Open Access Articles- Top Results for Viktor Nekipelov

Viktor Nekipelov

Viktor Alexandrovich Nekipelov
Born (1928-09-29)September 29, 1928
Harbin, China
Died July 1, 1989(1989-07-01) (aged 60)
Paris, France
Occupation Poet, writer, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group
Nationality Russian
Citizenship 23x15px Russia
Alma mater Kharkiv Medical Institute, Maxim Gorky Literature Institute

Viktor Aleksandrovich Nekipelov (Russian: Виктор Александрович Некипелов; September 29, 1928 Harbin, China - July 1, 1989 Paris) was a Russian poet,[1][2] writer,[3]:238 Soviet dissident,[4]:85 member of the Moscow Helsinki Group.[5]:265

Pharmacist by occupation, in 1968, he participated in protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Nekipelov was arrested in 1973, sent to the Section 4 of the Serbsky Institute of Forensic Psychiatry for psychiatric evaluation, which lasted from 15 January to 12 March 1974, was judged sane (which he was), tried, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment.[1] In 1976, he published in samizdat his book Institute of Fools: Notes on the Serbsky Institute[6]:147 based on his personal experience at Psychiatric Hospital of the Serbsky Institute[7]:86 and translated into English in 1980.[8][9]:312 After publishing his book, he was sentenced to the maximum punishment for "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda" of seven years in a labour camp and then five years in internal exile.[1] As Zavoisky and Krylovsky wrote, Nekipelov developed cancer caused by his permanent poisoning in a prison camp.[10]

Released in 1987, Nekipelov emigrated and died in France.

On his book

In this account, he wrote compassionately, engagingly, and observantly of the doctors and other patients; most of the latters were ordinary criminals feigning insanity in order to be sent to a mental hospital, because hospital was a "cushy number" as against prison camps.[1] According to the President of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia Yuri Savenko, Nekipelov’s book is a highly dramatic humane document, a fair story about the nest of Soviet punitive psychiatry, a mirror that psychiatrists always need to look into.[11] However according to Malcolm Lader, this book as an indictment of the Serbsky Institute hardly rises above tittle-tattle and gossip, and Nekipelov destroys his own credibility by presenting no real evidence but invariably putting the most sinister connotation on events.[1]

After reading the book, Donetsk psychiatrist Pekhterev concluded that allegations against the psychiatrists sounded from the lips of a negligible but vociferous part of inmates who when surfeiting themselves with cakes pretended to be sufferers.[12] According to the response by Robert van Voren, Pekhterev in his article condescendingly argues that the Serbsky Institute was not so bad place and that Nekipelov exaggerates and slanders it, but Pekhterev, by doing so, misses the main point: living conditions in the Serbsky Institute were not bad, those who passed through psychiatric examination there were in a certain sense "on holiday" in comparison with the living conditions of the Gulag; and all the same, everyone was aware that the Serbsky Institute was more than the "gates of hell" from where people were sent to specialized psychiatric hospitals in Chernyakhovsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kazan, Blagoveshchensk, and that is not all.[13] Their life was transformed to unimaginable horror with daily tortures by forced administration of drugs, beatings and other forms of punishment.[13] Many went crazy, could not endure what was happening to them, some even died during the "treatment" (for example, a miner from Donetsk Alexey Nikitin).[13] Many books and memoirs are written about the life in the psychiatric Gulag and every time when reading them a shiver seizes us.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lader, Malcolm (26 July 1980). "Prisoners of psychiatry". The British Medical Journal 281 (6235): 298–299. PMC 1713856. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Некипелов, Виктор (1992). Стихи: Избранное. Издательство "Memorial". 
  3. ^ McCagg, William; Siegelbaum, Lewis (1989). The Disabled in the Soviet Union: past and present, theory and practice. University of Pittsburgh Pre. p. 238. ISBN 0-8229-3622-4. 
  4. ^ Sicher, Efraim (1985). Beyond marginality: Anglo-Jewish literature after the Holocaust. SUNY Press. p. 85. ISBN 0-87395-975-2. 
  5. ^ Bergman, Jay (2009). Meeting the demands of reason: the life and thought of Andrei Sakharov. Cornell University Press. p. 265. ISBN 0-8014-4731-3. 
  6. ^ Bloch, Sidney; Reddaway, Peter (1977). Psychiatric terror: how Soviet psychiatry is used to suppress dissent. Basic Books. p. 147. ISBN 0-465-06488-4. 
  7. ^ Jena, S.P.K. (2008). Behaviour Therapy: Techniques, Research and Applications. Sage Publications. p. 86. ISBN 0-7619-3624-6. 
  8. ^ Nekipelov, Viktor (1980). Institute of fools: notes from the Serbsky. Farrar, Straus, Giroux. ISBN 0-374-17703-1. 
  9. ^ Keefer, Janice; Pavlychko, Solomea (1998). Two lands, new visions: stories from Canada and Ukraine. Coteau Books. p. 312. ISBN 1-55050-134-8. 
  10. ^ Zavoisky, Konstantin; Krylovsky, Vladimir [Константин Завойский, Владимир Крыловский] (2009). Как убивали члена московской хельсинской группы Виктора Некипелова [The secretly sentenced. How member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Viktor Nekipelov was being killed]. Mosty [Мосты] (in Russian) (24): 219. 
  11. ^ Савенко, Юрий (2005). ""Институт дураков" Виктора Некипелова". Независимый психиатрический журнал (№ 4). Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  12. ^ Пехтерев В.А. (2013). Ода Институту Сербского [Ode to the Serbsky Institute]. Новости медицины и фармации [Medicine and Pharmacy News] (in Russian) 14 (465). Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d Ворен, Роберт ван (2013). Отзыв на статью об Институте Сербского [The response to an article on the Serbsky Institute]. Вестник Ассоциации психиатров Украины [The Herald of the Ukrainian Psychiatric Association] (in Russian) (The Ukrainian Psychiatric Association) (5). 

Further reading

See also

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