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April 15, 2008 to October 25, 2008

To Choose Freedom: Soviet Dissidents and Their Supporters

Dissidents held prisoner at the Oryol psychiatric hospital, February 1971
Dissidents held prisoner at the Oryol psychiatric hospital February 1971 Yuri Yarim-Agaev papers, Hoover Institution Archives

This exhibition of documents, photographs, posters, books, and audiovisual materials from the collections of the Hoover Institution Library and Archives illustrates the various aspects of the struggle for human rights in the Soviet Union from the 1960s onward.


Introduction

President Ronald Reagan welcomes dissidents Yuri Yarim-Agaev (left) and recently released Yuri Orlov (right) and his wife, Irina Orlov, to the White House on October 10, 1986, the day before Reagan was to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik.

Iron Grip and Iron Curtain

Map of prisons, labor camps, and psychiatric prisons from The First Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of the Soviet Union (Uhldingen, Switzerland: 1980)

Leonid Brezhnev's Gulag

Dissidents held prisoner at the Oryol psychiatric hospital, February 1971.

History of Dissent

Letters of protests and petitions to Premier Aleksey Kosygin followed the arrests of writers Andrei Siniavskii (left) and IUlii Daniel’ (right) in Moscow on September 13, 1965.

Tearing the Iron Curtain

Arina Ginzburg, wife of imprisoned dissident Aleksandr Ginzburg, calls the U.S. embassy in Moscow while fellow dissident Sergei Moshkov ensures that no one enters the telephone booth. In the background, a KGB woman watches.

Dissidents and Their Activities

A tiny version of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, published in Paris in 1973 for dissemination in the Soviet Union.

Dissidents and Their Activities Continued

Aleksandr Podrabinek in exile in Ust-Nera, one of the six political exiles visited by Yuri Yarim-Agaev in August–September 1979.

Supporting Dissidents

Exchange of New Year's greetings in 1985–1986 between Andrei Sakharov—still confined in Gorki—and Sidney Drell, American physicist and Hoover senior fellow, an ardent champion of Sakharov.

From Dissent to Democratization

Crowds in Moscow, in 1989, reading issues of the Express-Chronicle, the first uncensored newspaper regularly published in the Soviet Union.

Read an article about the exhibit, published in Hoover Digest.


Related slide shows

April 14, 2008

To Choose Freedom: Soviet Dissidents and Their Supporters

President Ronald Reagan welcomes dissidents Yuri Yarim-Agaev and recently released Yuri Orlov and his wife, Irina Orlov, to the White House

The exhibit will be open April 15 - October 25, 2008.

Click the image to start the slideshow.