‘Such should be shot’: what do they tell you about Solzhenitsyn declassified KGB archives

Birthday of Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s edition of “Real Time” has published a review of the documents of the KGB of the Soviet Ukraine, which referred to the writer and his works.

'Таких надо расстреливать': что рассказывают о Солженицыне рассекреченные архивы КГБ

Photo: Depositphotos

Sam and tamizdat

From the 1960s until the late 1980s, the works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn was in the Soviet Union banned. However, the country went self-published copies of his books. Some take a risk and bought (or took out to read from friends) demontirana state propaganda publication, others had the opportunity, themselves produced the copy.

In 1969, the production of samizdat came across the editor of the Yearbook “Science and culture” from Kiev Natalia Kravchenko. After hours she gained on the editorial typewriter text “ideologically harmful the novel by Alexander Solzhenitsyn “the first circle”, which was illegally distributed to a certain part of the intelligentsia and young people”.

The manuscript was seized, the woman was interrogated. She stated that she had prepared five copies of the book. The goal is to make money on their sale. Organized everything according to Kravchenko, senior editor Anatoly Shevchenko. He said that the novel bought from a stranger on the street near the shop “glow” (at that time known bookstore in the centre of Kiev).

Copy was done ostensibly in order to sell to a friend and get a refund. Explanations Shevchenko seemed insincere KGB. Especially because before he was accused of links with the nationalists and involvement in anti-Soviet actions. Prosecution senior editor escaped – apparently cost only prevention. Subsequently Anatoly Shevchenko became a well-known journalist and literary critic.

There were also attempts to bring in “samizdatovsky” (released in the West) copies of Solzhenitsyn’s books. In 1974, at the station Chop (border of the USSR with Hungary and Czechoslovakia) customs officers withdrew from the inhabitant of Gatchina Evgeniya Denisova more than ten banned books. Among them – the six-volume collected works of Solzhenitsyn. Denisov returned from Yugoslavia.

It was taken off the train and interrogated. He explained that specially looking at the works of the Nobel laureate in the bookstores of Belgrade. He was given the Paris address representative of the emigre organization “people’s labour Union” (STC), which after some time and sent the right book.

In relation to Denisova planned to initiate a criminal case on charges of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.

Case igrunova and witness Pavlovsky

Among those who were put on trial because of Solzhenitsyn’s books, was a young inhabitant of Odessa Vyacheslav Igrunov.

In the first half of the 1970s, he managed to collect a library of uncensored publications – from the works of Bulgakov and Mandelstam to human rights Bulletin “Chronicle of current events”. Their acquisitions Vyacheslav shared with friends, among whom was a student of the local history Department (after the release of the rural teacher) Gleb Pavlovsky. Among other things, he took the books of Solzhenitsyn “the first circle”, “August Fourteenth,” and, finally, the recently released (in 1974) “the GULAG Archipelago”.

Recent sensational work Pavlovsky, without asking igrunova, gave my high school teacher Vadim Alekseev-Popov – that he as a historian has expressed the opinion. According to the recollections of persons involved in the process, someone snitching to the teacher at the cottage came with a search warrant and found the book. However, in the case it is alleged that Alekseev-Popov himself gave “Archipelago” to the local KGB Department. The historian told about Paul, and that, in turn, is about Igrunova, which in may 1975, was arrested.

Seeing that the man is obsessed, Gleb Pavlovsky decided to recant his testimony and at the trial testified (against him for it was going to initiate a criminal case).

However, the evidence of “the production and distribution of works that defame the Soviet state and social system” Igrunov had enough. This is the testimony of witnesses (one of whom also took you to read “the GULAG Archipelago”), and found during the search of the publication. The accused was charged with and what he was sent to the Crimean friend of film theses “Letter to the leaders of the Soviet Union” Solzhenitsyn and “the Origin of partocracy” Abdurrahman avtorhanova to that produced on photographic paper copies. These films, as well as samizdat copy of “the GULAG Archipelago” with handwritten words “Read and pass on to others” is still kept in the archive of the security Service of Ukraine.

In attached the inspection reports are reviews taken from igrunova publications, including “the GULAG Archipelago” and “a letter to the leaders of the Soviet Union.” In both cases conclusions are made about the “evil anti-Soviet character” of these works.

