22.8 News in Brief

No 22 : 10 November 1971

[1]

On 27 January 1971 Ostap Pastukh, a teacher of Ukrainian language and literature, was arrested in the village of Petrichi in the Busk District of the Lvov Region.

The following is known of O. Pastukh: he is about 40, a graduate of the Philology Faculty of Lvov University; he is married (his wife is a teacher of Russian in the same village) with two children. In 1967 Pastukh was arrested on being denounced by the headmaster of the school in the village of Nakrashe, where he was working at the time. Pastukh’s arrest was due to certain remarks and attitudes which had struck the headmaster as nationalistic.

A case was fabricated against Pastukh under Article 166 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (exceeding one’s authority or official powers). He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and banned from teaching for five years.

But the appeal court quashed the sentence.

On 28 January a search of Pastukh’s home was carried out, nothing being found or confiscated. He was indicted under Article 187-1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (equivalent to Article 190-1 of the Russian Code). At first the investigation was conducted by investigator Yaresko of the Lvov KGB. …

(Excerpt from the Ukrainian Herald (Ukrainsky visnyk)
[Ukrainian equivalent of the Chronicle], No. 5).

[2]

On 21 April 1971 Semyon Korolchuk (b. 1930), a resident of Lvov and a gynaecologist at the Institute for Maternity and Child Protection, was arrested in connection with the same case. The KGB first took an interest in Korolchuk in 1967, in connection with the case of the UNF (Ukrainian National Front [see CCE 17.7]). How the accused are conducting themselves is unknown. [36]

(Excerpt from the Ukrainian Herald, No. 5).

[3]

During the night of 29-30 April 1971 the yellow and blue flag (of the Ukrainian People’s Republic [of 1917-20]) appeared on a water-tower in the town of Novy Rozdol [Lvov Region]. The flag was removed only at mid-day on 30 April. Next day Pyotr Medved, aged 18, an apprentice fitter from the Rozdol Mining Combine, was arrested.

Medved is being held in the KGB prison in Lvov. He is being pressed to confess that it was he who hung up the flag. When visited by his mother Pyotr complained that he was being beaten.

(Ukrainian Herald, No. 5.)

[4]

The trial of the Hutsul [37] Nikolai Supenyuk.

On 27 July 1969 a trial was held in the district court in the village of Verkhovina (Ivano-Frankovsk Region). The indictment was under Article 187-3 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (equivalent to Article 190-3 of the Russian Code).

The accused Nikolai Alekseyevich Supenyuk (b.  1899), resident of the village of Bystritsy, is an illiterate collective farmer. He was “accused of organising a mob of people in Bystritsy with the object of illegally opening a church on 2 February 1969”. (Supenyuk was a member of the Church Council.) The court sentenced Supenyuk to one year of ordinary-regime corrective-labour camps. He pleaded not guilty.

(Ukrainian Herald, No. 5.)

[5]

KIEV. On 28 May Anatoly Ivanovich Lupynis (b.  1937) was arrested. It was the second time he had been arrested.

He was first sentenced in 1956 by the Ukrainian Supreme Court to six years of strict-regime corrective-labour camps under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (Article 70 of the Russian Code). In Dubrovlag [in Mordovia] he received an additional sentence of four years (it is not known why). He was released in 1967. He returned home in an extremely grave condition, accompanied by a camp doctor. He was registered as a group 1 invalid (paralysis of the legs). Until his second arrest he worked as an administrator for the regional section of the Musical and Choral Society.

On 22 May Lupynis recited poetry at a meeting at the Shevchenko memorial in Kiev, held to mark the hundredth anniversary of the return of the poet’s remains from Petersburg to his homeland. A week later he was arrested. The indictment was again under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. During a search only works by Lupynis himself were confiscated. In October he was sent to the Serbsky Institute of Forensic Psychiatry (Moscow) for in-patient forensic-psychiatric examination. He was judged to be of unsound mind. The diagnosis was schizophrenia.

The investigation is being conducted by Berestovsky, senior investigator of the Republican KGB, and investigator Prokhorenko. Two witnesses have testified that Lupynis gave them works by [Academician] Sakharov to read. Photocopies of articles by Sakharov, taken from KGB archives, have been attached to the case. The trial is expected to take place at the beginning of December.

[6]

PRIENAI (Lithuania)

The arrest  of the priest Juozas Zdebskis (see CCE 21.9) on 26 August 1971 for preparing children for the First Communion provoked protests by the parents of the children and other believers. Two letters of protest were sent, one to the Central Committee of the Party, the Supreme Soviet and the Council of Ministers of the USSR (2,000 signatures, 19 September 1971), [38] the other to the Procurators-General of the USSR and Lithuania and to the Party Control Committee attached to the Central Committee (400 signatures).

The letters complain about the impossibility of obtaining religious literature and of preparing children for their First Communion, about the shortage of priests, and about other violations of the law regarding freedom of conscience. The children’s parents state that Zdebskis had instructed the children at their request. V. Chalidze has also acted in defence of J. Zdebskis (see the present issue, CCE 22.7).

On 26 September Catholics of another Lithuanian parish in Santaika (Alitus district) sent a letter signed by 1,190 people to L. I. Brezhnev. [39] It says, inter alia:

“All this distresses us and engenders mistrust of the line taken by the government. No sooner had the priest A. Seskevicius, convicted for carrying out his spiritual duties, been released from a camp than the vicar Juozas Zdebskis was arrested in Prienai for preparing children, brought by their parents, for their First Communion. If his action is considered to be a crime, then freedom of conscience and worship remains a mere dream. . . .

“We Catholics have no prayer-books, and are forced to use old and tattered copies. Three years ago the authorities, as if mocking us, issued a pitifully small number of prayer-books, – yet every Catholic is obliged to possess a good one. We do not even have the Holy Scriptures to read!

“We deeply regret that Catholics are subject to discrimination in the same way as negroes suffer at the hands of racists. …”

The trial of Juozas Zdebskis took place at the end of October. The sentence of the court was one year of corrective-labour camps (the details are as yet unknown). [40]

[7]

MOSCOW. On 21 September a search was carried out at the home of Sergei Grigorevich Myuge. [41] The reason for the search, judging by the nature of the interrogations which Myuge underwent on 4 and 5 October, was the testimony of R. Fin, who had been arrested previously (see present report, item 12).

During the search a large amount of samizdat literature was confiscated. On 4 October Myuge was required to give an undertaking not to leave the city, as he was suspected of possessing and circulating libellous literature. S. Myuge, a biologist, was disabled in the war; he was arrested in 1949 and legally exculpated in 1956. In the middle of October S. Myuge sent a letter to V.V. Gagarsky, senior investigator of the Moscow Regional Procuracy, protesting at the charges which were being brought against him.

[8]

ASHKHABAD [Turkmenia]. The Turkmenian poetess Annasoltan Kekilova (who has had three books published and whose songs have often been broadcast on the radio) twice wrote letters to the 24th Party Congress and the Central Committee of the Party, in which she criticised shortcomings in Turkmenia.

The repression she suffered in consequence of this (she was deprived of work and the publication of her books was stopped) led her to submit a renunciation of Soviet citizenship. On 26 August Kekilova was forcibly placed in a psychiatric hospital. In a letter to the CPSU Central Committee her mother, O. Seidova, states that her daughter is absolutely healthy and has never been registered with a psychiatrist.

Seidova also sent a statement [42] to the international section of the Central Committee of the Party (to a certain “Comrade Nikolayev”; a copy was sent to Andropov, Chairman of the KGB) setting out the circumstances of the case. At the end of the statement she says:

“On 26 August an ambulance, which no-one had called and no-one needed, came to our home. My daughter, who is in perfect health, had her arms twisted behind her back, her little boy was roughly pushed aside, and she was forcibly put into the vehicle and taken away to a psychiatric hospital.

I was told that she had been taken for examination. But this looks more like a reprisal. … In the hospital they can do anything they like with her. The doctors in that hospital have told her that she is in good health. And they said this: ‘If you don’t give us a signed statement that you wrote to the Central Committee because you were in a nervous condition, you’ll stay in hospital for ever.’ That is what they threatened her with. She refused to sign any such statement. I protest against this and demand her immediate release.”

[9]

BAKU [Azerbaidzhan]. Enver Mishu-Oglu Odabashev, chairman of the Meskhetian Chief Organising Committee for Liberation, who was arrested on 7 August 1971 (see CCE 21.8) in the Saatly District of Azerbaidzhan, was sentenced on 24 August 1971 by the people’s court of the Nasimin district in Baku to two years’ imprisonment under Article 162 of the Azerbaidzhani Criminal Code (unlawful seizure and use of collective-farm land). [43]

Odabashev (b.  1917), a teacher of history who graduated from the Kirghizian Pedagogical Institute in 1955, was disabled in the second world war and is incapable of physical labour. A three-man delegation of Meskhetian Turks has sent a letter to L. Brezhnev expressing “indignation at the attitude of the authorities to the interests of our nation”.

