• Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

Sakharov, the forgotten memory of a country in crisis

Byeditorial

May 16, 2021

Andrei Sakharov is the memory the Russians have forgotten, the moral leader they lost too soon. In the year that marks the centenary of his birth, not many people remember him in his country. The rational, critical and Western oriented soul seems to have left few traces. He certainly did not leave any in the regime, which also used the other great dissident of the Soviet era, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as a reference, but not even in civil society, crushed by a power that increasingly resembles that with which Sakharov was confronted. Read also The hero of labor of the USSR (three times, in 1953, in 1956 and in 1962), Stalin medal and Lenin medal, which in the 1970s becomes the point of reference and the voice of dissidents, the opponent of the invasion of Afghanistan, does not resonate in civil society in the era of Vladimir Putin.The father of the thermonuclear bomb, then Nobel Peace Prize winner, the exiled, the pardoned, the leader of the opposition to the PCUS, remained confined to a story that few in his country seem to want to know even before using. Also because “her name is not in the school books”, explains to Adnkronos Irina Scerbakova, historian and head of educational programs for young people at Memorial, the organization for the recovery of the memory of the victims of repression and for the defense of civil rights that Sakharov had helped to found in the late 1980s and of which he was honorary president. The organization has been on the list of groups considered ‘foreign agent’ for five years and now, following the new repressive wave, it risks being unable to carry out its activities. he referred to Sakharov, with some exceptions. No one chanted his name in protest marches, although sometimes in Moscow they paraded in the avenue named after him, Prospekt Sakharova: “Only a formal tribute”, like the statues, of power to the Nobel Peace Prize, Scerbakova points out, ” it was accepted, but not its objectives and it was not accepted in the official memory of the country “. The activists who identify with Aleksei Navalny do not use it as a symbol or reference,” too focused on corruption and in any case with little following in the country ” . And among the few political figures to feed on his teachings was the former physicist before politician Boris Nemtsov, killed in front of the Kremlin on February 27, 2015. “Russia lives in a dramatic present, on the one hand, and on the one hand, ‘other in an indifferent present, in a neutral present “, says in an interview with Adnkronos Piero Sinatti, one of the most attentive observers of the Soviet Union and Russia as a journalist for the Gazzetta del Popolo, Stampa sera and then del Sole 24 ore and that continues to follow the opposition against the Putin regime with great attention. There is no one who refers to these figures from the past, including Navalny. The reasons? With the Soviet Union, “an entire system was destroyed”, including its culture and its points of reference. Sakharov “is not remembered, except by a small part of society that continues to regard him as a leading figure” , says Scerbakova. “He did not have official positions, not in history programs. He died too early, when the official opposition in our country began to form. His contribution to politics was in the years of Perestroika, which everyone in Russia considers as a cruel period and want to forget “. He could have been the leader of the opposition, the critical voice, the moral authority that we lack “, adds the historian, specifying however that when Russia turns into a dictatorship,” things have started to change and the interest in Sakharov returns “, also thanks to this anniversary. It is true:” If Sakharov had survived, his voice would have been heard “, adds Sinatti.” He was one of the most important figures in Russian culture of the twentieth century. century “, summarizes Francesca Gori, President of Memorial Italia, on the occasion of the recent conference” One hundred years of Andrei Sakharov. The dissident scientist who changed the twentieth century “, organized by the association together with the Gramsci Foundation and the Circolo Fratelli Rosselli Foundation, in collaboration with the Sakharovskij Center in Moscow, And is important” not only for his activity as a physicist, but also for his political commitment. His thought is fully current even in our days on the grounds of peace, disarmament, defense and the affirmation of civil and human rights. against any dictatorship, for the amnesty of all political prisoners. “Among the most important elements of his legacy, the” indissoluble link “between peace, progress and human rights which he spoke of in the intervention that he was not authorized to make directly , but that it was his wife Elena Bonner who read, at the ceremony for the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, in 1975. Never before is a topical issue in a country that, in addition to trampling the rights of its citizens, has stopped also grow economically and in which the leadership gathers consensus through military actions. A country, Russia, in which memory is again persecuted. With the conviction, last year, for “fabricated charges”, to 13 years in prison. Memorial historian Yuri Dmitriev, who had discovered the mass graves in which the victims of Stalin’s secret police in Karelia were buried. With the revival of Stalin, albeit only for his role in the Great Patriotic War, or that of Henrich Jagoda, one of the protagonists of the terror, whose portrait stood out, in front of the judge and behind the accused, in the makeshift courtroom where the hearing was held for the confirmation of Navalny’s pre-trial detention on his return to Russia last January.

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