European Memories

of the Gulag

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Arseny  ROGINSKY

This section was opened in memory of Arseny Roginsky (1946–2017), president of Memorial International, an international historical and civil rights society, when he died. We present below the interview we had with him on 30 March 2009, on his 63rd birthday, as part of the Sound Archives – European Memories of the Gulag project. The French version was published as part of a tribute to his work in Cahiers du Monde russe, 59/2-3, April–September 2018, pp. 369-390.
The tribute in that issue began as follows:

"This tribute is of the greatest importance to us, since our generation of historians was so marked by him; we were the first to have benefited from the opening of the Soviet archives. His death is the loss of a great figure, not only for Russia, but also for all those who have taken part in writing a new history of the USSR, combining archive sources and personal testimonies. Arseny Roginsky was a guide through the ocean of sources that began to flow at the end of the 1980s. He revealed the importance of these documents, which many observers, distrustful of any information from Soviet institutions, still approach with some suspicion, and he helped make them ‘speak’. Arseny Roginsky was eager for knowledge, documented knowledge, always based on archives. He transmitted to all of us his passion for text, believing at the same time that the testimonies recorded of the personal histories of women and men of the Soviet period were equally necessary and complementary. He encouraged us in this way to integrate the most human dimension of the tragedies of that century."

(Alain Blum and Catherine Gousseff, Cahiers du Monde russe, 59/2-3, April-September 2018, pp. 343-346

Alain Blum et Marta Craveri

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Arseny Roginsky

This interview with Arseny Roginsky was carried out as part of the Sound Archives project on 30 March 2009 by Marta Craveri in the presence of Alain Blum and Sabine Breuillard. The French version was published as part of a tribute to his work in Cahiers du Monde russe, 59/2-3, April–September 2018, pp. 342-346.