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Vardy (Alexander) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Title: Alexander Vardy papers
    Date (inclusive): 1940-2002
    Collection Number: 91014
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: Mainly in Russian
    Physical Description: 131 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 envelope (55.6 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Writings, transcripts and sound recordings of Radio Liberty broadcasts, Radio Liberty memoranda and other internal documents, and reports, studies, newsletters, printed matter, and photographs, relating to Radio Liberty broadcasts to the Soviet Union, and to Soviet politics, culture and society.
    Creator: Vardy, Alexander, 1916-
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives.


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in increments from 1991 to 2002.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alexander Vardy papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    1916 September 10 Born, Smolensk, Russia (Aleksandr Markovich Lifits)
    1933 Graduated from high school
    1933-1936 Attended the Moscow Technical Institute for Mechanics and Moscow University Law School
    1936 Arrested for "anti Soviet propaganda" and sentenced to three years of forced labor for defending Einstein's relativity theory
    1939 Released from the camp
    1941 Graduated from an engineering college
    1941-1945 Fought in the Soviet Army
    1945-1950 Engineer and Senior Engineer in the State Highway Directorate (Gosudarstvennoe Upravlenie Shosseinykh Dorog SSSR - Gushosdor)
    1950 Arrested as a "political recidivist"
    1950-1955 Sentenced to ten years of forced labor camps, but released after five years
    1955-1957 Senior official in a factory, Stanislav
    1956 Rehabilitated
    1957 Left the Soviet Union for Poland, then emigrated to Israel
    1962 Joined Radio Liberty, Munich, Germany
    1963-1981 Broadcaster, Radio Liberty
    1964 Author, Prorub'
    1971 Author, Podkonvoinyi mir
    1983 Settled in California
    1991 May 2 Died, Hayward, California

    Scope and Content Note

    This collection of papers of Alexander Vardy (Aleksandr Markovich Lifits) primarily covers Vardy's work for Radio Liberty in Munich from 1963 to his retirement in 1980. It includes broadcast transcripts; correspondence; labor camp anecdotes, poetry, and songs; printed matter; and writings. Phonotapes of broadcasts, interviews, and songs are also included.
    Born in Smolensk, Vardy had by 1936 finished three semesters at the Technical Institute for Mechanics in Moscow and studied law at the Moscow Law School. In 1936 he was arrested and kept in the prisons of Lubianka and Butyrka. The same year he was sentenced to three years in forced labor camps. Released in 1939, he returned home and graduated from engineering college in 1941.
    In July 1941 Vardy was mobilized to join the Soviet Army and fought the Germans until the end of World War II. He was arrested again in 1950 as a "political recidivist" and sentenced to ten years in transpolar forced labor camps. After five years Vardy was released and rehabilitated.
    In 1957 Alexander Vardy and his family left for Poland, and later the same year he emigrated to Israel. His 146 articles and book The Ice Hole were published in Israel and abroad.
    In 1962 Vardy joined Radio Liberty in Munich, West Germany. From 1963 to his retirement in 1980 he wrote and produced more then 2000 radio programs about Soviet science, ideology, politics and economics.
    The largest and perhaps most interesting series of papers is RADIO LIBERTY BROADCAST TRANSCRIPTS, which documents not only Vardy's broadcasts, but also a huge variety of other Radio Liberty broadcasts about events and people. Famous authors and Russian dissidents are the subject of, wrote, or otherwise participated in many of the programs for which transcripts are available.
    Also of interest is the material relating to Vardy's publications, including articles and notes about Jews, German and Soviet media on anti-Semitism and Nazism; and two books, The Ice Hole and World Under Convoy, about Russian concentration camps.
    The series WRITINGS BY OTHERS contains works of famous Russian poets and writers.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Russians -- United States
    Radio broadcasting -- Soviet Union
    Soviet Union -- Civilization
    Soviet Union -- Politics and government
    Soviet Union -- Social conditions
    Russians -- Germany
    Radio Liberty