Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Journalist's Moral Decision

James R. Peipert, who in 1974 worked as an Associated Press correspondent in Moscow, writes of his participation along with other journalists that year in a successful effort to save the personal papers of the recently exiled Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

Left behind in Moscow was a mountain of Solzhenitsyn’s personal papers — manuscripts, archives, newspaper clippings, photographs, photo negatives, official documents. It was raw material for works still in progress — among them the second and third volumes of The Gulag Archipelago.

Fearing that the KGB would confiscate the papers, Solzhenitsyn’s wife put out the word to the few Western correspondents who wrote regularly on the dissident movement. For several days, the correspondents called at the apartment and — like participants in a covert bucket brigade — left with pockets and handbags stuffed with Solzhenitsyn’s archives.

Read the rest here.

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