Alexander Daniel

(b.1951) worked on a number of samizdat magazines, such as Chronicle of Current Affairs, during the the 1970s and 1980s. Since 1989, he has been a member of the board of directors of the human rights organisation Memorial. He is responsible for Memorial’s publications and also serves as director of the programme “History of Dissidents in the USSR”. He has published numerous articles in both Russian and international magazines on the history of the human rights movement in Russia as well as on other human rights issues. He served as an advisor on the Human Rights Committee for the President of the Soviet Union from 1990-93.


Cover for: 1968 in Moscow

1968 in Moscow

A beginning

Aleksander Daniel locates the birth of the dissident movement in an appeal broadcasted by western radio on 11 January 1968, protesting against the trial of Aleksandr Ginzburg and three other system-critical writers. “This represented a strike against one of the standard elements of Soviet psychology, one which had been cultivated over many decades: the concept of ‘hostile encirclement’, the complex of the ‘besieged fortress’. To appeal to world public opinion, to the ‘enemies’ – i.e. airing dirty laundry in public – was equivalent to treason, to betrayal of the homeland.”

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