About a year Igrunov held in custody, but was eventually declared insane and sent for compulsory treatment. Pavlovsky for refusing to testify and did not attract, but he is no longer able to work as a teacher and moved to Moscow. Vyacheslav Igrunov later became a famous politician, the Deputy of the state Duma, Gleb Pavlovsky, a journalist and political strategist.

“He is better than that for the Vlasov or Hitler?”

With the help of a secret network of KGB collected and recorded the testimonials of people about what is happening in the country resonant events. Including the persecution of dissenters, arrests, court sentences, “revelatory” articles in the press. In April 1972, the newspaper “Trud” published a translated from Polish bad review Jerzy Romanowski on recently published Solzhenitsyn’s novel “August of the Fourteenth”.

A few days later the Committee reported: “the Vast majority of intellectuals approves the article, outraged by the behavior of Solzhenitsyn, gives him a correct political assessment”.

A few pages is reviews of writers, journalists, scientists of the Republic, Pestryaev unflattering epithets to the address of the dissident. For example, the editor A. Shashurin regrets that the author “August of the Fourteenth” was released from prison, and adds: “it’s a Shame that people may say, people trample our land and even engaged in literary activity.”

With him in solidarity and head of the Committee on printing S. Zemskov: Solzhenitsyn need to send in the camp of “let’s hump is atoning”.

But the editor of the publishing house “Tavriya” Kuznetsov to some extent foresaw the fate of the writer. According to him, Solzhenitsyn must decide whether to ask the government to exit to the West or to be expelled from the country.

Some expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that “Work” published material not Soviet, and Polish writer. Odessa Professor Levchenko suggested that printed in the newspaper the review will only arouse interest in the novel.

A flurry of responses, if you believe the KGB, called the article P. Solovyov “Path of treachery”. She came out in “Pravda” in January 1974, shortly after in Paris published the first volume of “the GULAG Archipelago”.

The tone of most of the recorded sayings of the population – the same as before. Locksmith locomotive depot Gritsenko, engineer of Institute of Geochemistry of the Academy of Sciences Goncharik, actress Kherson puppet theatre Mazurina, student of the Kiev state University and many others were unanimous in their demands to appoint a “most severe punishment” Solzhenitsyn.

The teacher of the Kiev state University L. Lisova suggested: “Let it be left to some capitalist country and there know the “charm” of the world”.

A separate theme – “slander of Solzhenitsyn on the heroic defenders of Stalingrad, glorification of persons, embarked on the path of collaboration with the Nazis”. In the document several opinions of outraged veterans.

About a month later the writer was stripped of his Soviet citizenship and expelled from the country. Again the “office” reported on the nationwide endorsement of the decision of the authorities. While some believed that the measures were optimal, since in prison the Nobel laureate would be considered a Martyr. Others insisted that I should have actually put, not to send. “Like Solzhenitsyn, should be shot. But let the enemy know that the Soviet people are not bloodthirsty. That’s good. Now let’s see him sing,” said the foreman of the Vinnytsia plant concrete structures D. Pereyaslov.

Employee of the Republican Ministry of higher and secondary special education A. wojtowicz put Solzhenitsyn on a par with the Soviet military commander, accused of treason, Andrei Vlasov and the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

“We must drink to his health”

As is usually the case, notes of the KGB about “national approval” completed review “politically harmful judgments” expressed “certain nationalist and anti-Soviet persons”. “To drink for him (Solzhenitsyn), so he was lucky that he did not fouling yet. For him, white light. For him, such as Sakharov, Rostropovich,” urged someone close retired from Uman Nadezhda Surovtseva.

The name of the woman in the KGB knew well: she was a member of Ukrainian authorities to the times of the Central Rada and Hetman Skoropadsky (1917-1918 years) and long-term prisoner of Stalin’s camps. Surovcova were personally acquainted with Solzhenitsyn and reminisced about the conclusion, which were used when writing “the GULAG Archipelago”. In addition, in the third volume of the book contains photos of Surovcova from the camp.

Cherkasy mechanic, “the former OUN” I. KMET came to the defense of his books, arguing that the basis for them was archival documents.

According to I. Out from Ivano-Frankivsk region, “Muscovites” expelled writer because afraid of him. He added that Ukrainians would be proud of if the Republic was a man.