It is pointed out that since their eviction in 1944 from the area bordering on Turkey, the Meskhetian Turks have been scattered throughout Central Asia and the Caucasus; their families are separated and are unable to maintain family ties; there is no possibility of teaching-their children in their native language, or of preserving their national culture. The Meskhetians are being assimilated by the surrounding population. Realising this, they are trying to achieve a return to their native lands, and have created the Turkic Association for the Defence of the National Rights of the Turkic People (of which Odabashev was elected chairman in 1964). The Association regularly holds congresses (see CCE 21.8). [44]

In the middle of September M. Niyazov (Odabashev’s first deputy) was arrested. No detailed information has yet been received.

[10]

KIEV. On 29 September about a thousand people assembled at Baby Yar to honour the memory of the victims of the mass executions in 1941.[45]

Those present, who included some who had travelled from other cities (there were wreaths from Moscow, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk and Tbilisi bearing Hebrew inscriptions) and many young people, were surrounded by units Of police and special detachments, who shone searchlights at them and photographed them.

[11]

PAVLODAR. On 7 September Naum Shafer, senior lecturer at a pedagogical institute and Master of philological sciences, was arrested in Pavlodar in Kazakhstan. He was indicted under Article 170-1 of the Kazakh Criminal Code (Article 190-1 of the Russian Code).

The materials on which the charge against Shafer is based include A. I. Solzhenitsyn’s short story “An Easter Procession”, Yu. Daniel’s story “This is Moscow Speaking”, A. Galich’s song about the “White columns”, poetry by the Tselinograd [Kazakhstan] poet Prokurov (who was summoned as a witness in the case) and poetry by A. Akhmatova and Tvardovsky. Prior to his arrest Shafer had been subjected to various forms of persecution, in the course of which he was accused, among other things, of “Zionism”; as a result of this he was dismissed from his job, and the academic council recommended that he should be stripped of his academic title.

The investigation of his case, as later became clear, had already been completed by the time of his arrest, and on 7 October Shafer was brought before the Pavlodar Regional Court. The trial lasted two days.

The prosecutor was Regional Procurator Ivanov, the Judge was Ten, deputy chairman of the Regional Court, and defence counsel was Poryvai. The theoretically “open” trial was held, as is customary, in a room which was filled to overflowing by a specially invited “audience”. Shafer’s brother and wife were admitted to the court room only on the second day of the hearing, as witnesses for the prosecution.

The Prosecutor’s address abounded in threats and anti-Semitic attacks. The defendant refused to plead guilty and countered in a well-reasoned manner the charges of circulating samizdat.

The court sentenced Naum Shafer to one-and-a-half years’ imprisonment. An appeal hearing was fixed for 24 November in the Kazakh Supreme Court in Alma-Ata.

The court also delivered separate decisions concerning Shafer’s “accomplices”: Alexander Zhovtis and Izrail Smirin, senior lecturers at Kazakhstan State University; [46] Alexander Keningson, senior lecturer at the Alma-Ata Agricultural Institute; and Shtein, an acquaintance of Shafer, who was recently placed in a psychiatric hospital. They have all been dismissed from their jobs, as has Lazar Shafer, brother of the accused, lecturer at the Tselinograd Pedagogical College.

[12]

Moscow. The trial of R. Fin

The trial of R. T. Fin, a research officer at the Institute of Biophysics of the USSR Academy of Sciences (in Pushchino-na-Oke), who was arrested in the early spring of 1971 (see CCE 18.10, item 8), was held in the Moscow Regional Court on 13 October. Roman Fin (b.  1941), who was sent to work at Pushchino on graduating from Gorky University in 1966, has had seven papers published (most of them as co-author).

Fin was charged with circulating deliberately false fabrications libelling the Soviet political and social system (Article 190-1 of the Russian Criminal Code) and with the petty theft of state property (Article 96, para. 1 of the Code: he was stopped by a janitor while trying to take a mirror out of the Institute).

Fin was charged with the circulation of the following works: The Technology of Power and The Partocracy by [the emigre, A.] Avtorkhanov, The Foreign Correspondents in Moscow [47] and Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984? by A. Amalrik, Midday by N. Gorbanevskaya and “An Open Letter to A. D. Sakharov” by P. G. Grigorenko [not yet available outside the USSR].

When questioned during the pre-trial investigation R. Fin had not admitted any guilt, although not disputing the facts alleged in the indictment.

Witnesses Kiselev, Opanasenko and others testified in court that Fin had given them samizdat works to read. Defence counsel Rausov did not deny the charge or the conclusions of a [forensic-psychiatric] examination, and requested the court to prescribe compulsory treatment in a hospital of special type.

The court found the facts of the indictment proven and, judging Fin to be of unsound mind (diagnosis: mild chronic schizophrenia), sent him to a special psychiatric hospital for compulsory treatment.

Until his arrest Fin had never consulted a psychiatrist or been on a psychiatric register.

Fin’s wife has engaged another defence counsel to submit an appeal. The appeal contains a petition for Fin to be treated in a hospital of general type.

Myuge, who underwent a search and two interrogations in September and October of this year, is suspected of supplying R. Fin with samizdat works. Myuge’s case

was separated from Fin’s at the stage of the pre-trial investigation. Myuge was not summoned to Fin’s trial (see present report, item 7).

[13]

UZHGOROD [W. Ukraine]. This spring Vilmos Kovacs, a Hungarian poet and prose-writer, a member of the USSR Union of Writers and the only editor for Hungarian books at the Carpathians publishing house, [48] and Andros Bertedek (the nom-de-plume of A. Stumpf), a young Hungarian poet and a junior editor at the same establishment, were compelled to leave the publishing house, and to this day have been unable to find work. The editors of newspapers and journals in the area have been instructed not to print material submitted by Kovacs and Stumpf.

This repression was provoked by an article by Kovacs and Stumpf, “From the History of Trans-Carpathian Hungarian Literature”, which appeared in the monthly journal Tiszotai [On the Banks of the Tisza]. published in Szeged, Hungary), Nos. 10-12 for 1970.

In May 1971 Stumpf, who had previously been found unfit for military service (he suffers from rheumocarditis), was called up into the army, but by decision of a medical commission he was sent back from the regional assembly point for a second examination, which again confirmed that he was unfit for service (besides the rheumocarditis he has a liver complaint); the military commissariat, however, retained Stumpf’s passport.

A few years ago the studio “Forras” (“Source”), uniting young authors writing in Hungarian (mostly students at Uzhgorod University), was formed by the regional division of the Union of Writers. The person responsible for the work of the studio was Kovacs. In August 1971 a “purge” of the studio began. At the end of August an editorial entitled “The Youth of Trans-Carpathia, the ‘Forras’ Studio and Alienation” appeared in the regional Party newspaper (Carpathian Pravda), which is published in Hungarian. The editorial, in a sharply aggressive tone, accused the members of the studio of being apolitical. Their poetry, it said, was permeated with a spirit of alienation, and this “despite the fact that the motherland has given them a care-free childhood and the opportunity to study and live in a comfortable hostel catering for their every need” (this is probably a reference to the building in which students at Uzhgorod University live; rooms designed for three people are occupied by five, there is no hot water and the heating is poor).

“It is clearly no coincidence”, the editorial continues, “that a poem by the politically compromised Pasternak was published in the youth newspaper” (a translation into Hungarian published in the newspaper Trans-Carpathian Youth, which appears in Ukrainian and Hungarian).

The regional Party committee has formed a commission to investigate attitudes prevalent among students of the Hungarian section of the Philology Faculty of the university.

[14]

LENINGRAD. The protracted hunger-strike (more than 70 days) by Vladimir Borisov and Victor Fainberg, prisoners in the Leningrad Special Psychiatric Hospital, came to an end on 3 June (not 7 June, as reported in CCE 20.11, item 17).

After Borisov and Fainberg had seen defence counsel M. A. Linda [whom Borisov referred to as “an optimist” in an as yet unpublished letter], they were transferred to the eleventh (somatic) section. The hospital administration carried out all their demands except the most fundamental – a re-examination of the case in court with the participation of the accused (the head doctor explained that this was not within his power). All their other demands were met: termination of pharmacological treatment; permission to receive books, to send and receive letters and take exercise; the placing of both of them in the same cell; visits by relatives and a lawyer.

