Victims of Soviet Terror: The Story of the Memorial Movement

By Nanci Adler | Go to book overview
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Attuned as the participants were to the issues of continuity and change in Soviet political and social life, the most immediately evident change was that this was the first international conference on the hitherto forbidden theme to take place in Russia. Previous meetings had to be held in Western locations such as London and New York. Also of great importance to Memorial was the fact that foreign specialists came to the conference. Daniel stressed the point that the cooperation and assistance of international scholars in this field has helped and continues to help Memorial to develop.

Memorial has come a long way since the 1987 signature-gathering campaign. It is difficult to make a definitive statement about Memorial's character and activities because the organization continues to evolve. Regarding its significance in a particular period, this examination of Memorial has focused on the organization's development from its inception until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The explicit themes of the August 1992 international conference on dissidence were those of identity, origins and new directions; the implicit theme was the triumphant celebration of a movement that had survived against all odds. The gathering, with its deliberations on historical themes and past-tense review of dissidence, attested to a perhaps fleeting moment of reflection and stability for Memorial, whose course will depend on the unfolding events in what was once called the Soviet Union.


NOTES
1.
William Faulkner used this phrase about mankind when he accepted the Nobel Prize for literature.
2.
Vladimir Pribylovsky, Slovar Novykh Politicheskykh Partii i Organizatii Rossii (Dictionary of New Political Parties and Organizations in Russia), Information Group "Panorama," Moscow, November 1991, p. 40.
3.
Arseny Roginsky, Nikita Okhotin, "About Various Sources on the History of the Dissident Movement," speech, Moscow, August 26, 1992.
4.
In general, diagnoses of "mental illness" required "treatment" in Ordinary or Special Psychiatric Hospitals.

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