Voices from the Past

<< No 9 (242), 6 March 2017 >>

♦  Extra-judicial repression in 1968-9  ♦

cce-typewriter-90The 6th issue of the Chronicle of Current Events reported on further acts of repression against those who protested about the GALANSKOV-GINZBURG trial of January 1968, and the treatment of the Red Square demonstrators of August that year. The report (CCE 6.5) ended with events in Moscow. Among those mentioned was Zoya Svetova’s father, Felix SVETOV who received a “severe rebuke” from the Writer’s Union.

[…]  MOSCOW

Ivan Rudakov, an engineer, the husband of Irina Belogorodskaya, was dismissed in September 1968 “at his own request”. The contract of Vladimir Lapin, poet and part-time consultant to the Pioneer magazine, was not renewed. He attended the trial of the Red Square demonstrators and expressed his indignation at the chauvinistic atmosphere surrounding the hearing in a letter written jointly with L.F. Vasiliev and Z.M. Grigorenko.

For signing the Letter [of 95] defending the demonstrators of 25 August 1968, historian Leonid Petrovsky, Neifakh, a Doctor of Biological Sciences, S. Pisarev, a member of the Communist Party since 1920, and the man of letters Solomon Bernstein have been expelled from the Party. The geologist Yury Dikov also signed this letter: the oral examination of his dissertation has been postponed for an indefinite period. Vladimir Rokityansky, who worked under contract as a translator in the Psychology Faculty of Moscow University, did not have his contract renewed.

To conclude the news of extra-judicial repression the Chronicle prints in full a report from the Information Bulletin of the board Secretariat of the USSR Union of Writers (1968, No. 6 (18), p. 15). Some of the writers mentioned here have already been referred to in the Chronicle. Then, however, it was a matter of repression through Party or professional channels. In this case thirty-five writers have received various kinds of punishment from the Union of Writers.

Report from the Secretariat of the Board
of the Moscow Organization

“Information Bulletin” No. 4 already reported that on 17 April 1968 the Board Secretariat of the Moscow writers’ organization discussed the issue of those writers who signed a declaration defending Ginzburg, Galanskov and others.

The Secretariat’s resolution stated in particular that the irresponsible actions of a few writers showed that they had infringed that part of the Statutes of the USSR Union of Writers which obliges its members to engage in an ideological struggle against bourgeois and revisionist influences.

At its session of 20 May 1968, the Board Secretariat of the Moscow writers’ organization resolved to announce to Writers’ Union members that in view of the political irresponsibility manifested in the signing of declarations and letters which, by their form and content, discredited Soviet laws and the authority of Soviet judicial organs, and for ignoring the fact that these documents might be exploited by bourgeois propaganda for purposes damaging to the Soviet Union and Soviet literature, the following measures had been taken:

  • A severe reprimand and warning, with an endorsement in his personal file, for L.Z. Kopelev.
  • A reprimand with endorsement in their personal files for:
    V.P. Aksyonov, D.S. Samoilov, B.I. Balter, V.N. Voinovich, L.K. Chukovskaya, A.A. Steinberg.
  • It was decided to give a severe rebuke to the following members of the Writers’ Union:
    B.A. Akhmadulina, N.M. Korzhavin, V.V. Shitovaya, B.M. Sarnov, F.A. Iskander, G.M. Pozhenyan, L.E. Pinsky, I.N. Solovyova, F.G. Svetov, K.A. Ikramov, Yu.D. Levitansky, E.G. Adamyan, E.M. Golysheva, N.D. Otten-Potashinsky.
  • The following members of the Writers’ Union were given strong warnings:
    K.P. Bogatyryov, V.N. Kornilov, N.V. Naumov, Yu.O. Dombrovsky, V.E. Maximov, L.A. Levitsky.
  • The following members received a warning:
    V.A. Khinkis, K.L. Rudnitsky, N.N. Matveyeva, V.A. Kaverin, M.F. Loriye, Yu.P. Kazakov, Yu.F. Edlis, and M.M. Roshchin.
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