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140

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA AND PEACE
140
critioal right up to 1922. I have heard of several
cases of well-known professors who literally starved
to death. Even at this moment the university
teachers have many difficulties to contend with,
and even if their means of subsistence may have
improved they suffer greatly from their intellectual
isolation. Such help as we have been able to
give them1, thanks in part to a certain number of
foreign universities, has rendered it easier for some
thousands of Russian professors to struggle through
the worst period, but it is time that regular in
tellectual relations were restored between foreign
and Russian universities.
By an order of December 2 Bth last the Council
of People’s Commissaries exempted literary and
scientific publications from censorship. Regular
relations with the outer world were long rendered
impossible by the atmosphere of political suspicion
and organised informing which led to the imprison
ment and often condemnation of many Russian
intellectuals .
The Government’s intolerance astounds and
embitters foreigners, for whom liberty of thought
and word represent an inalienable right. It is to
be hoped that the Russian authorities will gradually
understand this ; they should find it the easier, it
seems to me, in that they no longer need fear
any attacks from without ; and at home the
political passions have cooled down. The recon
struction of the country’s economy and resumption
of methodical and peaceable work seem to be the
general desire in all sections of the people, tired

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