Memorial Chair:

Memorial Chair: “History works for us”

Jan Ratschinsky in November 2021 in his office in Moscow

Image: Maximilian von Lachner

Memorial, the main human rights group in Russia, was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The regime will not be able to break it up, says its chairman Jan Ratschinskij in the FAZ interview.

Mr. Ratchinsky, does the Nobel Peace Prize, which Memorial receives this year together with the Belarusian human rights activist Ales Byalyatsky and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Rights, help you, or has it only infuriated President Putin more against you?

We have a tradition that a Nobel Prize infuriates the powerful. So it was with the Nobel Prizes in Literature for Pasternak, Brodsky and Solzhenitsyn, with the Nobel Peace Prize for Andrei Sakharov. To be in line with him and the other Russian Nobel Peace Prize winners, Mikhail Gorbachev and Dmitry Muratov of Novaya Gazeta, is a great honor, one feels like a usurper. But it is a very right decision to share the award this year, to make it clear that civil society in our three countries is above the state, keeps working together, moving towards a better world.

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