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October 24, 2003 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Thi Week

Russian Roots

Nobel Winner

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Russian Jew shares prize in physics.

'yi 'MOi=M:Aqe

LEV KRICHEVSKY
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

1940. He also taught at Gorky State
University.
His academic work has included
Moscow
research into superconductivity, theo-
ack in 1947, Vitaly
ries of radio-wave propagation, radio
Ginzburg, the Russian Jewish
astronomy and the origin of cosmic
cientist who received the
rays.
Nobel Prize in physics this
Early in his career, Ginzburg was an
month, expected Soviet authorities to
ardent believer in science and a critic of
arrest him.
religious worldviews. To his credit, -
During the anti-Semitic campaign
Jewish leaders say, such views did not
unleashed by Stalin after World War II,
preclude a deep devotion to the Jewish
"my name was often mentioned in the
people.
newspapers among other prominent
Ginzburg never shunned his Jewish
`cosmopolitans,'" Ginzburg said,
background, even though in recent
employing a Soviet propaganda
years he has become especially
word used to denounce Jews and
active in his atheism, publishing
others accused as "agents of
several articles on the subject.
imperialism and Zionism."
Ginzburg doesn't like to com-
Ginzburg said he narrowly
promise when it comes to athe-
escaped arrest, and his academic
ism, Satanovsky said.
career suffered for a while.
Satanovsky recalled that when
Despite the anti-Semitism he
the RJC board voted last year
Ginzburg
experienced then, Ginzburg is
on a statement of solidarity with
amonc, b a handful of older academics
Israel, Ginzburg argued strenuously
who have been involved in rebuilding
against a line in which Jewish leaders
Russian Jewish life since the collapse of
offered a prayer for the well-being of
communism.
the Jewish state.
Ginzburg, 87, has been a member of
Challenged Solzhenitsyn
the board of directors of the Russian
Jewish Congress (RJC) since the organ-
Ginzburg is co-chairman of the Society
ization was started in 1996. He's the
for Solidarity With the People of Israel,
oldest member of the group's Public
a pro-Israel advocacy group of Russian
Advisory Council, which is made up of Jews created in 2002 to enlist Russian
prominent figures in arts, science and
public support for Israel.
sports.
Last year, Ginzburg got involved in a
The scientist is well known for his
heated argument with another Nobel
passionate stand against anti-Semitism
Prize winner, Russian author Alexander
and his support of secular Jewish iden-
Solzhenitsyn, after Solzhenitsyn pub-
tity and the State of Israel. RJC leaders
lished a book devoted to Russian
described Ginzburg as one of the most
Jewish history. Many in the Jewish
active and passionate men among the
community found the book, Two
group's lay leadership.
Hundred Years Together, to be biased
"He is one of those Jewish leaders
against Jews.
who is extremely active in propagating
Ginzburg raised the issue at an RJC
the idea of a secular Jewry," said Yevge-
board meetings, Satanovsky said, and
ny Satanovsky, the RJC's president.
later persuaded the group to allocate
Ginzburg was given the prize "for
funds toward the publication of a book
pioneering contributions to the theory
challenging anti-Jewish statements in
of superconductors and superfluids,"
Solzhenitsyn's writings.
according to a release by the Nobel
In a telephone interview hours after
Prize committee. He will share the
his share of the $1.3 million prize was
prize with another Russian scientist,
announced, Ginzburg said he would
Alexei Abrikosov, now working in the
give the money to his young great-
United States, and a British-born
grandsons.
American researcher, Anthony Leggett.
The sum appeared like a lot to him,
A physicist and astrophysicist,
as it would "to any Russian who is not
Ginzburg has worked at the Moscow-
a crook or a business magnate," he
based Lebedev Physical Institute since
said.

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10/24

2003

29

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