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Eulogies for Andrei Amalrik, predicted collapse of USSR in 1984

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Andrei Amalrik, emigre, is dead; predicted Soviet breakup by '84

United Press International

Andrei Amalrik, Soviet dissenter

Soviet police on Sept 13 arrest dissident writer Andrei Amalrik



Andrei Amalrik, emigre, is dead; predicted Soviet breakup by '84


November 13, 1980, Thursday

Section B; Page 12, Column 2; Foreign Desk

MADRID, Nov. 12


Andrei A. Amalrik, a prominent Soviet exile, was killed late last night in an automobile accident as he and his wife and two other Soviet exiles were on their way to Madrid to take part in a conference organized by dissident groups.

According to the Spanish police, Mr. Amalrik, coming from southern France, swerved out of his lane on a wet road near the city of Guadalajara and his car struck an oncoming truck. Mr. Amalrik was instantly killed by a piece of metal, probably from the steering column, which was embedded in his throat, according to the police. His widow, Gyuzel, received only slight injuries, as did Vladimir Borisov and Viktor Feinberg.

----

A Fighter for Human Rights

By RAYMOND H. ANDERSON

Andrei Alekseyevich Amalrik was a nonconformist in the best sense of the word, a frail but courageous, shy but defiant, enigmatic but blunt fighter for intellectual and political freedom.

Mr. Amalrik, a dissident writer who had started out to be a historian, was unrelenting in his criticism of repression, inertia and backwardness in Soviet society. But he also spoke out harshly against injustice and opportunism that he perceived in Western governments.

For his beliefs, Mr. Amalrik sacrificed personal ambition and he endured expulsions from high school and university, police harassment and Siberian exile. Finally, under unbearable pressure, he agreed to go into unwanted exile abroad. But he never stopped writing and speaking out in behalf of the dissident struggle that he helped create in the Soviet Union, which was wistfully called the Democratic Movement.

1970 Books Attracted Attention

In 1970, Mr. Amalrik attracted attention around the world, and fury in Moscow, with a book titled ''Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?'' and another called ''Involuntary Journey to Siberia.''

In the first, Mr. Amalrik forecast a military showdown between the Soviet Union and China that would unleash deep antagonisms in Soviet society against Moscow's arbitrary rule. In the second, he wrote with pathos and irony about his detention, trial and experiences in Siberian exile in the mid-1960's.

For several months after the publication of these books abroad, a criminal offense under Soviet law, Mr. Amalrik remained free to walk the streets of Moscow and to associate with foreigners.

Inevitably, the inaction of the security police against Mr. Amalrik touched off rumors that he was either a witting, or unwitting, accomplice of the authorities. Such speculation was silenced when Mr. Amalrik was arrested, sentenced to three years in a labor camp, and then resentenced to three more years.

Sailor's Shirt a Favorite Garb

Mr. Amalrik, a slight man with soft voice, bad vision and a heart ailment, whose favorite garb in Moscow was a striped sailor's shirt, seemed a mysterious figure when he first came to the attention of foreign correspondents and diplomats in 1968, when the dissident movement was gathering momentum.

He often met with correspondents to relay protests, took part in vigils outside courthouses and even gave an interview to an American television reporter.

Perhaps it was his very boldness that enabled him to escape arrest when others were being seized. A fellow dissident, Viktor Krasin, characterized Mr. Amalrik as follows to an American in Moscow: ''He is of a new generation. He fights the authorities. He confronts them directly. He does not have the fear of Stalin's labor camps in his bones. We do.''

Mr. Amalrik, whose family name was taken to Russia by a settler from France, was born in Moscow on May 12, 1938, at a time when Stalin's purges were terrorizing the country. His father, a historian who fought in World War II and was wounded at Stalingrad, was stigmatized for anti-Stalinist views and barred from a university career.

Dissertation Angered Authorities

In high school, Mr. Amalrik was a restless student, a truant, and he was expelled a year before graduation. Nonetheless, he won admission to the history department at Moscow University in 1959. In 1963, he angered the authorities with a dissertation suggesting that Scandinavian warrior-traders and Greeks, rather than Slavs, played the principal role in developing the early Russian state in the ninth century.

Without a degree, Mr. Amalrik did odd jobs and tried his hand at writing but was soon under the gaze of the security police for an attempt to contact a Danish scholar through the Danish Embassy.

In 1965, he was arrested, freed briefly and then rearrested and sent to exile in a farm village near Tomsk, in Siberia. Allowed to make a brief trip to Moscow after the death of his father, Mr. Amalrik persuaded a Tatar girl, Gyuzel Makudinova, a talented painter who invariably impressed foreigners with a calm charm, to marry him and share his exile.

It was this exile he described in ''Involuntary Journey to Siberia.'' His sentence was overturned in 1966 and Mr. Amalrik returned to Moscow, moving with Gyuzel into a crowded communal apartment with one bath, one kitchen, one telephone and, they presumed, more than one police informer.

They kept up contacts with dissidents and foreigners, and Mrs. Amalrik earned their support by doing portraits for the foreign community.

On Principle, Rejects Visa to Israel

After a second exile in Siberia, which ended in 1975, the Amalriks returned to Moscow but were constantly harassed. Although they were not Jewish, the authorities tried to persuade them to apply for visas to Israel, the common channel for emigration from the Soviet Union. On principle, they refused, and finally won visas to go to the Netherlands in 1976.

Mr. Amalrik worked for some time at the University of Utrecht, then moved to the United States to study and lecture. Later, he and Gyuzel bought a villa in France, near the Swiss border, where he worked on a manuscript, ''Notebooks of a Revolutionary,'' to be published by Alfred A. Knopf next fall.

The dissident activist scorned detente and Western endeavors to reach accords with the Soviet Union. He urged that Western trade and technology be linked to liberalization within the Soviet Union. As the years passed, Mr. Amalrik seemed to become more gloomy on the prospects.

During a visit to New York in 1976, he remarked that the struggle for human rights in the Soviet Union was hampered by the absence of Russian traditions of freedom. ''Neither the regime nor the society at large understands what human rights are,'' he said.

---

United Press International

November 12, 1980, Wednesday, PM cycle

Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik, who predicted the end of the Moscow's Communist regime in his doomsday essay, ''Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?'' was killed today in an automobile accident on a rainswept highway on his way to protest Russian inaction on human rights.

Amalrik's American publisher, Robert Bernstein and U.S. Embassy officials announced the death of Amalrik, 42. They said he died instantly in the crash near Guadalajara, about 40 miles northeast of Madrid. But authorities later said he died on the way to the hospital.

Amalrik's wife Gyuzel and two founders of the underground movement for free trade unions in the Soviet Union, Vladimir Borisov and Viktor Feinberg, were traveling with Amalrik but escaped injury.

Amalrik was on his way to to take part in a U.S.-backed ''citizens conference on human rights and East-West relations'' being held concurrently with the European conference to review the 1975 Helsinki Security Agreement.

The conference is a follow-up meeting that the West insisted on in an effort to insure the Soviet Union lived up to the human rights provisions agreed in the Helsinki accords signed by 35 nations.

Spanish authorities said Amalrik apparently fell asleep at the wheel or was taken ill. They said his car swerved to the left of the highway and hit an oncoming truck as he tried to steer back to the righthand lane.

Dissident sources said Amalrik decided to cross the border by car as a tourist because the Spanish government refused to issue him a visa unless he applied personally at the spanish embassy in Smsterdam where he was given stateless persons' identity documents after leaving the Soviet Union.

Since leaving the Soviet Union in 1976 after renouncing his Soviet citizenship, Amalrik and his wife have lived in Europe _ first in Amsterdam and most recently in Switzerland near Geneva.

Born in Moscow in 1938, Amalrik was first arrested in 1965 because of his contacts with Western diplomats and journalists. He was exiled to Siberia but allowed to return to Moscow a year later.

Amalrik was again arrested in May 1970 after the publication of ''Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?'' and was sentenced to three years in a labor camp for ''spreading deliberately false fabrications.''

He was sentenced to another three years at the end of his first term but that was later commuted to three years' internal exile following a worldwide campaign on his behalf. He wrote of his exile in a second well-known work, ''Involuntary Journey to Siberia.''

Even in exile, Amalrik was not silent. On Feb. 23, 1977 he picketed the official residence of French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing to protest Giscard d'Estaing's refusal to meet with him to discuss Soviet disregard of human rights. Amalrik was taken into custody by the police but the next day was permitted to meet with French Senate leaders.

''I am against the system not because it is dishonest but from organic revulsion,'' wrote the dissident. ''I cannot listen to the Soviet radio. I cannot read Pravda. It is crude, stupid and full of lies.''

Amalrik's doomsday essay predicted a Soviet war with China would lead to the end of the Soviet regime. The work predicted the Soviets would have to withdraw troops from Europe, collapsing their Eastern-bloc empire and then a final jolt _ a battlefield defeat or a disturbance in Moscow _ would topple the Soviets.

His refusal to bow to Soviet ideas first emerged in 1963 when he was expelled from Moscow University over a history paper.

''He was a man of enormous energy and he had a tremendous ability to get across difficult ideas in short and extremely powerful statements,'' Bernstein said.
----


Andrei Amalrik, Soviet dissenter

United Press International

November 12, 1980, Wednesday

Andrei Amalrik, Soviet dissenter


Andrei Alexeyevich Amalrik's opposition to the Soviet system was total.

''I am against the system not because it is dishonest but from organic revulsion,'' the dissident, who was killed in a car crash outside Madrid today on his way to protest against Soviet refusal to discuss human rights at an international conference.

A loner among Moscow's small band of political dissenters, the boyish-looking Amalrik was one of the most rebellious. ''I cannot listen to the Soviet radio. I cannot read Pravda. It is crude, stupid and full of lies,'' he wrote.

Despite his frail-looking appearance, he was one of the strongest of the small but growing group of Moscow's dissidents in the 1960s, twice surviving the rigors of labor camp, including a 117-day hunger strike.

It was publication of two works in the West in 1970 that caused the system to come down on Amalrik, who was then 32.

The books were ''Involuntary Journey to Siberia,'' a meticulous account of nearly two years in Siberian exile, and the doomsday essay ''Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?''

The doomsday essay predicted a Soviet war with China would lead to the end of the Soviet regime. In the scenaio, the Soviets would have to withdraw troops from Europe, collapsing their Eastern-bloc empire and then a final jolt _ a battlefield defeat or a disturbance in Moscow _ would topple the Soviets.

In the preface to ''1984,'' Amalrik wrote: ''I was against the system when I was a child. My protest is not here (pointing to his head) but here (pointing to his stomach). It is organic. I am so opposed to the system that in reaction I want to do something with my hands...

Born May 12, 1938, in Moscow at the height of the Stalinist purges, he frequently played hockey and was suspended from school many times. But at Moscow State University in 1959, he became a serious student and showed great promise as a historian.

His refusal to bow to accepted Soviet ideas while doing a history paper caused his expulsion from the university in 1963.

He then worked at temporary jobs _ postman, technical translator, and timekeeper at sporting events, leaving him time to care for his ailing father. He also wrote plays, promoted the work of avant-garde painters and openly met foreigners _ under the eye of the KGB secret police.

In 1965, authorities tried him for parasitism, technically living without visible means of support, and sentenced him to two and one-half years forced labor.

He served nearly half the term, working on a collective farm in a bleak Siberian village, before the sentence was commuted.

While in exile, Amalrik made a quick trip to Moscow to visit his then critically ill father. In the capital, he persuaded Gyuzel Makudinovy, a Tatar whom he met only three times before, to marry him and share his exile.

In May 1970, five months after the publication abroad of his ''1984'' essay, he was again arrested.

In 1976, Amalrik renounced his Soviet citizenship and flew with his wife to Amsterdam.

Even in exile, Amalrik would not be silent. On Feb. 23, 1977 Amalrik picketed the official residence of French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing to protest Giscard's refusal to meet with him to discuss Soviet disregard of human rights.

Amalrik was taken into custody by the police but the next day was permitted to meet with French Senate leaders.

At his second trial he told the court, ''To sentence ideas to criminal punishment, whether they be true or false, seems to me to be a crime in itself.''

Wednesday, he died in a car crash in Spain on the way to lobby against the Soviets for refusing to discuss the observance of human rights at the review conference of the Helsinki accords.

New York Times

September 14, 1975, Sunday

Christopher S. Wren
Soviet police on Sept 13 arrest dissident writer Andrei Amalrik. Police capt informed wife, Gyusel Amalrik, that husband was arrested because he did not have permission to live in Moscow. If found guilty of illegal residence, Amalrik could face fine or up to 1 yr in prison for violation of Soviet passport regulations. Amalrik is best known for his book Will the USSR Survive Until 1984? in which he predicted all-out Soviet-Chinese war within next decade. Had returned earlier in '75 from 5 yrs' imprisonment and exile in Far East on charges stemming from his writings. Told correspondents in July that authorities had ordered him to leave Moscow but that he and wife intended to remain in their apt there. Amalrik por
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