Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

A public letter to A. Solzhenitsyn


As George Orwell said, every political movement has a lunatic fringe. Valeria Novodvorskaya undoubtedly belongs to that fringe of the dissent. Recently she wrote a public letter turned to Solzhenitsyn about the fact that he received a visitor – the President of Russia. Although we do not agree that Ms Novodvorskaya has the moral right to speak in such a tone of voice with the great writer, we publish her letter for the information of our readers.

A public letter to A. Solzhenitsyn

Revered Aleksandr Isaevich!

You are standing on the brink of loosing your good name, civil dignity and an image of a fighter with totalitarianism. My duty is to warn you. I am speaking with you as a dissident active for more than 30 years, your former comrade-at-arms and a devoted reader, who distributed in samizdat many copies of your great works. I have a right to tell you what I must tell. What are you doing? Do you think, it is little that since the moment of your coming back you do not fight communism, that you disregard the stars above the Kremlin and the Lenin’s Mausoleum on the Red Square? Now you licking the dust before KGB-men, your torturers and destroyers of Russia, when you meet on the porch the KGB-man Putin. Have you forgotten everything? Your arrest, Lubianka, interrogations, concentration camps, colony-mates, to whom you dedicated your script ‘Tanks know the truth’, your exile from the country, people, who, risking their lives, distributed your ‘GULAG Archipelago’? Now you cooperate with those very organs, which you anathematized in your books. Do you want to leave this world not with the reputation of a saint, but of a colony stool-pigeon? Were it you who advised in your ‘Archipelago’ to meet KGB-men with an axe. And you have met on the porch a KGB-man, who congratulated his colleagues on 20 December, the foundation day of this organization, an admirer of Stalin and Andropov? Are not afraid that heroes of our books, Ivan Denisovich, Tsezar, Kavtorang, will denounce you? The victims of Ekibastuz uprising, convicts of Solovki, Elgen, Steplag will rise from their graves to call you a traitor. Have you returned to Russia in order to bring shame upon yourself and Russian literature? Have you thought about your future readers who will learn that the author of these prophesies has finished his life as a renegade and yes-man?

Shame upon you, Aleksandr Isaevich! Have mercy on us, stop it! Otherwise your admirers will treat you as Knut Gamsun: they will throw your books dishonored by you in front of your house. You were shameless enough to publicly praise a son of the KGB, tyrant and military criminal. Knut Gamsun collaborated with fascists, you – with the KGB. I cannot think about any reason to pardon you and I ask all dissidents, still alive, who have not given up, to join me and to appeal to your consciousness of a Russian writer.

Valeria Novodvorskaya, a dissident and human rights protection
activist since 1968 (when I was 19), three times laureate

of Article 70 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation

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