The physical conditions of both has improved and they have regained their normal weight: as a result of the hunger-strike each lost about twelve kilograms. At the beginning of September the administration noted that Borisov and Fainberg exhibited “a liking for conflict situations”. The grounds for this formulation were the following incidents: [49] an orderly, arriving for duty in an intoxicated condition, insulted one of the patients. Borisov demanded that the doctor on duty be called, and when he did not appear – the duty officer. No-one came in answer to the call. Borisov and Fainberg then wrote a report addressed to the head doctor. Next day the head doctor stated that the orderly had been sober, and told them “to mind their own business”. On another occasion an orderly was taunting a patient. Fainberg demanded that he should stop this humiliation. In reply the orderly said: “Why are you poking your nose in, you bloody Yid!” Unable to restrain himself, Fainberg struck the orderly across the face.

Condemning Fainberg’s action, the head doctor said: “Why did you have to hit him? The orderly is only eighteen, and he has had no higher education.” As far as is known, the orderly was not punished.

On 23 September a regular [i.e. six-monthly] meeting of the [visiting psychiatric] commission was held, under the chairmanship of Dr. Rabinovich of the Serbsky Institute. The commission decided to extend the term of Fainberg and Borisov’s confinement until the next meeting of the commission (January 1972), since they were “inclined to provoke conflicts and unable properly to adapt themselves to their surroundings”.

In October the administration’s treatment of them took a turn for the worse: they were prohibited from receiving parcels and, in violation of the promise given previously, were separated once more (Borisov was transferred to another section, since “his physical condition has improved”). [50]

[15]

The following have been released from the camps:

On 7 October, from women’s political camp ZhKh 385/3 – Ruta Alexandrovich (sentenced to one year by the Latvian Supreme Court – see CCE 20.2).

On 7 October, on completing her sentence – M. P. Semyonova (sentenced to ten years in the case of the “True Orthodox Church” [istinno pravoslavnaya tserkov]. On Semyonova see CCE 15.8 [item 10] “Inmates of the women’s political camp”.

On 7 October, from camp No. 3 – Victor Kupin, after serving ten years’ imprisonment for attempting to cross the frontier (Kupin served in the Soviet Army on the territory of the GDR).

On 8 October, from an ordinary-regime camp, – the physicist Rolan Kadiyev, after serving a three-year sentence. (Kadiyev is a member of the Crimean Tatar movement, see CCE 9.2).

On 12 October Vladimir Tkachyov was released after serving ten years for “betrayal of the fatherland”.

According to unconfirmed reports, the artist Yury Ivanov has been released early from the Mordovian camps (see CCE 10.9). He had recently been working in the hospital zone of camp No. 3. His present whereabouts are unknown.

Victor Shtilbans, one of the accused at the second Leningrad Jewish trial [see CCE 20.1]) has been released from the Leningrad KGB investigation prison on completing his term of imprisonment (one year). He has been granted a Leningrad residence permit.

At the beginning of September Victor Krasin returned to Moscow. The sentence under which he had been in exile since December 1969 (five years) was quashed after a protest by the Procurator.

In September 1971 Genrikh Altunyan was transferred from an ordinary-regime camp to a place of exile (see CCE 21.10 (item 21) for latest report on him). His address is: Krasnoyarsk Region, Uansky district, Khairuzovka settlement. He is at present working as manager of a garage.

On 23 October Natalya Gorbanevskaya was transferred from the Kazan Special Psychiatric Hospital to one of the general wards in Butyrka Prison (Moscow, K-55, institution IZ-48/2), where she is waiting to be placed in the Serbsky Institute.

[16]

RIGA. At the end of September Ilya Rips, who was released from the Riga psychiatric hospital in April 1971 (CCE 14.11, item 14), was refused permission to leave for Israel.

[17]

The whereabouts of A. E. Levitin-Krasnov were given incorrectly in CCE 21.10 (item 6). He is in an ordinary-regime camp in the town of Sychyovka in the Smolensk Region, institution YaO-100/7. He is working as a labourer. (For his trial, see CCE 20.7).

[18]

Vladimir Dremlyuga is serving his new three-year term in a strict-regime camp with the address: Yakutskaya ASSR, Yakutsk, B. Markha settlement, postbox  YaD 40/5.

[19]

In Moscow in the middle of October the investigation into the case of Nadezhda Yemelkina (see CCE 20.11, item 14) was concluded, and the materials were signed in accordance with Article 201 of the Russian Code of Criminal Procedure. The trial is expected to take place at the end of November.

[20]

On 3 November J. Vishnevskaya (see CCE  19.11, item 6) and V. Telnikov (see CCE 16.10, item 8) left the USSR for Israel.

[21]

The Chronicle is in possession of the following document:

The priest, the parish council, the choir-members, the working people, and all the members of the community of the Church of the Veil in Medvedok [Kirov Region], in accordance with their Christian conscience,

Consider it essential:

  1. Under no circumstances to permit false, slanderous or other malicious gossip about our social life or the civil authorities.
  2. To regard any violation of this obligation as a blow to the dignity of all members of the community.
  3. That the name of the violator, should the occasion arise, be made known to the whole community.

[22]

MOSCOW. On 17 October 1971 the historian Roy Alexandrovich Medvedev sent an Open Letter to the editors of Pravda and other newspapers complaining about a search of his home which had been illegally carried out oh 12 October 1971 by Captain Zaiko, an investigator from the district station of the Moscow police.

The search was carried out in connection with the case of A. A. Shakalskaya, with the object of “recovering books stolen by Shakalskaya from various Moscow libraries and given by her to Medvedev R. A.” Neither Zaiko nor the three men in plain clothes who directed the search found any of the “gifts”, but they confiscated a large quantity of printed publications and manuscripts belonging to Roy and his brother Zhores Medvedev, as well as scientific notes and records.

Next day Zaiko repeatedly telephoned R. Medvedev and asked him to come to the district police station, saying that “other people were waiting for him as well” and threatening him with “serious consequences”, adding: “You realize that it was not I who was in charge of the search”.

“I assume”, writes R. Medvedev, “that the KGB, just as on the recent occasion when nine unknown persons broke into Solzhenitsyn’s empty country cottage [see CCE 21], will deny all involvement in this confiscation. Who, then, were those three unknown men? Perhaps they were representatives of a new secret political police?”. The unlawful confiscation of the scientific notes was the subject of a complaint submitted by R. A. Medvedev on 14 October to the Moscow City Procurator (attached to the letter was a list of the confiscated materials). [52]

[23]

SYKTYVKAR [Komi Republic]. On 9 May 1971 R. I. Pimenov, who was sentenced in 1970 to five years’ exile (see CCE 16.2) [53] and is at present living in the town of Syktyvkar, sent a statement to the Chairman of the Komi Council of Ministers.

He pointed out that refusing him work in his speciality was both unlawful and completely irrational: Pimenov has been working at a saw-mill in the settlement of Krasny Zaton, first as a saw-operator and at present as an electrician. In November 1969 Pimenov defended his dissertation for the degree of Doctor of physico-mathematical sciences, which was unanimously approved by the Academic Council of the Mathematical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In May 1971, after Pimenov had been sentenced, the Higher Certifying Commission received a positive report on his dissertation, but after a letter from “a certain organisation”, as a representative of the HCC stated, all the materials were returned to the Academic Council.

“The damage caused to the national economy by the employment in this manner of a unique specialist,” writes Pimenov in his statement, “who has created a new direction in science on the border between mathematics and physics, and who speaks more than ten foreign languages, is obvious.”

[24]

On 13 September a Dutch group of “Amnesty International” wrote to R. I. Pimenov expressing its concern and sympathy for him, and inquiring about his health, his needs, and the conditions in which his family was living.

NOTES

[36. Korolchuk was later sentenced to 4 years of strict-regime camps, under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Code, for circulating samizdat, including works by V. Moroz, – according to information in Ukrainsky samostiynyk, Munich, 1971, No 10.]

[37. Supenyk came from the Hutsul region of the Carpathians, in S.W. Ukraine.]

[38. Zdebskis protests summarised in a New York Times dispatch dated 26 September.]

[39. Letter to Brezhnev from Lithuanian Catholics summarised in AP and Reuter dispatches of 22 October.]

[40. Agency dispatches of 26 November reported that 600 Catholics demonstrated outside Zdebskis’s trial, that he had been severely beaten after his arrest, and that Father P. Bubnis of Raseiniai had also received a one-year sentence.]

[41. Myuge is a biologist who specialises in phytopathology and has published numerous learned articles, e.g., in Doklady AN SSSR, 1957, t. 115, No. 6.]

[42. See details of this statement by Ogulsakhat Seidova (aged 72) in a New York Times dispatch of 27 September 1971.]

[43. On conviction of Odabashev see also a Reuter dispatch of 10 October.]

[44. On Meskhetians see also Chapter 13 in Reddaway, Uncensored Russia.]

[45. On Baby Yar see also a UPI dispatch of 29 September.]

[46. Zhovtis is a long-time member of the USSR Writers’ Union and a critic. He wrote the book Stikhi nuzhny, Alma-Ata; 1968. Smirin has written on Isaac Babel.]

[47. An abridged English version of Amalrik’s text about foreigin correspondents was published in the New York Review of Books, 25 March 1971, Russian text in A. Amalrik, Stati i pisma, Amsterdam, 1971, pp. 55-77.]

[48. See Kovacs’s biography and photo in Pismenniki radyanskoi Ukrainy, Kiev, 1966.]

[49. For other such “conflicts” with the staff, see Fainberg’s “Appeal to Organisations which Defend Human Rights” in Kaznimye sumasshestviem, Possev Verlag, Frankfurt, 1971, pp. 381-99.]

[50. The Times, 3 January 1972, reported that Borisov and Fainberg they had declared a new hunger-strike in protest, and also gave other details on the Leningrad prison-hospital.]

[52. See also agency dispatches of 17 October and the New York Times dispatch of 19 October. Roy Medvedev’s book about Stalinism, Let History Judge, was published in the UK in 1971, as were A Question of Madness, written by him and his brother Zhores, and The Medvedev Papers (author, Zhores Medvedev).

Vechernyaya Moskva (11 February 1972) reported that A. A. Shokalskaya (sic) had been sentenced to six years imprisonment.

[53, Interesting new materials relating to Pimenov’s case have appeared in Vestnik Russkogo studencheskogo Khristianskogo dvizheniya, 91 due Olivier de Serre, Paris, 1971, No. 100, pp. 188-203. These are a transcript of one of Pimenov’s interrogations and the record of the search of his home on 18 April 1970, with a full list of the 250 items of samizdat which were then confiscated from him.]

22.6 The Movement to Leave for Israel

No 22 : 10 November 1971

On 16 September a group of 36 Moscow Jews went to the premises of the [CPSU] Central Committee and handed in a letter demanding to be received by a member of the Politburo, in order to discuss the question of emigration to Israel. The letter quoted instances of the violation of legality.

Tikhomirov, head of the Central Committee office [see CCE 20.//, p. 249], promised to give an answer the following day. On 17 September representatives of the group were told that the letter had been passed on to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but they continued to insist on being received on the premises of the Central Committee.

*

On 20 September five members of the group [23] were received by A. I. Ivanov, an official of the Central Committee staff [a section chief in the Administrative Organs Department]; General [T.M.] Shukayev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, and Colonel Ovchinnikov (of the Department of Visas and Registrations) were also present. [24]

Those received stated that they had not come for a decision on their own individual cases. They said: “We consider that Jews have the right to leave for Israel whether or not they have been sent invitations by friends or relatives”. In cases where invitations had been sent, they had often failed to reach those to whom they were addressed; and Jews who had submitted applications to leave were subjected to extra-judicial persecution. As a rule this began with the “problem”, which defied common sense, of obtaining references from one’s place of work. The consideration of applications submitted was subject to arbitrary delay. There were many unsubstantiated refusals.

I. Ivanov stated: “Since March 1971 hundreds of Jews have left the Soviet Union for Israel, but the question of emigration must be decided in each individual case by representatives of the Soviet State, taking the interests of the State into account – a ‘brain drain’, for example, would be inadmissible”.

Representatives of the MVD gave assurances that organs of the Ministry would help to eliminate difficulties in obtaining references, and agreed that the anti-Semitic atmosphere at meetings held to discuss applications to emigrate was intolerable.

Ivanov gave a warning that any collective actions would be regarded as attempts to exert pressure on the state, and could only complicate the resolution of the problem. In any case the power to decide questions of emigration was vested in the MVD, and there was therefore no point in pestering all governmental departments.

The Jews taking part in the discussion pointed out that the right to appeal to any governmental or  Party body on any subject was guaranteed by law.

*

On 28 September a statement signed by 120 Jews from Moscow, Riga and Vilnius was submitted to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the  Party. It expressed complete dissatisfaction with the “explanations” given by A. I. Ivanov; the signatories to the statement again insisted on being received by a member of the Politburo or of the Central Committee secretariat. There has been no reply to the statement.

*

On 25 October, 92 residents of Moscow, Gurzuf [Crimea], Vilnius, Riga, Kaunas [Lithuania], Leningrad and Kishinyov [Moldavia] submitted a statement to the Politburo, pointing out that during the preceding one-and-a-half months no changes had been made in the direction of eliminating the violations of legality listed in previous letters.

At mid-day the authors of the statement approached the premises of the Central Committee reception room and submitted the statement. Immediately after submitting it they were apprehended, placed in buses and taken away to sobering-up station No. 9 at the Voikovskaya metro station. About four hours later questioning began. They were all accused of petty hooliganism (hampering the work of government bodies and non-compliance with the demands of the police). All those questioned refused to sign records of the interrogations and protested at the charge made against them. Shortly afterwards all the Jews were released, with the exception of those from the Baltic; these were taken to the railway station and despatched to their places of residence. [25]

*

On 17 October 1971 the film director Mikhail Kalik [see CCE 18.//] returned to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet the “Medal of Honour” decoration, which he had been awarded on 8 June 1960 for services to the development of Soviet cinematography. In a letter addressed to Podgorny, Kalik writes:

“… My attempts to capture on the screen the national character of my long-suffering people, the subjects and themes associated with their life and history, have met with indifference, incomprehension and on occasion even malice . . . Regarding this as immoral, I decided to realise my creative plans further in the land of my fathers, with which I have never lost spiritual contact. Almost a year ago I submitted documents for emigration to the State of Israel – on the basis of the Soviet constitution and the Declaration of Human Rights. But I met with arbitrary official behaviour, deceit, and even an attempt to fabricate a criminal charge against me … I am returning my decoration to you as a vigorous protest against tyranny, as a sign of my unshakable will to continue the struggle for my rights as a man, as an artist and as a Jew”.

[On 14 November Kalik’s efforts succeeded and he left for Israel.]

*

The Chronicle is in possession of a transcript of a meeting, held on 26 October 1971, of the Department of Higher Mathematics of the Kuibyshev Institute of Engineering and Construction in Moscow. On the agenda was the question of giving a reference to OVIR [the Department of Visas and Registration of the M.V.D.] for a member of the department – V. A. Gaukhman, senior lecturer and Master of physico-mathematical sciences. [26]

These brief excerpts from the speeches of V. A. Gaukhman’s colleagues do not require comment:

“He has committed an anti-patriotic, anti-Soviet act deserving the severest condemnation … an act incompatible with the exalted title of lecturer at an institute of higher education” (Prof. S. Ya. Khavinson, Doctor of physico-mathematical sciences, Head of Department). [27]

“The mainstay of his position is nationalism. It is well- known that nationalism leads to fascism and ends with gas-chambers and crematoria” (V. V. Zorin).

“This act re-echoes the murderous shots at children on the premises of the Soviet delegation to the UN” (L. Ya. Tslaf).

And one woman present at the meeting: “I consider that V. A. Gaukhman’s action displays high principles, honesty and civic courage”.

A. Gaukhman’s reply was as follows : “I am a Jew, I wish to live among my people in the Jewish state and to share in constructive labour for the good of my motherland . . . My heart and my conscience tell me that I must live and work in Israel, in my historic and national motherland.”

The meeting made the following decisions: (1) Angrily to condemn V. A. Gaukhman’s action as anti-patriotic and anti-Soviet. (2) To dismiss V. A. Gaukhman from his job as an ideologically alien element, and to petition for him to be stripped of the title of senior lecturer and teacher. (3) Unanimously to expel him from the trade union.

NOTES

[23. Two of those received on 20 September were Gavriel Shapiro and the literary historian Pavel Goldshtein, who was dismissed from his post at the Main Literary Museum on 1 October 1971.]

[24. A 1,900-word samizdat summary of the 21-hour meeting on 20 September was reported in various press dispatches from Moscow of 6 October.]

[25]. For further accounts of this episode on 25 October and extracts from the statement see The Times, 26 and 30 October 1971, and Reuter and U.P.I. dispatches of 25 October.]

