Chapter 7

Dov Kontorer:

Together with Zeev Geyzel, I had to pick up the baton of the Cities Project under the most adverse circumstances: two high-profile arrests in Moscow (yours and that of Yuli Edelstein), the conviction of Joseph Berenstein in Kiev and a number of house searches, confiscations and official warnings in other cities across the USSR.  For a short period of time, our operations were interrupted.  First, we were all so emotionally caught up in your trial and your hunger strike.  Second, we had to assess the damage that your arrest caused to the project.  But the interruption was short-lived, and already by the autumn of 1984, the Cities Project had come to life again.  Division of duties between us was informal; we often spelled one another and all-in-all worked in harmony without any friction or competition.

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Moscow railway station, I have just arrived from detention. My brother Misha (left) and me.

Dov Kontorer:

I remember your first meeting with us after your release.  You made a memorable statement: “I haven’t seen in prison anything horrible enough to induce those of us at liberty to give up our principles, God forbid.”  These were strong words from a man who had evidently left a hefty portion of his health behind him in prison.

But for obvious reasons you couldn’t return to the Cities Project, so it remained under my and Ze’ev Geyzel’s leadership.

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