovich by the French Minister of Finance [Giscard d’Estaing]. The newspaper lists not only the principal performers but even the director of the recording company [omitting his name], but Rostropovich’s name is not mentioned.

4. The USSR Deputy Minister of Culture informed Rostropovich that for a period of six months his concerts abroad, which had already been arranged, had been cancelled.

5. February. The fiftieth anniversary of the Grand Radio Orchestra. Rostropovich’s photograph was removed from the jubilee wall-newspaper on the instructions of the Party committee.

6. 1 April. By order of the director, Oznobishchev, Rostropovich was dismissed as a soloist from the Moscow Philharmonia, and, moreover, not informed of the fact.

7. 28 April. In Komsomolskaya pravda, the only newspaper to report the Moscow concert of the British [in fact London] Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by B[enjamin] Britten, at which [Svyatoslav] Richter and Rostropovich were the soloists, only Richter was mentioned. An article about the concert was removed altogether from Izvestia, because its author refused to strike out the mention of Rostropovich.

8. Late April. Advertised concerts by Rostropovich were cancelled.

9. 11 May. A previously announced concert by Rostropovich at Moscow University was cancelled under the false pretext that he was ill.

10. Late May. As a result of protests by leading musicians Rostropovich was reinstated in the Philharmonia.

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[2] Joint Session of the Academic Council and the Council on Teaching Methods of the General Economics Faculty of the [Moscow] Plekhanov Institute. 4 June 1971.

(For information: Allan-Edgar Veniaminovich Kroncher (b. 1935), Jewish, non-Party-member, economist, Lecturer in the Department of Economic Planning, who has been engaged in research and pedagogical work for eight-and-a-half years since gaining a higher degree, gives lectures on economic planning. He submitted an application to the rector requesting a reference for OVIR in connection with leaving for Israel.)

Agenda: The deprivation of A. V. Kroncher of his degree and academic title in connection with actions incompatible with the title of Soviet scholar and Lecturer at the Institute.

A. Ivanov, Dean of the General Economics Faculty, conducted the meeting.

V. Kossov, Head of the Department of Economic Planning, reported the resolution of a meeting of the Department’s Party members: to condemn Kroncher’s act as political treachery and to petition for his removal from teaching work of any kind.

The floor was then given to A. V. Kroncher, who expressed his “anger and categorical disagreement with what is taking place here”.

After Kroncher members of the Department of Economic Planning spoke in the following order: Prof. B. M. Smekhov, Doctor of economic sciences; Prof. B. I. Braginsky, Doctor of economic sciences; I. G. Kuznetsova, Senior Lecturer; Prof. V. V. Kossov, Head of Department, Doctor of economic sciences; E. K. Serednitskaya, Deputy Head of Department, Reader, Master of economic sciences; N. A. Ivanov, Dean of the General Economics Faculty, to which the Department of Economic Planning belongs. They all denounced Kroncher’s action and supported the resolution on his case passed by the Department of Economic Planning.

As the result of a ballot a resolution was passed, completely endorsing that of the meeting of the Department’s Party group. On the same day the decision of the Academic Council of the Faculty was confirmed by the Academic Council of the Institute.