[26. See four of Gaukhman’s articles in Doklady AN SSSR, 1961-62.]

[27. See twelve of Khavinson’s articles in ibid., 1958-67.]

21.9 Religious Persecution

No 21 : 11 September 1971

[1] Lithuania

PRIENAI. On 26 August Juozas Zdebskis, vicar of the Roman-Catholic church in Prienai, was arrested by officers of the Lithuanian Procuracy. J. Zdebskis is a popular figure among believers, and is well-known and respected by the Lithuanian intelligentsia [see CCE 18.10, item 18]. He had been teaching the catechism to children aged eight to nine who were preparing for their first communion. He had more than 200 pupils.

The arrest of Zdebskis was preceded by the following incidents.

On 16 July children accompanied by their parents assembled in the church to have their religious knowledge tested before their first communion. They were followed into the church by a group of ten persons (the chairman of the town Party committee, three teachers – to identify the children – and officials of State Security). They began to photograph the children and ask them their names. The children were frightened, one little girl losing consciousness. The State Security officials, seeing that Zdebskis had a notebook, demanded that he give it to them, but he refused.

On 18 July 89 parishioners submitted a protest at the “outrages against believers” to the Control Commission at the Party Central Committee. On 23 July a search of Juozas Zdebskis’ home was carried out – they were looking for the notebook containing lists of children preparing for communion, and a catechism, but they did not find them.

After the arrest of J. Zdebskis a group of believers from the Prienai parish assembled at the town Party committee building in order to protest, but they were not received. They then addressed a complaint about the illegal arrest of the priest to the Procuracy of the USSR. The protest was signed by 450 believers. Another protest from Prienai parishioners, with 350 signatures, was sent to the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Party and to the Lithuanian Procurator-General. [18]

*

SIMNAS. The funeral of Mrs. Babarekaite, a parishioner of the Catholic church in the town of Simnas [in Alitus district], was held at the church in August.

Among those who came to take their leave of the deceased were many schoolchildren, who wished to lay flowers on the coffin. But at the doors of the church the children were stopped by Guseviciene, the head-mistress of the school. Later she demanded that the teachers at the school should write a collective complaint against the priest who had conducted the funeral. Believers of the parish addressed a protest to the Lithuanian Central Committee. They wrote that this was not the first time Guseviciene had violated the right to freedom of conscience—she had forced religious pupils to join the Komsomol against their will. The protest was signed by 692 persons.

*

[2] Ukraine

KIEV. Olga Filippovna Skrebets, born 1938, a graduate of the Kiev Medical Institute, worked at the Institute for Tuberculosis.

In December 1970 the preliminary defence of her dissertation took place. In 1971 she announced that she was leaving the Communist Party on religious grounds and because of the events in Czechoslovakia. She was ordered to enter the Pavlov Hospital for psychiatric examination, where her condition was diagnosed as the initial stage of schizophrenia. O. F. Skrebets was dismissed from her job. At present she is working for the ambulance service.

[18. A further protest, signed by 2,000 parishioners and dated 19 September, is summarized in a New York Times dispatch of 26 September.]

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.

*

[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.

19.8 Extra-judicial Persecution

No 19 : 30 April 1971

[1]

On 1 March Sandor Fodo, Lecturer in Hungarian Philology at Uzhgorod University [on the Czechoslovak border], was dismissed from his job. The order, signed by L. Chepuro, rector of the university, gives the grounds for his dismissal as absenteeism and an attempt to bring anti- Soviet literature across the frontier. The “absenteeism” was an approved journey to Hungary by Fodo during the student vacation; the “anti-Soviet literature” was seven issues of New Symposium, a Yugoslav journal appearing in Hungarian, which Fodo had voluntarily given up to customs officials at the station of Chop.

A less superficial reason for Fodo’s dismissal is the inimical attitude on the part of the Uzhgorod authorities towards the cultural enterprises of the local Hungarian intelligentsia (Fodo had formed a Hungarian folk-song ensemble).

Note:

Magyars make up a large group of the population of the Trans-Carpathian Region (approximately 160,000 people). Until the Second World War this Region was part of Czechoslovakia, and the Ukrainians and Magyars who had settled there enjoyed cultural autonomy. Under the Czechoslovak-Soviet peace treaty of 1946 Trans-Carpathia became part of the Ukraine. Mass deportation of the male Magyar population to the interior of the country began at the same time.

Only in recent years have the Magyar inhabitants of Trans-Carpathia been able to send their children to Magyar schools (there are now eighteen Magyar secondary schools in Trans-Carpathia); a Hungarian-language newspaper began to appear (differing in content from Trans-Carpathian Pravda, the Regional newspaper which appears in Russian and Ukrainian), and a Magyar department was established at Uzhgorod University, preparing teachers of Hungarian language and literature (up to ten persons are accepted annually).

[2]

Vladimir Aks of Sverdlovsk [Urals District] has been dismissed from his job under Article 47-e of the Code of Labour Legislation (absenteeism) after submitting documents for emigration to Israel.

[3]

Igor Alexeyevich Adamatsky, an employee of the Leningrad section of the “Knowledge” [Znanie] society, was dismissed on 27 April 1971 “at his own request”. I. Adamatsky was a witness at the trial of Pimenov, Vail and Zinovieva (in October 1970, CCE 16.2). After the trial a case was instituted against him “for giving false testimony”, but the proceedings were terminated before a charge had been brought.

In April 1971 Adamatsky was expelled from the Party, after which the trade-union committee considered the management’s petition to dismiss him (under Article 106, paragraph 4 of The Bases of Labour Legislation) and agreed to his dismissal.

The article in question provides that “employees performing educative functions” may be dismissed “should they commit an immoral act incompatible with their retention of the post”.

[4]

Professor Victor Davydovich Levin, Doctor of philological sciences, has been illegally removed, with effect from 1 April 1971, from the competitive post of head of the Department of Stylistics and Literary Language at the Russian Language Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The basis for his removal was a decision of the administration. A few days previously he was dismissed from the Philology Faculty of Moscow University, where he was employed simultaneously to give a course of lectures.

The immediate pretext for V. D. Levin’s dismissal from Moscow University and his removal from the post of Head of Department was a speech he had made, at a trade-union meeting held at the Russian Language Institute to hear reports and elect new officers.

At a Party meeting at the Institute V. D. Levin was told that his speech “had objectively helped to justify persons who had signed letters which had been exploited abroad for anti-Soviet purposes”.

By decision of the Lenin district Party committee V. D. Levin was expelled from the Party. The district committee had already recommended the director of the Russian Language Institute to remove V. D. Levin from the post of Head of Department.

*

On 29 April 1971 Tatyana Sergeyevna Khodorovich, junior research officer at the Russian Language Institute, was not re-elected for a further term by the Academic Council. Under the system of the Academy of Sciences this is a form of dismissal. T. S. Khodorovich, who is a member of the Action Group, signed the [1969] Appeal to the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations (CCE 8.10).

Prof. R. I. Avanesov, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences and head of the department in which T. S. Khodorovich worked, and Prof. F. P. Filin, also a corresponding member of the Academy and director of the Russian Language Institute, stated plainly in their addresses to the Academic Council that they had no fault to find with the actual research work done by T. S. Khodorovich, who had worked at the Institute for eighteen years.

“By writing a letter to the UN, to the Commission for the Defence of Human Rights, which does not include the Soviet Union but which does include our enemies, by writing to a hostile organisation, Khodorovich has committed an anti-Soviet act incompatible with the title of scholar”, said Prof. Avanesov.

F. P. Filin, director of the Institute, stated that the appeal to the UN, which contained complaints about violations of legality and infringements of human rights in the USSR, was a “grave anti-Soviet crime”.

T. S. Khodorovich’s report on her research work was heard by the Academic Council without arousing any opposition on the part of the members. In a secret ballot four members voted for T. S. Khodorovich’s re-election and twenty against. On 27 April, two days before the Academic Council met, a meeting of the department where T. S. Khodorovich worked had taken place. I. F. Protchenko, Master of philological sciences, who a few years ago came from the Scientific Department of the Central Committee of the Party to take up the post of deputy director of the Institute, was present at the meeting in addition to the staff of the department.

At this meeting R. I. Avanesov had noted that all were unanimous in their positive evaluation of the research work conducted by T. S. Khodorovich, but that “serious accusations of a political nature’’ were being made against her. When a woman staff-member asked why in that case Khodorovich’s report on her work was being heard, a great linguistic scholar replied: “Because we have a truly democratic system. That’s how we’re supposed to do it.”

