In relation with his Berlin Concert for Human Rights in Russia, Gidon Kremer hast sent this deeply moving letter around:

Annecy, Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My dear Colleagues and Friends in Art and Music

I am writing to ask you to support us musicians from all over the world who will be gathering in Berlin on 7 October to play a concert in support of the innocent victims of violence and human rights violations in Russia, and to show solidarity with all those who hold dear that country’s future.

7 October was the day in 2006, on which the renowned journalist and human rights activist, Anna Politkovskaya, was murdered in Moscow. Over the past decade the death toll and list of dubiously convicted people in Russia have grown exponentially. They include not only journalists and human rights activists, but also business people, lawyers, and musicians. The names of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, Sergei Magnitsky (the lawyer who died in prison), Pussy Riot punk group members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina are known the world over. These names have become symbols of resistance to arbitrary power and unjust jurisprudence.

The trials are currently underway of the so-called Bolotnaya Prisoners – the young people who dared take to the streets to demand their constitutional rights. An unprecedentedly harsh sentence has recently been imposed on the rural schoolteacher, Ilya Farber, who fell victim to corrupt local officials.

We are musicians, we are a peaceful people, our ‘weapon’ is music, our aim – to create, not destroy, and our main goal is harmony. And so we cannot remain indifferent to other people’s suffering. Compassion is the basis of all morality. Many great artists of the past upheld these principals. Among them Pablo Casals, Slava Rostropovich, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Yehudy Menuhin and many others. We live today and being motivated by high standards of humanism, should be able to continue walking in their “footsteps”.

It is naive to believe that our joint action can dramatically change something and justice will prevail. Dostoevsky’s famous words that ‘beauty will save the world’ evidently also sound naive. But we do choose idealism and do believe in miracles.

Our goal is not only to create and conjure wonderful sounds, but also to bring effective help to all those who are in real need. As great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin said:
“And to the people long shall I be dear because kind feelings did my lyre extol, invoking freedom in the age of fear, and mercy for the broken soul”

I sincerely hope that you will respond to my appeal, and share our standpoint and our action.

Thanking you in advance,

Sincerely yours, Gidon Kremer

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