Sakharov  speaks...

About himself

About the science and the responsibility of scientists

His views on the questions of peace and disarmament, of the international terrorisms

About protection of human rights and the lawful state



About himself

  •   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 fate.  (An  interview to the newspaper Molodezh Estonii (The Youth of Estonia) , 1988)       

  •  In 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 at FIAN. Our task would be to investigate the possibility of building a hydrogen bomb.( Memoirs. t.1, p.94)

  •  In the spring of 1948, I was included in 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-weaponfor 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).

  •  Beginning in the late fifties, one got an increasingly clearer picture of the collective might of the military-industrial complexMy 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, p.31-32).

  •  By 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).

  •  When 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).

  •   I dont 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 (From remarks made at the meeting with workers of the Uralmashzavod (the Urals Machine Building Plant, September) 1989.)

  •  I am not a purely negative critic of our way of life: I recognize much that is good in our people and in our country, which I ardently love. But I have been compelled to fix attention on negative phenomena, since they are precisely what the official propaganda passes over in silence, and since they represent the greatest damage and danger. (Sakharov speaks, New York, 1974, p.53-54).

  •  I feel that I owe a debt too great to be repaid to the brave and good people who are incarcerated in prisons, camps, and psychiatric hospitals because they struggled to defend human rights. (Sakharov speaks, New York, 1974, p.46).

  •  In recent years I have learned a great deal about Soviet juridical practices, through attending trials and receiving information about the course of similar trials in other cities. I have also learned a great deal about conditions in places of confinement: about malnutrition, pitiless formalism, and repressions against prisoners. I have appealed, 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 the utmost persistence. (Sakharov speaks, New York, 1974, p.44-45).

  •  Im not a scholar of political economy those issues is not what is central in  my writings and I dont 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 its 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, January 1978)  

  •  I 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).

  •  "I 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". (An interview to the Italian magazine Grazie, January 1978)  


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