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February 07, 1978 - Image 2

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-02-07

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Page 2-Tuesday, February 7, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Soviet human rights examined
Prof speaks on Polish dissent

World Youth
Festival Tours 1978

TRAVEL TO CUBA DURING THE WORLD
FESTIVAL OF YOUTH AND STUDENTS!

By R.J. SMITH
As a vocal critic of the Polish gover-
nment, Jan Gross has studied his sub-
ject well.
Born and raised in the shadow of a
"despotic government," as he calls it,
Gross was teaching at a university in
Poland when police arrested and jailed
him, and expelled him from his univer-
sity.
HE SAID he was made to walk the
"path of health," a corridor of police-
men who kick and beat the prisoner
who is forced to stagger through.
Finally, in 1969 he emigrated from
Poland and began teaching in the
sociology department of Yale Univer-
sity. Last night, as part of the "Sym-
posium on Human Rights in the
U.S.S.R. and. Eastern Europe," he
spoke at the Rackham Amphitheatre on
"The St uggle Against Censorship in
Poland.' '
Poland, Gross said, is unusual among
Eastern European countries in the way
its society treats dissidence. Although it
may appear to Americans that there is
no expression of opposition in Poland,
Gross stressed that it does exist in for-
ms not readily visible to outside obser-
vers.
"IN AMERICA, politics and freedom
is synonymous with a pluralism: clubs,
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lobby groups, protest organizations ...
(in Poland) there is no pluralism, and
only one list of candidates made up,
listed for notification, not approval,"
Gross said.,
The opposition in Poland primarily
consists'of protest letters, petitions and
appeals addressed directly to the prop-
er authoritjes concerning issues like
torture, censorship and unfair legisla-
tion, he said.
Gross explained "they reveal a split
reality, which otherwise would hide the-
oppression." It is by these letters, he
_said, that "lawlessness disguised in a
police uniform and residing in the cosur-
ts are revealed in their true nature."
OTHER IMPORTANT forms of pro-
test outside the political system are the
small cultural groups which spring up,
Gross said, "wherever a book, a song, a
joke or a poem can reach."
These groups result in' countless
small literary publications, Gross said,
and are made up of a broad cross-
section of Polish culture. t

"They break the monopoly of inter-
pretation," Gross explained, "and this
is a decisive blow which checks the gov-
ernment."
DURING A BRIEF history of Polish
opposition, Gross related how the coun-
try had matured in post-war period. As
Russia and Eastern European coun-
tries were shaking off the yoke of
"Stalinization," breaking up a rigid
system of secret police intertwined with
the governments, small groups seized
the opportunity and began speaking
out.
Poland today, Gross said, is a country
with a government with nearly no prac-
tical knowledge of its peoples attitudes.
"Gierek and his cronies," as Gross
terms the Polish government presently
led by Party First Secretary Edward
Gierek, are "living on borrowed time,
using borrowed money."
Gross said many opposing groups, in-
cluding the Worker's Defense Commit-
tee, the Student's Solidarity Movement
and the Political Movement of Inde-

Turchin views dissidents' plight

t'

Gross
pendance are growing rapidly, and are
being backed by tens of thousands of
financial supporters.
Changes are now being made in areas
of power such as the Socialist Party and
the Catholic church, Gross said.
"Today," Gross said "the regime is
slowly sinking into a social vacuum
the days of free men in Poland are rap-
idly increasing."

While the delegation to the Youth Festival will be chosen by the U.S.
Preparatory-Committee, you can see the 11th World Festival of Youth
and Students as a tourist. You will be able to participate in many of the
mass rallies and cultural events of the Festival and have a chance to
meet the thousands of young people from all over the world who will
gather in Havana this summer.
In addition you will have a tour of Cuba seeing the sites and achieve-
ments of the Cuban Revolution:
There will be two Festival Youth Tours at the unbeatable price of
$575.00. *
The first tour will take part in the first four days of the Festival and the
second tour will participate in the last four days.

Festival Tour I
Festival Tour ll

July 23-Aug. 6
July 30-Aug. 13

By JOSHUA PECK
and MICHAEL ARKUSH
Exiled Soviet dissident Valentin
Turchin kicked off the Soviet human
rights symposium Sunday night with
an inside view of the "democratic
movement" in the USSR.
Turchin, now a professor of theor-
etical physics at New York Univer-
sity, is himself no stranger to conflict
with the Soviet authorities.
HE HELPED organize the Moscow
chapter of Amnesty International
and came to the defense of well-
known dissident physicist Andrei
Sakharov. The Soviet police respond-
ed by searching his apartment and
interrogating him on 13 different
occasions, Turchin said.
Many books are inaccessible to the
Soviet public on the grounds that they
do not support the party line of dia-
lectical materialism, Turchin said.
Even books on philosophy, econom-
ics and other topics of a non-political
nature are often banned, he added.
According to Turchin, the journal-
istic profession is managed by the
sameprigid standards. The physicist
contrasted the American concept of
the press as existing to inform the
public about the world, with the,
official Soviet position that "the main
task of the press . is to educate=
man in the spirit of Marxism-
Leninism."

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to change.

TURCHIN is personally acquaint-
ed with Sergei Kovalev, Andrei Tver-
dokhlebov and Yuri Orlov, the three
dissident scientists whose plight-was
the main subject of his talk.
Kovalev, said Turchin, was jailed
for publishing a Journal of Public
Events listing searches and interro-
gations perpetrated by the police and
KGB.

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c3iE~

'There are thousands of
people whose professional
occupation is the viola-
tion of human rights.'
-Efrem Yankelevich
Kovalev, a biologist of consider-
able fame, was sentenced two years
ago to seven years of imprisonment
followed by five years "internal
exile," most probablyrin Siberia.
Protested Turchin, "This for publish-
ing a journal which listed only facts."
Turchin conceded there is some
truth to American media reports of
Soviet government crackdowns hurt-
ing the dissident movement, but he
expressed some optimism for its
future. Religious .and ethnic groups

have learned techniques from gener-
al human rights activists and have
been having some success, Turchin
concluded.
EFREM YANKELEVICH, Sak-
harov's son-in-law and himselfa
dissident in exile, spoke next and
called for U.S. pressure on the Soviet
government on behalf of human
rights.
Claiming the United States has
decided "not to link the Strategic
Arms Limitation (SALT) talks with
the Soviet Union to human rights,"
Yankelevich said he believes the
Western nations have significantly
toned down their criticism of Soviet
internal policies.
"The West is worried about the
spread of anti-western propaganda in
the Soviet Union. The Soviet citizen
can be talked into believing whatever
the government wants it to believe,"
he explained.
YANKELEVICH said he believes.
that if permission would be granted
to American citizens to visit Soviet
prison camps the human rights situa-
tion would greatly improve.
He also said it is inconceivable to
attribute all the human rights prob-
lems in the Soviet Union to the
government.
"There are thousands - of people
whose professional occupation is the
violation of human rights."

. . ;

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