(9/10/1935 – 20/10/1973)
Gabay Ilya Yankelevich (9.10.1935, Baku – 20.10.1973, Moscow). He grew up in a patriarchal Jewish family. In 1962 he graduated from the Moscow Pedagogical Institute. Of VI Lenin. He taught literature – first in the provinces, then in Moscow (in particular, at the school for deaf-mute children, where he worked on new methods of surdopedagogy). He wrote poetry and, together with his friend M. Kharitonov, tried himself in prose.
Twice took part in public protests: in the “meeting of glasnost” on 5.12.1965 and in the demonstration on 22.01.1967. The latter did not go to waste: 26.01.1967 G. was arrested. He was charged under art. 190-3 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR ; spent several months in Lefortovo prison. However, in June he was released, and in August the case against him was terminated – an extremely rare case in the political affairs of that time.
In January 1968, together with Yu. Kim and P. Yakir, compiled an appeal “To the Workers of Science, Culture, and Art”, which became one of the most famous texts of the protest campaign that began after the “process of the four.” The authors of the appeal pointed to a direct link between political persecutions in the country and attempts at “restalinization.”
The signature of G. stands under a number of collective human rights documents of 1967-1969, in particular – under a letter to the Presidium of the Consultative Conference of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Budapest (February 1968).
G., apparently, attended the February-March 1968 meetings, where the idea of an informational periodical human rights publication was discussed, and later helped N. Gorbanevskaya in her work on the issues of the “Chronicle of Current Events”. The third issue of the Chronicle of Current Events, which was prepared immediately after the “demonstration of seven”  on Red Square on August 25, 1968, was compiled mainly by the forces of G. and his wife Galina. (N. Gorbanevskaya did not take an active part in this issue, since her own fate was still unclear at the time.)
After the trial of the demonstrators (October 1968), he wrote an essay on the impressions of a man who stayed for three days beside the courthouse. The essay “At the closed doors of the open court” was included in N. Gorbanevskaya’s book “Noon”, dedicated to the case of “
Through P. Grigorenko and A. Kosterin G. met and became close with the activists of the Crimean Tatar movement – Z. Asanova, R. Kadyev, M. Dzhemilev and others. He took an active part in the affairs of the Crimean Tatars, and also edited the documents of the movement (in particular, the so-called “Information”). Part of the searches conducted by the KGB in G.’s apartment (there were four of them altogether from October 1968 to May 1969) was motivated precisely by his contacts with the Crimean...
In January 1970, together with the leader of Crimean Tatars M. Dzhemilev, we are tried in Tashkent. As part of the accusation – an appeal “To the figures of science, culture, art” and a number of other human rights documents. Tashkent City Court (19.01.1970) under art. 191-4 of the Criminal Code of the Uzbek SSR (190-1 Criminal Code of the RSFSR) was sentenced to three years in prison. The term served in the colony in the Kemerovo region. In the camp he continued to write poetry, which he managed to pass on to freedom. They were distributed in samizdat and were published abroad.
Before the end of the term, G. was transferred to Moscow and questioned in the so-called “case No. 24” (in this case, known as the case of the “Chronicle of Current Events”, in 1971-1972 a number of close relatives of the participants of the human rights movement were arrested and brought to trial ). According to some testimonies, during the release of G. forced to sign a statement on the denial of public activity.
After the release, the interrogations on “Case No. 24” continued. A month after G. returned to Moscow, in June 1972, his close friend P. Yakir was arrested; soon it became known that P. Yakir was actively cooperating with the investigation. G. refused to confirm his testimony.
The threat of a new arrest, apparently, could only be emigration, the behavior of P. Yakir at the investigation, the general atmosphere of time (the events of 1972-1973 were perceived by many as the defeat of the human rights movement) – all this led to a severe depression. 10/20/1973 he jumped from the balcony of his apartment.
In the obituary published in the 30th issue of the Chronicle of Current Events, in particular, it was said: “In the conviction of all who knew him, Ilya Gabay, with his high sensitivity to the pain of others and the ruthless consciousness of his own responsibility, was the personification of the idea of a moral presence. And even his last, desperate act carries, probably, a message that his friends are obliged to understand… “
The funeral service for G. – an unbeliever and suicide – was served in the Orthodox Church in Moscow, in the Jerusalem synagogue and in the Moslem mosque. The ashes of G. are buried in his homeland – in Baku; on the grave there is a monument to the work of Vadim Sidur.
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