To the Editors:
Your readers may be interested in the following letter written to Academician G. Marchuk, President of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in Moscow and signed by seventy-eight members of the Internationale de Research Scientifiques in France:
Dear Mr. President:
These days an International Colloquium on “Mechanisms and Mechanics of Plasticity” is being held at the Centre Paul Langevin in Aussois, France. From the side of the Soviet Union, Doctor Edward Nadgornyi of the Academy of Sciences, Institute for Solid State Physics in Czernogolovka, outstanding scientist in the field of this colloquium, had been invited but could not come. It is above all in support of Doctor Nadgornyi that the participants of the colloquium want to address you.
Surely, the case of Doctor Nadgornyi is known to you. More than five years ago, Doctor Nadgornyi applied for emigration to Israel for himself and his family. The reason was strictly personal and private. In the period following Doctor Nadgornyi was subject to repressions of various kinds, he lost his position as a division head, was allowed to do only subordinate work with many restrictions, his wife was immediately dismissed from her position, etc. All these are measures which would be unthinkable in any of our countries.
Until now, Doctor Nadgornyi did not receive the permission to emigrate, above all under the pretext that he had done classified work. Certainly, he has not done such work in the last five years. If at all classified work played a role, then this was more than five years ago, thus is now obsolete and its leaking out is surely no danger for the big Soviet Union. The despair of the family also shows itself in two hunger strikes of Doctor Nadgornyi, which were registered in our countries with attention and upset.
Events like this are not appropriate to improve the relation between the Soviet Union and our countries. On the contrary, it makes it difficult to believe that the Soviet Union means it honestly when speaking about cooperation, disarmament, peace and human rights. It is particularly difficult to see that human rights are respected in cases like that of Doctor Nadgornyi.
Mr. President, the signatories believe that you can contribute essentially to the restoring of the lost confidence by helping to obtain permission for Doctor Nadgornyi to emigrate. This would be a good step also towards the development of closer scientific cooperation between our countries, an aim which seems desirable from both sides.
New York City