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Andrei D. Sakharov
1921 - 1989

Russian nuclear physicist who led development of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, and then became critical of its dangers and of the Soviet regime. Sakharov won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975 for his advocacy of humanitarianism, in part due to international acclaim for his essay "Reflections on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom". He was not permitted to collect his prize, and was subsequently banished to Gorki until Mikhail Gorbachev invited him to return to Moscow, where he promoted and toiled for democratic reforms until his death.


Intellectual freedom is essential to human society. Freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorships.

1968 - from "Reflections on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom"