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Lydia Chukovskaya 1907 - 1996

anti-stalinist writer who published her work despite heavy Soviet censorship

Lydia Chukovskaya worked for some thirty years as a columnist and literary translator. Her second husband was arrested and shot in 1937. She wrote two novels on Stalinism: The Deserted House and Descent into Water, which were rejected by the censors, ended up in the samizdat and were published abroad. Her defence of Sinyavsky and Daniel, the protection that her family offered Solzhenitzin and her impassioned public defence of Sacharov led to her expulsion from the Writers’ Union in 1974. Her most important work, in three volumes, is Notes on Anna Akhmatova, partially published in Paris and currently being published in Russia at the initiative of her daughter Elena. The Process of Expulsion is the story of her struggle against censorship and arbitrary acts.

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The difficult defense of human dignity

In communist totalitarianism

The Gulag as the organized system of soviet labor camps was a powerful instrument for the extermination of entire groups of citizens by the communist totalitarian regime, in the USSR since half of the Twenties and then by emulation of the other countries of the communist bloc, both in Europe and in the Far East.
Through terror, the regime exerted an iron grip over the population who completely submitted to the regime. 

For those who opposed the regime the question was not about risking their lives to rescue other human beings, but to save their true identity at the cost of their life. Through this, indirectly, other lives were saved and this courageous kind of moral resistance contributed to the collapse of the Soviet empire, which collapsed at the end of 1989.