Came to intelligence and words known to the participants of the Ukrainian dissident movement Oksana Mieszko: “They did Solzhenitsyn could not do because they are afraid of public opinion and forced way to get rid of him”.

In those years, Mieszko, being already an elderly woman, was repeatedly subjected to searches and interrogations, and in 1980 was sentenced to deprivation of liberty. The concern and judgment “Zionist-minded” Jews who, like the Ukrainian nationalists were constantly under the hood. Kievlyanin Sergei Borshevsky in a private conversation, spoke out against the persecution of Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov, as well as arrests of Director Sergei Parajanov and activist of the Zionist movement Alexander Feldman. Librarian of the USSR state Committee for cinematography Boris Kaganovich expressed quite an original premise that “Solzhenitsyn’s criticism is directed primarily against the Jews” (recall that subsequently the writer has repeatedly been accused of anti-Semitism).

“To argue with Solzhenitsyn, we could not, for he wrote the truth, then we, fearing revelations, sent him abroad” – believed Kiev engineer I. Eisenberg.

“Long live Solzhenitsyn! Down with the brezhnevtsy”

“Kitchen” conversations support Solzhenitsyn is not limited. Following his expulsion, in some Ukrainian cities revealed homemade flyers in defense of the writer. Some of them got into the KGB and is also preserved in the archive. In the flyer that someone put up on the notice Board of the plant in Kremenchug, Solzhenitsyn called “the great Soviet democracy” and “people’s lawyer.” The author States that despite the repression, people will continue the work of Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov – “struggle for freedom, progress against the filthy, rotten to the core the existing regime”.

In the Inbox of the Zaporizhia branch of when threw a leaflet with concise text: “long live Solzhenitsyn! Down with the brezhnevtsy. The Democrats”.

Quite often in the Ukrainian edition of the comic magazine “Perezi” letters of anti-Soviet content. “Hands off Solzhenitsyn! How long will you mock the best sons and patriots of the Motherland?” – asked the author of one of them, sent in February 1974.

Did the security officers to track down the authors, is unknown. In the worst case, for such actions could be punished by several years in prison.

Naughty Yevtushenko

Shortly after the expulsion of Solzhenitsyn, the KGB intercepted a letter from Moscow, addressed to Kiev poet Ivan Drach (he had previously come to the attention of the authorities for anti-Soviet statements, and dissidents). The author of the letter was Yevgeny Yevtushenko. He appealed to the Soviet listeners (Drach, apparently, was not the only recipient). Yevtushenko explains the recent cancellation of his concert news about the arrest of Solzhenitsyn. He stands up for disgraced writer, but also for the colleagues who received the same and had time to fall out of favor.

Support Solzhenitsyn, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, a well – known fact. In particular, the poet told me that directly during a meeting of the Politburo, which decided the fate of the writer-dissident, he was able to get through to the Chairman of the KGB Yuri Andropov and put a sort of ultimatum. “If the trial of Solzhenitsyn begins, ready to die for his release on the barricades”, – said Yevtushenko, what Andropov angrily told him to “sleep it off”.

Friends from Kiev and Cologne

Among the famous citizens of the USSR who were suspected of sympathy to Solzhenitsyn and storage of his work was the writer Viktor Nekrasov.

In early 1972 it, according to the source, the KGB, stored at home burned copy of “August of the Fourteenth” for fear of the searches.

And soon, after a conversation, he gave the KGB “samizdatovsky” edition of the novel “the first circle”, supposedly bought in Moscow.

The help of the KGB, dedicated to the personality Nekrasov, noted that he had several meetings with Solzhenitsyn and admired his civil courage.

Two years later, in the midst of a campaign to expel Solzhenitsyn, to Nekrasov came with a search warrant (sanction given personally by the head of the Central Committee of the Communist party Vladimir Shcherbitsky). Withdrew many different “anti-Soviet”, including the book of the same Solzhenitsyn and tapes of broadcasts of “Deutsche Welle” on the “GULAG Archipelago”.

Special interest Committee members caused two letters Nekrasov German writer, President of PEN club, Heinrich Boll, dedicated to their mutual friend.

