Commentary No 20

No 20 : 2 July 1971


[1] Leningrad

27. For various accounts of this trial see the dispatches of Tass, Reuter and UPI for 11-14 and 17-20 May 1971.

28. On “Exodus” see Chronicles 14, 15. 17, 18. Issues 2 and 4 are available in English from the Institute of Jewish Affairs (13-16 Jacob’s Well Mews, George St. London W.1); the Russian text of issues 1 and 2 is in Possev: Sedmoi spetsalnyi vypusk, March 1971.

29. Despite a strong plea to the Russian Supreme Court by friends and relatives, the appeals of all accused were rejected on 20 July.

[2] Trial of the Riga Four

30. For other accounts of this trial see the Tass, Reuter and UPI dispatches of 24-27 May, also Komsomolskaya pravda, 28 May.

31. The arrest on 16 May of Alexander (Isai) Averbukh, Ruta Alexandrovich’s fiance,  provoked a protest concerning its transparent aim by 33 Riga Jews to Procurator-General Rudenko. See also Averbukh’s letter in defence of his fiancée, his letter with eight other friends and relatives, and also his fiancée’s letter prior to her arrest, in Jews in Eastern Europe (31 Percy St. London W.1), Vol. IV, No. 6, April 1971, pp. 97-101.

32. Domoi [Homewards], is a small brochure of Zionist materials, published in Israel.

33. “Our native tongue” is a samizdat article suggesting that Jews should give Hebrew as their first language in the 1969 census.

[3] The Kishinev Trial of the Nine

34. For other accounts of this trial see the Tass dispatches of 22, 24-26 and 28-30 June, and the UPI dispatches of 21-22, 25-27 and 29-30 June.

[4] The Trial of Valery Kukui (Sverdlovsk)

[34a. [A.] Shalayev was judge at the trial of Andrei Amalrik (see Chronicle 17.1) in November 1970. Zyryanov was also state prosecutor at that  trial.

34b. Heart of a dog is Mikhail Bulgakov’s 1925 satire on the ambition of creating New Soviet Man. In the 1960s and 1970s the novella circulated in samizdat.  Kukui and his lawyer were making a principled objection to censorship, i.e. the pre-publication and pre-broadcast monitoring and control of all printed material, literature, the cinema and electronic media, by an unlawfully constituted body answering only to the Party.

The novella was not published in the USSR until 1987. The following year a film of the book was broadcast on nationwide television.

34c. Humorous, sometimes risqué folk-couplets, chastushki are usually sung by two performers, one making a declaration the other topping it with a sharp or witty reply.]

35. One of the Urals Worker (Uralsky rabochii) articles is summarized in a Reuter dispatch of 21 June 1971.

36. A Reuter report of 4 August 1971 gives the gist of an official complaint to the Russian Supreme Courtmade made against this sentence by A. Sakharov and V. Chalidze. The report also mentions  a samizdat record of the trial. The complaint listed the trial’s procedural irregularities and asked for the sentence to be quashed.

[5] The Trial of Reiza Palatnik (Odessa)

37. See text in Possev: Sedmoi spetsialnyi vypusk, pp. 10-12. Condensed English text in Jews in Eastern Europe, IV, 5 August 1970, pp. 16-18.

38. See Konetsky’s and Chukovskaya’s letters in L. Labedz, ed., Solzhenitsyn: A Documentary Record, New York, 1971, pp. 90, 169-172.



[6] The Trial of Simas Kudirka (Vilnius)
[7] The Trial of Anatoly Levitin-Krasnov
[8] Trials in Tallinn (Vladimir Eikhwald)
and Sochi (Rumyantsev and Volzhskaya)