I again borrowed the Sakhorov’s Memoirs. I am not sure it is a good idea, it is lengthy, but it might enterainment western people. It is a dialog from Sakharov diary with a neigbor woman in Gorky, to where Sakharov was exiled, retelled by himself. May be it will be more entertaining if I just type it, and only if there are questions, explain the scale of Sakharov as a scientist and a dissident, and a specialist on nuclear weapon, and on what occasion was he approached by the neighbor woman. It is the year 1983, 4 -5 years before Perestroyka.
‘Brandishing a copy of the Izvestiya issue [the second major paper after the Pravda] she began shouting at me:’
-“I’ve been trying to catch up with you all last week, Sakharov. Our women are going to tear you apart limb to limb and hang you by your…” (I don’t remeber her exact expression, but the proprities were maintained.) “You traitor, what do you mean, supporting the Americans against us, saying they should beef up their arms when they are already armed to the teeth? You’ve got your nerve appealing to Reagan and this Drell guy. I know what war is, I’ve seen children die. Those of us who were at the front are going to show you and your Jew-wife Bonner what war means. She’s the one behind all this, couldn’t you find yourself a Russian woman? If there’s a war, we’ll all die - there won’t be any survivors. At the front, your kind - traitors - were executed; and we will execute you, scum. We’ll tear you apart…”
‘She kept on yelling. A dozen or so tenents [Sakharov and his wife were placed into a 200 appartment building] who were sitting around outside and the policeman on duty [always kept on duty to look after Sakharov] were all ears. So far, I hadn’t been able to get a word in, and I felt pressed to make some effective rejoinder. It’s hard for me to give a verbatim account; it wasn’t the most coherent of conversations. But here’s the gist of it’
[ Farther, Sakharov and the woman are abbriviated with S and W respectively ]
S: "The academicians have signed their names to lies that were meant to get people angry. What this doesn’t tell you is that my article was entitled: ‘The Danger of Thermonuclear War’ "
W: “Have you got this article?”
S: “Not yet, but I will”
W: “Here’s my telephone number. I want to know if what you are telling is truth. What does your article say?”
S: “That there must be no nuclear war - it would be suicide. The west must renounce nuclear deterence; there should be parity in conventional weapons. The greatest danger is posed by powerful multiple-warhead missiles, which are currently a Soviet monopoly; so long as this remains true, there’s no hope that these weapons will be renounced. The arms race is a terrible evil, but it’s still less awful than a slide into all-out nuclear war. The article was intended as a means of provoking discussion” [The ariticle was not published in the USSR, of course, but Izvestiya published a condemnation of the article - Ilya]
W: (sarcastically) “Ah, yes, provoking discussion” (In odd contrast to her gutter-level anti-Semitism, she replied in a manner that told me she’d understood me perfectly and was familiar with the terminolgy.)
S: “I gave a great deal of thought to this article. I wasn’t expecting praise or pay. I’m a nuclear physicist, and I know my subject. My wife has nothing to do with my article”.
W: “Well, just what is Elena Boner’s role?”
S: “my faithful wife”
W: “A Jew can’t be a faithful wife”
S: “So you’re an anti-Semite, too.”
W: “Not at all. During the war I helped Jews rescue their children, and they were wonderful people; it’s the ones who head for that facist Begin. [a leader of Israel who had made the first peace agreament with an Arab country, namely Egypt. ] I know what war is like; you and your Bonner eat our Russian bread and butter, but you’ve only seen war in the movies. I was born in 1924, I was at the front when I was eighteen”.
S: "My wife was at the front right at the war, and she was eighteen too, and born in 1924. She was wounded, a sever concussion; she is oficcially a disabled veteran. [ Btw, my father was born in 1924 and was at the front at his 17. he also got a concussion, dfprtunately, less sever - Ilya].
–Might be finished later–