“Well, now that Solzhenitsyn is Not new! And techniques is not new. To not care about what the worker (our Russian, of course) and has no idea what it is, and not read anything and did not want Solzhenitsyn “libel” and “brew”, and indeed the majority do not even know who Solzhenitsyn. Enemy and that’s all!” – said Nekrasov about the persecution of the writer-dissident. Mentioned the author and that the article “Path of betrayal”: “it is Pointless to dispute the vile accusation of anyone not known to P. Solovyov in the “Truth” at Solzhenitsyn. They are so deceitful, angry and helpless that even do not require reasoning. Another bitterly – “the Truth” still is “the Truth”, and read it to millions, and many believe.” After some time, Belle will meet in Frankfurt plane with expelled Solzhenitsyn. The first few days in the West, the Soviet writer will conduct in the house of his German friend near Cologne.

In the same year, Nekrasov, who haunted the “authorities,” will fly from Kiev to Switzerland and never come back in the USSR. Like Solzhenitsyn, after some time it will be deprived of the Soviet citizenship.

The Ukrainian question

KGB when you move to the West prominent dissidents, as a rule, the efforts made in order to prevent their cooperation with the anti-Soviet émigré organizations. Shortly after the expulsion of Solzhenitsyn Republican Committee several times to report to the Central Committee about the attitude of Ukrainian nationalists from the Diaspora.

From the notes, it follows that here the Soviet regime to worry about – Russian and Ukrainian writer structure is unlikely to stand up to him together. By that time in some circles considered Solzhenitsyn a Russian chauvinist, “edinonachaliye”. In “the GULAG Archipelago”, on the one hand, there are sympathetic passages about prisoners Bandera, and the idea of Ukraine’s independence, with another note about “gravitating to Russia” left-Bank areas who need a plebiscite.

Yes, and Ukrainian independence, the writer admitted not forever, and with a view to “the restoration of unity in the future.” The most radical attitude to Solzhenitsyn won the “Bandera” branch of the organization of Ukrainian nationalists. “They (representatives of the “Bandera”, OUN) opinion, Solzhenitsyn will not participate in the fight against “violent Russification” undertaken in our country, and to protect “Soviet political prisoners are” non-Russian nationalities”. Bandera fear that the appearance of Solzhenitsyn intensify the chaos and sectarian strife in the anti-Soviet environment, and distribute the version that it is hoped the Soviet government, expelling him from the USSR”, – noted in the secret service.

More moderate was the rating of another emigre structure – Foreign representation of the Ukrainian Supreme liberation Council (ZP UHVR). Its members thought was a mistake voluntary consent to the expulsion of Solzhenitsyn and thought of him only as a writer but not a politician.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) has sent the writer a telegram, which noted his achievements, in particular the protection of Svyatoslav Karavanskogo and other Ukrainian political prisoners.

“KGB at SM of the USSR takes steps to use the negative attitude of Ukrainian emigration to Solzhenitsyn in the interests of our state”, – reported in one of the notes. The campaign against the writer’s KGB-connected “progressive” (loyal to the USSR) structure of American Ukrainians. In a number of Newspapers of the Diaspora came the article “about the unanimous condemnation of the Soviet public anti-people activities of Solzhenitsyn.”

In addition, the KGB initiated a release at new York’s “progressive” publication “Ukrainian news” material “with the use of which is widespread among Ukrainian immigrants opinions about Solzhenitsyn as the great Russian chauvinist”.

“The eternal enemy”

After the expulsion of Solzhenitsyn, the number of mentions of the writer in the materials of the KGB gradually decreases. However, it is still about him as one of the most prominent opponents of the regime, didn’t forget up until the restructuring. Surname living in the United States dissident and the titles of his books can be found even in documents as compiled in 1979, the note of the KGB about “unhealthy situation” in Kyiv restaurants. To the ears a Trustee of the security officers came words sitting at a table drunk the military, who praised Solzhenitsyn and was advised to read “the GULAG Archipelago”.

Sometimes, the KGB sent “up” a list of questions most often asked his staff, the lectures “on raising political vigilance of the Soviet people”. Among them, invariably, there are questions about Solzhenitsyn. For example, in 1982 the fate of the deported writer, interested in ten cities and regions of Ukraine.

Unknown, meet the lecturers, but little did they know that seven years later the works of the writer will again begin to publish in the Soviet Union, and a year later he returned citizenship.