T. S. Khodorovich said that the question of her political opinions and beliefs could have nothing to do with any appraisal of her as a scholar. She also stated that an appeal to an international organisation whose authority was recognised by the government of our country could not be regarded as an appeal to the enemies of the Soviet Union. “As I have already said at the open Party meeting, the appeal which I signed contains nothing libellous. It discusses cases of violation of legality and of infringement of human rights. I insist, as I always have done, on my right to struggle for freedom of speech, which is guaranteed by the Constitution of the USSR in the interests of the people. It can be in nobody’s interests for the agencies of investigation and justice to exploit our laws, by means of an arbitrary interpretation of them, as a weapon in the struggle against dissent.” T. S. Khodorovich had repeatedly expressed this point of view when subjected to all sorts of “workings-over” during the last two years at the Russian Language Institute.

In the course of the discussion of Khodorovich’s “anti-Soviet act” at the departmental meeting, I. F. Protchenko expressed surprise at the lack of unanimity on the question of whether or not to recommend the Academic Council to re-elect Khodorovich for a further term. “There cannot be two opinions on this question,” he said. At an open ballot on 27 April twelve members of the department voted to recommend the Academic Council of the Institute to re-elect T. S. Khodorovich to the post of junior research officer. Twenty members voted against.

*

There are in all seventeen people at the Russian Language Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences who have signed various letters on cases of violation of legality. Of these only Khodorovich signed the appeal to the UN, the remainder addressing themselves to internal Soviet bodies. Beginning in early 1971 a series of meetings were held at the Institute at which persons who had signed the collective letters of 1966-1968 were condemned. On 28 January 1971 the Academic Council of the Institute passed a resolution categorically condemning the “negative” (politically harmful, in F. P. Filin’s definition) attitudes of certain of the Institute’s employees, and also collective appeals, since these letters “are exploited abroad for anti-Soviet purposes”. The resolution also spoke of the need to “intensify work on the preparation and publication of researches in the field of the critique of bourgeois ideology in linguistics”.

At departmental discussions of this question the director of the Institute, Filin, said frankly that persons who failed to change their point of view and withdraw their signatures from the letters would not be allowed to defend their dissertations, nor promoted to higher research posts, nor sent abroad, irrespective of their academic achievements. T. S. Khodorovich is the first to have been dismissed from the Institute in the course of this campaign. Her high-principled position—she was the only person to vote against the resolution of the Academic Council mentioned above—and her appeal to the UN provoked the particular annoyance of the Institute’s administration and Party organisation.

Tatyana Sergeyevna Khodorovich, who is the mother of four children, had worked at the Institute for eighteen years. Her profession is that of linguist and dialectologist, and her work on the compilation of specialist maps for an atlas of Russian dialects, as well as her participation in the drawing up of a projected new programme for a Russian language course for schools, have earned the high praise of many of her colleagues, not least during the discussion of her last report on her work.

Besides the appeal to the UN, which Khodorovich signed as a member of the Action Group for the Defence of Human Rights, she has also signed a number of letters in defence of persons suffering for their beliefs. These letters were sent to Soviet public and governmental organisations.

The dismissal of Khodorovich is a case in which the dismissal of a scholar for her beliefs has been carried out in a completely undisguised manner, without the substitution of spurious grounds.

18.6 The Jewish Movement for Emigration to Israel

No 18 : 5 March 1971

On 5-6 January 1971 the Leningrad Military Tribunal heard the case of Vulf Zalmanson (b. 1939), a member of the armed forces, who was arrested together with the eleven persons already convicted in the “aeroplane” case [see CCE 17.6].

The trial was held in camera. The father and brother of the accused were not admitted to the court-room. The accused was defended by defence counsel Sharkov (Leningrad).

The sentence: ten years of strict-regime corrective-labour camps.

Extra-judicial persecution in connection with the “aeroplane case”

Moscow. On 5 January 1971 Natalya Vasilevna Buzyreva, wife of Yury Fyodorov [sentenced to 15 years], was dismissed “at her own request” from her job as senior economist at the USSR Central Export Bureau.

Riga. On 5 January Semyon Zalmanson, brother of Silva, Vulf and Izrail Zalmanson, was dismissed “at his own request” from his job as a technician at a Riga factory.

Daugavpils [SE Latvia]. On 5 January Dr. Pinkus Khnokh, brother of Leib Khnokh and a therapist at the local city hospital, was dismissed from his job under Article 47-e of the Code of Labour Legislation (absenteeism). His absence was due to his attending the trial in Leningrad.

*

In Odessa the investigation into the case of Reiza Palatnik (see Chronicle 17.8) has been concluded. The investigation under Article 187-1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (equivalent to Article 190-1 of the Russian Code) was led by Lavrentev, senior investigator of the Odessa Region KGB.

*

The investigations into the cases of Ruta Alexandrovich (see Chronicle 16.10 (12)), Boris Maftser (Chronicle 15.6), Mikhail Shepshelovich (Chronicle 17.15, No 52) and Aron Shpilberg (15.6), all of Riga, have been concluded, the materials being signed in accordance with Article 203 of the Latvian Code of Criminal Procedure (equivalent to Article 201 of the Russian Code).

R. Alexandrovich and M. Shepshelovich face charges under Article 65 of the Latvian Criminal Code (equivalent to Article 70 of the Russian Code), B. Maftser and A. Shpilberg – under Articles 65 and 67 (equivalent to 70 and 72). Bravadsky was in charge of the investigations.

All except Maftser contest the charges brought against them.

Investigations into cases in Kishinyov and Leningrad (see Chronicle 14.11 (3) , 15, 17.14 and 17.15) have also been concluded and the materials signed.

*

In September 1970 Arkady Lvovich Raikhman, a bio-physicist and head of a laboratory at the city hospital in Berezovka in the Odessa Region, applied to emigrate with his family to Israel. When this was refused he submitted to various authorities a demand for the decision of the commission of OVIR [department of visas and registrations] to be reconsidered. He also signed an appeal to the Brussels congress.

On 21 February 1971 the police detained and thoroughly searched Raikhman at Odessa airport, under the pretext of looking for a stolen briefcase. After the search he was subjected to a long interrogation by several men in plain clothes, one of whom said he was an official of the KGB. During the interrogation, as Raikhman’s complaint makes clear, they threatened him with being called up for army service and “jeered at his religious and national feelings”.

At present Raikhman is working in Odessa as a loader.

*

433 Georgian Jews from Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Poti and Kulashi sent an appeal to the Organising Committee of the 24th Party Congress to be allowed to emigrate to Israel. “Several years ago,” the appeal says, “we submitted applications to emigrate from the USSR. In expectation of our departure many of us have sold our belongings and homes and given up our jobs, and now we live in corners of other people’s homes . . . For two fruitless years we have haunted government organisations. Nothing makes any difference.”

*

On 11 December 1970 the film director Mikhail Kalik (director of “A Man Follows the Sun”, “So Long, Boys” and other films) submitted an application to emigrate to Israel. On 17 February 1971 his flat was searched, an inventory made of some of his property and his savings-books confiscated. Criminal proceedings have been instituted against M. Kalik under Article 153-1 of the Russian Criminal Code (private enterprise using state property), which prescribes imprisonment for up to five years with confiscation of property.

The proceedings instituted against Kalik were based on personal appearances made by him at showings of his two latest films (“To Love” …. which has already been released, and “The Price”, based on the play by Arthur Miller) at the invitation of various bodies and organisations (including the city Party committee at Khimki [near Moscow], the Novosti press agency and others). Kalik was paid for these appearances through the Znanie (Knowledge) association and the Soviet Cinema Publicity Bureau; he also appeared free of charge on a voluntary basis. Despite this the KGB and the DSTSP [Department for the Struggle against Theft of Socialist Property] have recently been subjecting the organisers of a number of meetings, at which Kalik discussed his work with cinema-goers, to detailed questioning about what he says at these meetings and how he is paid for them.

On the morning of 17 February Kalik himself was summoned to the DSTSP. After a number of minor points had been cleared up the DSTSP department head Koptelov informed Kalik that they had no claims against him and wished him success in his work.

At nine o’clock on the evening of the same day Kalik’s flat was searched, the warrant being signed by Procurator Dyakov. After this Kalik was informed that criminal proceedings would be taken against him.

On 26 February [1971], in connection with this case, seven citizens (among them V. Bukovsky, Z. Grigorenko, Yu. Shtein, A. Yakobson and P. Yakir) sent a protest to Rudenko, Procurator-General of the USSR, pointing out the blamelessness and absurdity of the grounds for the criminal prosecution of Mikhail Kalik, “who has already been subjected once, in the years of the [Stalin] cult, to unwarranted repressive measures”.

