Those Who Lived Under Communism Speak Out

In 1972, one of the most celebrated ballet teams Valery Panov and his wife Galina Ragozina, sought to leave Leningrad for Israel. After his dismissal from the Kirov Ballet, Panov was jailed for ten days, placed under surveillance and repeatedly refused a visa, despite a 21-day hunger strike.  In essence, he became a "living corpse." His crime -- the unquenchable desire to be free from a communist dictatorship. He was denied any work as a dancer, had to deal with constant harassment, the rejection and treachery by colleagues, imprisonment, threats to break his legs, and even an attempt at poisoning.  In 1972, he was imprisoned during President Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union.  He was considered a parasite -- the authorities would not let him work, but simultaneously punished him for not working. Fellow dancers would cross the street to avoid him and his wife. Panov would spend his "days playing tag with the KGB."  But during the...(Read Full Article)
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