Arthur Bernstein Papers
Scope and Content Note
Arthur Bernstein’s collection contains a copy of his petition on behalf of the Soviet Jewish Prisoner of Conscience, computer scientist Anatoly Sharansky signed by over 230 prominent computer scientists and mailed to the Soviet and American officials and to the United Nations in 1977. The collection also includes Dr. Bernstein’s autobiographical statement with a brief history of the Sharansky petition.
- 1977, 2011
- Bernstein, Arthur J. (Person)
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The Papers of Arthur Bernstein represent one collection housed within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM). These papers reflect the effort, beginning in the 1960s through the late 1980s, of thousands of American Jews of all denominations and political orientations to stop the persecution and discrimination of Jews in the Soviet Union. The American Soviet Jewry Movement (ASJM) is considered to be the most influential Movements of the American Jewish community in the 20th century. The beginnings of the organized American Soviet Jewry Movement became a model for efforts to aid Soviet Jews in other countries, among them Great Britain, Canada, and France. The movement can be traced to the early 1960s, when the first organizations were created to address the specific problem of the persecution and isolation of Soviet Jews by the government of the Soviet Union.
Dr. Arthur Bernstein served as a Professor of Computer Science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1970 to 2005. Being acutely aware of the criticism leveled against American Jews for their relative silence during the Holocaust, Dr. Bernstein was motivated to participate in the Soviet Jewry movement. Dr. Bernstein decided to take up the cause of the fellow computer scientist, Soviet Jewish activist Anatoly Sharansky during his trial for treason and anti-Soviet activities in 1977. With help from Lynn Singer at the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry he created the petition in support of Sharansky and had it signed by 230 computer scientists, many of whom were leading figures in academia and the research community. In August of 1977 the completed petition was sent to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, and to the President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Anatoly Alexandrov. Copies of the petition went out to the United Nations and United States President Jimmy Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Dr. Bernstein arranged for the wife of the imprisoned Anatoly Sharansky to speak to the students at Stony Brook in March 1978.
Language of Materials
The papers of the Soviet Jewry movement activist Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook Dr. Arthur Bernstein contain a copy of his petition on behalf of fellow computer scientist and Soviet Jewish Prisoner of Conscience Anatoly Sharansky signed by over 230 prominent American computer scientists and mailed to the Soviet and American officials and to the United Nations in 1977. The collection also contains an autobiographical note with a brief history of the Sharansky petition.
The collection is arranged into a single series.
Collection is located in Consolidated Box P27.
Donated by Arthur Bernstein in 2011.
- Guide to the Arthur Bernstein Papers, 1977, 2011 *P-925
- Processed by Andrey Filimonov
- © 2011
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- November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.