my fate was, in some sense, an exceptional one … Proceeding not
from a false sense of modesty but from desire to give an
accurate assessment, I would say that my fate has proved to be
larger than me. I only tried to be on the level with my own
(An interview to the
newspaper «Molodezh Estonii» («The Youth of Estonia) , 1988)
1946 and 1947, I twice rejected attempts to
entice me away from FIAN and the frontiers of theoretical
physics. But the
third time, in 1948, nobody bothered to ask my consent. Toward
the end of June 1948,
by decision of the Council of Ministers
and the Party Central Committee, a special
research group had been created
Our task would be to
investigate the possibility of building a hydrogen bomb”.(
Memoirs. – t.1, p.94)
the spring of 1948, I was included
a research group working on the problem of a thermonuclear
weapon. I had no doubts as to the vital importance of
creating a Soviet
super-weapon—for our country and for
the balance of power throughout the world. Carried away
by the immensity of the task,
I worked very strenuously
and became the author or co-author
of several key ideas”. (Sakharov
speaks, New York, 1974, p.30).
in the late fifties, one got an increasingly clearer picture of
the collective might of the military-industrial
complex…My position enabled me to know and see a great deal. It
compelled me to feel my own responsibility; and at the same time
I could look upon this whole perverted system as something of an
outsider. All this prompted me… to reflect in general terms on
the problems of peace and mankind? And in particular on the
problems of a thermonuclear war and its aftermath”.
(Sakharov speaks, New York, 1974,
the beginning of
1968, I felt a growing compulsion to speak out on the fundamental
issues of our age… I took my decisive step
by publishing Reflections on Progress,
Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom”..
(Memoirs. – t.1, p.281).
speaking in behalf of victims of illegality and brutality, many
of whom I know personally, I have tried to convey the full
measure of my pain and outrage and the depth of my concern”.
(Memoirs. – t.1, p.579).
belong to any church. But at the same time I cannot consider
myself a steadfast materialist. I think there is some higher
meaning present both in the Universe and in the human life»
remarks made at the meeting with workers of the «Uralmashzavod»
(the Urals Machine Building Plant, September) 1989.)
am not a purely negative critic of our way of life:
I recognize much that is good in our people and
country, which I ardently love.
But I have been compelled to fix attention on negative phenomena, since they are
the official propaganda passes over in silence, and since they
represent the greatest damage and danger”.
(Sakharov speaks, New York, 1974,
feel that I owe a debt too great to be repaid to the
brave and good people who are incarcerated in
camps, and psychiatric hospitals because they
to defend human rights”.
speaks, New York, 1974, p.46).
recent years I have learned a great deal about
Soviet juridical practices, through attending
trials and receiving information about the course of similar
other cities. I have also learned a great deal
about conditions in places of confinement: about
malnutrition, pitiless formalism, and repressions
and I again appeal, to all international organizations
concerned with this problem …to
abandon their policy of nonintervention
in the internal
affairs of the socialist countries
as regards defending human rights and to manifest
speaks, New York, 1974, p.44-45).
not a scholar of political economy – those issues is not what is
central in my writings and I don’t attempt there to articulate
a clearly defined position on those issues. I am against
totalitarianism, against human rights violations, against
curtailment of freedom. I see – and it’s seen by all who wish
to look with open eyes, – that the socialism of the Soviet
type, which is the real socialism, has led invariably
,everywhere where it had opportunity to develop its potentials,
to the [communist] party-state monopoly on power, and
invariably to the crimes and to the curtailment of freedom. I
am for the pluralism of power, for convergence, for a mixed
type economy, for «society with human face», and it is not
important for me what this social arrangement will be called.
(An interview to the Italian magazine «Grazie»,
have come to believe that international security and peace
cannot be sustained unless we can ensure openness of society,
respect for human rights. I placed special emphasis on the need
for pluralistic reforms in the socialist world…”
(Memoirs. – t.1, p.578-579).
was never engaged in political activity – in the sense of
struggle for influence or political organizing. My public
activity is confined to public statements of a general nature
prompted by the inner necessity to speak out, and most often to
public statements concerning infringements of human rights
committed by the authorities".
interview to the Italian magazine «Grazie»,