Making Memoirs Come Back to Life

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The Victor Serge Public Library has been functioning in Moscow for three years.

Created on the initiative of the International Victor Serge Foundation, of which I am secretary, the library has the aim of introducing the Russian public to the great wealth of radical and dissident ideas which were forbidden during the period of totalitarian Communism and are rarely heard in present-day Russia.

The library opened its doors in May 1997. Today the stock of the library, unique in Russia, is 3,000 books, pamphlets and journals in Russian and other languages. It is the only place in Russia where readers can find works produced in a critical perspective on literature, social science, Marxism, anarchism, syndicalism, Trotskyism, feminism, trade unions and the history of the working class movement in various countries.

In 1999 the library collective set up the Centre for Study and Research Praxis 2001 to organise publications, research and lectures on political and social topics. Our first publication--Victor Serge's Memoirs of a Revolutionary, translated into Russian for the first time by Julia Gusseva from our centre--will be followed by other publications including Conquered City a novel by Serge, and a collection of unpublished documents about the Communist oppositions from the 1920s.

The future of this library, unique in Russia and threatened by the growing repression of the Putin government, depends largely on solidarity from those who understand the necessity to get roots for authentic socialist traditions in this country which has played such an essential role in the development of international movements of liberation, and which will continue to do so in the future.

To contact the Victor Serge Public Library in Moscow e-mail Praxis2001@mail.ru

To contact the Friends of the Victor Serge Public Library e-mail friendsvs@hotmail.com

Richard Greeman
Montpellier, France