In 1970 a small band of Soviet Jews, led by Eduard Kuznetsov and emboldened by the heroism of the Israelis in the Six-Day War, conceived a daring plan to escape the Soviet Union by commandeering a small civilian airplane. Beyond seeking their personal freedom, the group wanted their desperate act to ignite the world’s attention to the ongoing plight of Soviet Jews who were denied the right to emigrate.
Prison Diaries, by Eduard Kuznetsov, sheds light on their mission and details the preparations they made before attempting to seize the plane. It also describes from a first-person perspective the group’s ultimate arrest prior to boarding, and its ensuing trial, which resulted in death sentences for Eduard Kuznetsov and the mission’s pilot Mark Dymshits.
“Solzhenitsyn overwhelmed me in a way no other had done, with the exception of the prison diaries of Eduard Kuznetsov.”
– Leonard Schapiro, The Sunday Times (London)