*

In March 1971 Semyon Dmitriyevich Mak, a former reporter of the Central Television, sent N. V. Podgorny an Open Letter requesting permission to emigrate to Israel. It is clear from the letter that S. D. Mak, who has twice been awarded prizes for his documentary films, of which he has made almost a thousand, was during 1970 the object of crude and unwarranted persecution of a flagrantly anti-Semitic nature by the management of Central Television, where he had been employed since 1963. Even his resignation from Central Television did not put an end to the persecution, and none of his appeals had any effect; as a result Mak was left without work.

*

Alexander Arkadevich Gittelson, born 1931 in Leningrad, the holder of both a first and a higher degree from the Languages Faculty of Leningrad University, is married and has a daughter. In 1970 he submitted an application to emigrate to Israel. The following reference, signed by the local ‘triumvirate’ [employer and secretaries of Party and trade-union organisations], was issued to him at his place of work for submission to OVIR [Visa and Registration department:

“… He has worked at Vocational Technical College No. 51 since 23 February 1967 as a lecturer in aesthetics, conducting classes with students in accordance with the programme of theoretical instruction. He does not engage in extra-curricular educative work with the students. He works constantly to increase his specialist knowledge. During a discussion of this reference at a meeting of the local trade-union committee it became clear that his wife and daughter support his request to go to Israel. The members of the local committee expressed their indignation and anger at Gittelson’s act, branding him as a two-faced careerist who has betrayed the trust of Soviet people and deserted to the camp of the Israeli despoilers of the freedom and independence of the Arab peoples. The speakers expressed the inadvisability of his continued employment as a lecturer in aesthetics at Vocational Technical College No. 51.”

*

On 24 February 1971 24 Jewish citizens appeared at the Reception Room of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet. At 11 o’clock they handed in a “Statement of the 32” on the subject of emigration to Israel, and also a request for all the signatories who were present to be received personally. The content of the Statement was as follows:

  1. Will the lawful right of Jews to emigrate to their historical motherland be implemented?
  2. A demand for an end to the persecution of Jews wishing to emigrate to their motherland.
  3. A demand to regularise the question of references and the question of non-interference in [the making of arrangements for] the departure of relatives remaining in the USSR.
  4. Facts on violations of the Decree of 12 April 1968 on the time-limits for considering applications and for giving reasoned replies.

Throughout the following six hours the group reminded the officials of the Reception Room of their presence each hour, always receiving the same answer: they could not be received personally since no members of the Presidium were available. By 5 pm, i.e. the end of working hours, no callers remained in the Reception Room except the group. Cleaners appeared and asked them to leave the premises. The Jews refused. A. S. Dumin, deputy head of the Room, put the same request to them, but they continued to stand their ground. Dumin asked them to nominate three or four (later five or six) representatives to conduct negotiations, but this was refused. While arguing with the group Dumin, among other things, said:

“The Declaration of Human Rights has not been ratified, to speak from a strictly legal point of view.”

Finally, at 7.30 pm, Dumin announced that in four days’ time, by March 1, the Presidium would consider the question of the emigration of each member of the group and give reasoned answers.

On March 1 the original group of signatories, the number of whom had increased by eight persons, were received by General Shutov of OVIR; five more were received in the Presidium Reception Room by Dumin and Sklyarov, the head of the Room.

The substance of the reply to the “Statement of the 32” was embodied in the following four clauses:

  1. The question of emigration will be considered for each person individually.
  2. There are no known cases of persecution of Jews. The criminal cases of 1970-1971 contain nothing on this subject.
  3. OVIR will help in obtaining references from places of work. Applications may be submitted without references. As for communication with close relatives remaining in the USSR, the attitude of the authorities is one of non-interference.
  4. On the subject of the delay in considering applications, instructions have been given to the post office to look into these irritating episodes.

*

Leonid (Jonah) Naumovich Kolchinsky, born 1952 (see Chronicle 17.8), was expelled from the ninth class [of secondary school] for speaking in defence of Sinyavsky and Daniel and against the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

On 14 October 1970 he was arrested at the flat of his friend A. I. Volkov, and on 15 October sentenced to fifteen days “for rowdy behaviour”, which he had committed on 6 October in a Notary Office, where he had been drawing up his application to emigrate to Israel.

On 30 December 1970 he was called up into the army and is serving in a unit of the Kiev Military District.

On 29 December Kolchinsky sent a declaration to the President of Israel, Dr. Zalman Shazar (and a copy to the USSR Minister of Defence), in which he stated that he regards it as impossible to take part in actions directed against his motherland—Israel.

On 25 February 1971 Kolchinsky submitted a report to the commander of his military unit, in which, proceeding from the belief that “at present one of Israel’s implacable enemies is continental China”, he asks to be sent “to the only place where I can be entrusted with arms while wearing this uniform—the area of the Chinese border”.

Fifty Moscow and Kharkov Jews have sent a petition to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet and the USSR Foreign Ministry, asking for Kolchinsky to be allowed to emigrate to Israel. They point out the unlawfulness and absurdity of applying the law on military service to him.

On 5 March 1971 23 Kharkov Jews sent an appeal to the Ukrainian Party congress (and a copy to the forthcoming CPSU congress) earnestly requesting to be allowed to emigrate to Israel.

*

At the end of February Burokevicius, senior lecturer at VEC1 (the Vilnius Engineering-Construction Institute) and deputy secretary of its Party organisation, criticised the state of ideological work at the Institute while speaking at an open Party meeting. As an example he gave the following case: Levinas, a student at VECI, had sent a letter to Copenhagen supporting the Jewish conference in Brussels.

*

In February 1971 an order was issued to remove from public libraries all publications which could be used as aids to the study of Ivrit [Modern Hebrew].

In January and February of this year the following left for Israel:

The well-known public figure B.I. Tsukerman, Vitaly Svechinsky, Grigory Feigin (see Chronicle 17.12 (17)).

L. Rigerman (see Chronicle 17.9) left for the USA.

16.10 News in brief

No 16 : 31 October 1970

1.

On 12 September 1970 Yuly Markovich Daniel was released from Vladimir Prison [Central Russia] on completion of his term. He was sent to live in Kaluga, where he has been placed under surveillance. He was allowed to visit his wife L. Bogoraz in her place of exile [Irkutsk Region, east Siberia].

2.

The sentence in the case of Anatoly Marchenko (Chronicle 10.1), convicted under Article 190-1 of the Russian Criminal Code (two years in strict-regime camps), came into legal force in September 1969. Three and a half months later Marchenko was being held in prison in the town of Solikamsk [Urals District]. Numerous enquiries from relatives and friends about his whereabouts were left unanswered.

Since February 1970 Marchenko has been in a camp, the address of which is: Perm Region, Solikamsk district, Krasny bereg post office, institution AM 244/7-8.

In spite of the medical certificates attached to Marchenko’s case about the grave state of his health, and of his assignment to light work, in February and March in a temperature of minus 45-50 degrees centigrade he was made to live in a tent and detailed to work on the unloading of fire-wood for trains. He was subsequently transferred to construction work – digging foundations on the territory of the camp. As a result of this Marchenko (who suffers from deafness and head-aches caused by meningitis, contracted in previous camps) developed a hypertonic disease.

By decision of the camp administration Marchenko has been deprived of visits from his mother. His defence counsel, who travelled to the camp to draw up a complaint for review [by the Supreme Court], was refused a meeting with his client.

Marchenko is not being given letters from his family and friends. Parcels of books (the works of Plekhanov and [D. I.] Pisarev, works on the history of the USSR), despatched by “Books by Post”, were returned to the shop. Marchenko has been deprived of pen, paper and a physics text-book “as having no political-educational significance” – so it is stated in the “deed of confiscation”.

3.

On 24 September 1970 Irina M. Kaplun and Vyacheslav I. Bakhmin were released from the investigation prison of the Moscow Region KGB (Lefortovo Prison) after spending ten months there (see Issues 11.7 “Arrests among Moscow students” and 14.11 (4) “News in brief” of the Chronicle). A decision of the investigative division of the Moscow and Moscow Region KGB (dated 24 September), to discontinue criminal proceedings on the basis of a Decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet dated 23 September 1970 was read to them.

The content of the decree was as follows:

the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, having considered the petition of the KGB and of the Procuracy of the USSR for the pardon of Vyacheslav Ivanovich Bakhmin and Irina Moiseyevna Kaplun, has resolved: to pardon V.I. Bakhmin and I.M. Kaplun and to exempt them from further liability in the present case.

