“Citizens and Spies “

So just what is a citizen? – It’s the fatherland’s worthy son,” the poet Nikolai Nekrasov wrote in the 19th century. To be a worthy son means to serve the fatherland for its benefit. Such was the system’s logic. For that reason, all of Soviet society was caught in a net of undercover security-service agents. They were carrying out their civic duty – some for money, some altruistically – informing the ORGANS about everything they had seen or heard, about what they had guessed and what they had surmised. There were secret collaborators everywhere: informants, denouncers, schoolyard squealers, in institutes, at every business, on collective farms, and in every communal apartment. Even at polar stations, of three people living there, one would be an informant. Now, take all of that into consideration and imagine yourself as an ordinary Soviet citizen. How would you be getting by? Let’s suppose that you’re an educated individual with a sense of honor. You’re ordered to denounce your friends. With indignation, you refuse and in doing so, demonstrate your disloyalty to the government because you have a different system of values. Your arrest is merely a matter of time. Now imagine that you’re a beautiful woman posed with the same choice. What’s waiting for you in prison? Or you’re a Christian, not prepared for martyrdom. Or an artist whose talent doesn’t fit in the narrow framework of socialist realism. You must wear a mask. Constantly pretend...

​I have read and accept the Legal Notice and Privacy Policy​.

​I hereby declare on my own responsability​ to be of legal age according to the legislation in my country and I certify the accuracy of this statement.