Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr (1918 – 2008)

‘Soviet reality shows that no matter how absurd, accusations proffered by the press invariably find their way into court.’ 

A rare two-page typed letter signed by Solzhenitsyn (signature in both cyrillic and English), 26th February 1977.

The Russian author writes to Edward Bennett Williams, an attorney in Washington, opening, ‘I hereby request you to assume the legal defense [sic] of (legal supervision of the case againt) Aleksandr Il’ich Ginzburg, born in 1936, in the USSE. Since 1974, Aleksander  Ginzburg has been the main representative of the Russian Social  Fund, established by myself and ratified by the Swiss state authorities. In such capacity he helped many hundreds of prisoners in labor camps and in jail as well as their tormented families. Due to strenuous opposition on the part of the Soviet authorities, this was an extremely difficult task exacting the highest moral quality to be able to perform it. Alexander Ginzburg was able to do so thanks to his exceptional moral fiber…. In 1977 Ginzburg was arrested.’

Solzhenitsyn goes on, ‘As the Soviet authorities cannot afford to try Ginzburg openly for his charitable work, they will resort to false charges. This supposition is based not only on my thorough acquaintance with the Soviet investigation and judicial systems, but also and mainly on the authorities’ behavior. At the search which took place in January, KGB officials planted foreign currency in Ginzburg’s flat. I declare responsibly that Ginzburg had no dealings whatsoever with foreign currency. Further, the Soviet press published statements against Ginzburg charging him with absurd criminal offences. Soviet reality shows that no matter how absurd, accusations proffered by the press invariably find their way into court.’

The author closes by imploring the lawyer to take on the case.

Light age-toning, and a couple of small stains to the second page, which has been trimmed down. Otherwise in fine condition.

Alexander Ginzburg (1936 – 2002) was a Russian journalist, human rights activist and dissident. A close friend of Solzhenitsyn, together they initiated the Fund for the Aid of Political Prisoners, using royalties the author’s book The Gulag Archipelago.