© unknownBukovsky and Belien
, the 63-year old former Soviet dissident, fears that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union. In a speech he delivered in Brussels last week Mr Bukovsky called the EU a "monster" that must be destroyed, the sooner the better, before it develops into a fullfledged totalitarian state.
Mr Bukovsky paid a visit to the European Parliament on Thursday at the invitation of Fidesz
, the Hungarian Civic Forum. Fidesz, a member of the European Christian Democrat group, had invited the former Soviet dissident over from England, where he lives, on the occasion of this year's 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising
. After his morning meeting with the Hungarians, Mr Bukovsky gave an afternoon speech in a Polish restaurant in the Trier straat, opposite the European Parliament, where he spoke at the invitation of the United Kingdom Independence Party, of which he is a patron.
In his speech Mr Bukovsky referred to confidential documents from secret Soviet files which he was allowed to read in 1992. These documents confirm the existence of a "conspiracy" to turn the European Union into a socialist organization. I attended the meeting and taped the speech. A transcript, as well as the audio fragment (approx. 15 minutes) can be found below. I also had a brief interview with Mr Bukovsky (4 minutes), a transcript and audio fragment of which can also be found below. The interview about the European Union had to be cut short because Mr Bukovsky had other engagements, but it brought back some memories to me, as I had interviewed Vladimir Bukovsky twenty years ago, in 1986, when the Soviet Union, the first monster that he so valiantly fought, was still alive and thriving.
Mr Bukovsky was one of the heroes of the 20th century. As a young man he exposed the use of psychiatric imprisonment against political prisoners in the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1917-1991) and spent a total of twelve years (1964-1976), from his 22nd to his 34th year, in Soviet jails, labour camps and psychiatric institutions. In 1976 the Soviets expelled him to the West. In 1992 he was invited by the Russian government to serve as an expert testifying at the trial conducted to determine whether the Soviet Communist Party had been a criminal institution. To prepare for his testimony Mr Bukovsky was granted access to a large number of documents from Soviet secret archives. He is one of the few people ever to have seen these documents because they are still classified. Using a small handheld scanner and a laptop computer, however, he managed to copy many documents (some with high security clearance), including KGB reports to the Soviet government.