The following letter was addressed to President Podgorny of the USSR in December:
On July 3, 1973, a young Soviet literary critic, Gabriel G. Superfin, known at home and abroad as a gifted scholar, was arrested in Moscow. He is awaiting trial, presumably on the charge of anti-Soviet propaganda.
We, the undersigned, have formed a committee for his defense with the double aim of urging the Soviet authorities to respect his basic rights and of alerting our colleagues in the West to the plight of a young Soviet intellectual. We wish to point out that Superfin’s health is poor and that conditions which prevail in Soviet forced labor camps can prove deadly for him. We feel strongly that violations of human rights ought to be protested, no matter where they occur. We trust that our views will not be ignored by the Soviet government at a time when the maintaining and strengthening of cultural ties with the West is one of its stated objectives.
Jack H. Hexter
Robert Penn Warren
Rufus W. Mathewson, Jr.
January 24, 1974