a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


From Vilnius to Moscow


State security's brainwashing tactics
Tomas Venclova Poet
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Na, ir štai, kadangi Ginzburgą areštavo ten surado ir mano tekstus, o paskui saugumą pasiekė žinios ir apie tą mūsų savišvietos būrelį. Tai mūsų keli žmonės buvo, buvome iškviesti į saugumą pasikalbėti. Paprastai tokie pokalbiai tai buvo verbavimas į agentūrą, bet mūsų neužverbavo ir netgi ir nebandė, kadangi buvo aiškiai matyt, kad mūsų ne toks charakteris, kad mūsų taip lengvai neužverbuosi. Bet gąsdino – na, mušti nemušė, kankinti nekankino – buvo jau nebe tie laikai. Bet gąsdino, davė suprasti, kad mes niekad nepadarysim jokios karjeros, kad būsim juoduosiuose sąrašuose ir, kad mes liautumėmės užsiiminėję tokia veikla, nes ji gali baigtis kalėjimu ir net gana ilgu kalėjimo terminu. Po to mus, po tokio perspėjimo ir tokio pokalbio, tokio smegenų plovimo, mus paleido. Ir buvo maždaug aišku ,kad mes jau niekad... niekad nebūsime, niekad nebūsime žmonės kurie padarys normalią tarybinę karjera, niekad neužimsime geros pozicijos visuomenėje, niekad neturėsime gerų algų ir taip toliau.

Well, and because [Alexander] Ginzburg was arrested they also found my texts and then information also reached state security officials about that self-education group of ours. Several of our people were summoned to go to the state security offices for a talk. Usually these kinds of talks were to recruit people to the agency, but we were not recruited and they didn’t even try to do that since it could be clearly seen that wasn’t in our character, that we couldn’t be recruited so easily. But they did threaten us – well, they didn’t actually beat us up, they didn’t actually torture us, times had changed. But they did threaten us, they made us understand that we would never be able to make careers of any kind for ourselves, that we would be in a black list and that we should stop taking part in that sort of activity because we could end up in prison and even for a quite long term of prison. After that we – after a warning of this kind and a talk of this kind, this kind of brain washing – we were released. And it was more or less clear that we would never, never be people who would have a normal Soviet career, we would never occupy a good position in society, we would never earn a good salary and so on.

Born in 1937, Tomas Venclova is a Lithuanian scholar, poet, author and translator of literature. He was educated at Vilnius University and later at Tartu University. As an active participant in the dissident movement he was deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1977 and had to emigrate. Between 1977 and 1980 he lectured at University of California, Berkeley, where he became friends with the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, who was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the school, as well as the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. He is currently a full professor at Yale University.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Alexander Ginzburg

Duration: 1 minute, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: May/June 2011

Date story went live: 20 March 2012