Zoya Svetova: Remembering Arseny Roginsky

posted 15 Jan 2018, 03:45 by Website Service   [ updated 15 Jan 2018, 03:50 ]
18 December 2017 

By Zoya Svetova, journalist and human rights activist, Moscow

Source: HRO.org

Photo of Arseny Roginsky {c) Yulia Ryzhenko / Colta.ru

Today Senya died, Arseny Roginsky. A great man, a fine historian and a Soviet political prisoner. Above all, he was a creator of Memorial. The Memorial Society was his offspring although there were many who, together with Roginsky, shaped and built the organisation.

It was Senya Roginsky who each day, each month, each year thought up new and yet more new ‘things’, that was how he described those marvellous projects which changed the climate in our country.

Senya’s charm or, as it has come to be called today, his charisma, brought a large circle of people together around him, people who were trying, with him and with Memorial, to change the climate of opinion and life in the country.

Those who believed in Senya and loved him included not only his contemporaries, and mine, but also those of my children.

A monument ought to have been erected to Senya during his life time for the project “Restoring the Names”. This project united more of society more than all the opposition meetings of recent years taken together.

Senya was ill for nearly a year, it was unbearable to accept that, suddenly, Senya, with his smile and half-closed eyes, and his gentleness, would no longer be there. It felt as though people of genius do not die. They should stay with us. Like an amulet. Life is unfair. Senya promised he would return and together we would toast “for your freedom and for ours”.

Translated by Mary McAuley