In a conversation with representatives of the KGB, Kaplun and Bakhmin were told the reasons for the pardon: their youth, the fact that their world-view was not yet properly formed and had been influenced by people with anti-Soviet attitudes, and their relatively good conduct during the investigation, which found expression in their giving an account of what concerned them personally (and nothing else).

The pardon did not apply to Olga loffe, whose case had been detached for separate legal proceedings in consequence of her being judged to be of unsound mind (Chronicle 15.2) by experts from the Serbsky Institute, and who had been sent by the decision of the court to the Special Psychiatric Hospital in Kazan [Volga District], where she remains to this day.

4.

On 1 October the appeal in the case of Natalya Yevgenevna Gorbanevskaya (see Chronicle 15.1) was heard in Moscow. The sentence – compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital of special type – was confirmed. Gorbanevskaya is still in the hospital section of Butyrka prison [in Moscow].

Vladimir Lapin [a writer] has addressed a statement, “I bear witness!” to the Supreme Court. Describing the circumstances of the trial, he says that the appeal hearing was held, in effect, behind closed doors.

5.

On the afternoon of 22 June, an official of the KGB opened the suit-case of A. G. Feofilaktova, an engineer from Tallinn, in the left-luggage office of the Leningrad station in Moscow, and confiscated:

  • an article with appended documents which she had written on the advice of a member of the editorial staff of Izvestiya, and which had been returned by the newspaper in an as yet unopened envelope;
  • another article, “Lenin’s ideas and the present day”, in the form of a review of V. M. Chkhikvadze’s book The State, Democracy and Legality (Moscow, 1967), which together with a reply from the editorial board of the journal Kommunist was also in an unopened official envelope;
  • and an article (on the subject of her dissertation) entitled “The Mirror Geometry of Lattice Wedges and Rectangles”. The KGB official neither gave his name nor produced any documents.

After Feofilaktova had sent a telegram from Tallinn to the stationmaster, the opened suit-case was collected from the left-luggage office by the head of the works department of the Estonian permanent mission [in Moscow] and a driver.

A. G. Feofilaktova has sent an account of the incident to Yu. V. Andropov, chairman of the KGB: she requests that these articles be located and returned.

6.

On 24 September Oleg Ivanovich Vorobyov, b. 1940, a worker and a former student of the Philology Faculty of Moscow University, was arrested in Moscow. In January 1966 he was expelled from Moscow University for taking part in the demonstration in Pushkin Square on 5 December 1965 [which called for the Sinyavsky-Daniel trial to be open].

From January to March 1966, after an interview with the representative of State Security for the arts faculties of Moscow University (“Elena Borisovna”), he was placed in the Serbsky Institute, where he was judged to be of sound mind. Then, after being reinstated in the extra-mural department of the Philology Faculty, he worked as a teacher in the town of Bui in the Kostroma Region [Central Russia] . Recently he has been working in Perm [Volga District] and with various geological expeditions.

O. Vorobyov has repeatedly signed letters of protest and supported appeals to the UN by members of the Action Group [for the Defence of Civil Rights]. In September 1969 he was forcibly placed in psychiatric hospital No. 15 in Moscow (see Chronicle 10.4 and Issue 11.12).

Oleg Vorobyov is being charged under Article 70 of the Russian Criminal Code. Investigations are being carried out in Perm (where he is registered as a resident). According to unconfirmed reports a resident of Perm called Vedeneyev, who was arrested in August of this year, is involved in the same case. There are reasons for supposing that the investigators are making use primarily of evidence from witness Vladimir Vasilevich Vinnichenko, who also lives in Perm.

7.

On 2 October Dmitry Fyodorovich Mikheyev, a graduate student of physics at Moscow University, was apprehended at [Moscow’s] Sheremetyevo international airport after attempting to fly to Switzerland with documents belonging to a citizen of Sweden [F. de Perregaux, in fact, of Switzerland, ed]. When apprehended he stated that he wished to leave the USSR because its political system did not suit him. Searches were carried out in a number of houses in connection with Mikheyev’s arrest.

8.

Julia Vishnevskaya, who was detained on 9 July during the trial of N. E. Gorbanevskaya (see Chronicle 15.1), has been judged to be of unsound mind, with a diagnosis of “creeping schizophrenia”. On 12 October she was released from the Serbsky Institute and placed in the care of her parents and under the observation of the district psychiatrist.

Investigation into the case of [Vladimir] Telnikov and Vishnevskaya is continuing.

9.

In October the Moldavian Supreme Court heard the case of Yakov Mikhailovich Suslensky (see Chronicle 15.10 (7) “News in brief” [where his name is given as Suslonsky] ) and losif Mishener, who were charged under the Article equivalent to Article 70 of the Russian Criminal Code.

Ya.M. Suslensky is 42. He worked as a teacher of English at the secondary school in the Moldavian town of Bendery. He had written several Open Letters to the Central Committee about his disagreement with the policies of the Party on a number of questions (Czechoslovakia, the lack of freedom of speech, the disparity between current practices and the Constitution of the USSR).

I. Mishener is 34. After graduating from medical school he worked on an X-ray installation and simultaneously studied at the History Faculty, after graduating from which he taught history at the secondary school in Bendery. He was a member of the Communist Party until 1969, when he was expelled from the Party and dismissed from his job after writing an Open Letter to the Central Committee on the Czechoslovak question. At the end of 1969 he wrote to the United Nations about all that had happened to him because of the letter to the Central Committee.

Suslensky was arrested in February 1970. When a search was carried out at his home tape-recordings of BBC broadcasts, copies of his and Mishener’s letters and detailed diaries, describing meetings and conversations with his friends and their ideas, were confiscated. Mishener’s name was mentioned in the diaries, and it was for this reason that he was arrested.

The Procurator demanded sentences of three and two years respectively. The court, however, sentenced Yakov Suslensky to seven years’ imprisonment and Iosif Mishener to six.

10.

On 22 October Vitaly Pomazov (b. 1947), a time-and-motion engineer at a Gorky factory, was arrested in the city. A. M. Khokhlov, head of the investigation division of the Gorky Region KGB, was present at a search of Pomazov’s home. As a result of the search Pomazov’s old address book and a copy of the Russian Code of Criminal Procedure were confiscated.

V. Pomazov is a former student of the History and Philology Faculty of Gorky University. In May 1968 he was expelled from the university [see 5.3, nos 128-136, and 6.5] for writing a work “The State and Socialism”. On his expulsion he was immediately called up for active service in the ranks of the Soviet army.

11.

On 22 October people of all ages gathered round the synagogue in Arkhipov Street in Moscow to take part in the annual Jewish festival of Simchat Torah. There were many young people, who danced and sang in Russian and Modern Hebrew. There were also many volunteer policemen [druzhinniniki] and policemen, and there were police cars standing not far from the synagogue. Plain-clothes men took photographs, mainly of the young people enjoying themselves.

Young people who left the celebration on their own or in small groups were stopped by persons who were not wearing vigilante arm-bands and did not produce their documents, but who asked them to accompany them to vigilante headquarters. There they had their particulars taken and were accused of performing anti-Soviet songs and of Zionist propaganda. Some of them were accused of scattering leaflets. The students who had been detained were threatened with expulsion from the Komsomol and from their institutes, and were advised not to attend such celebrations in future.

12.

On 7 October Ruta Alexandrovich, the 23-year-old grand-daughter of the once well-known singer Mikhail Alexandrovich, was arrested in Riga. She was charged with anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda under Article 65 of the Latvian Criminal Code (equivalent to Article 70 of the Russian Code). Details of her arrest are given in a letter from nine Jews, which is circulating in samizdat with the title “An appeal to the Jewish people”. Samizdat has also circulated a letter by R. Alexandrovich, “Awaiting arrest”, and letters from her mother and fiancé (written after her arrest) addressed to the Chief Rabbi of Israel. These letters contain a request for R. Alexandrovich and I. Averbukh (her fiancé) to be married by proxy in Israel. Their wedding was to have taken place in the middle of October.

13.

‘”By order of the transport manager of the Department of Civil Aviation, the sale of tickets for all routes to groups of gypsies will be discontinued from 20 August” – such is the actual text of a telex order received by Aeroflot cashiers.

14.

At about six o’clock on the evening of 25 October, P.I. Yakir and his wife V.I. Savenkova were the object of an attack by a group of several people at the entrance to a building on Kutuzovsky Prospekt where foreign correspondents accredited in Moscow reside. Savenkova was injured. Jay Axelbank, correspondent of the American journal Newsweek, was present at the attack.

15.

Mustafa Dzhemilev‘s address is: [Uzbekistan,] Tashkent Region, Zengi-ata, postbox UYa 64/1 E.