KEEP SILENT, KEEP SILENT!
I lie flat on asphalt of some town. I have a terrible pain. Some tanks! They are nearing me. They crushed my face. They bare the red stars! Ours? Soviet? Why? It can't be!
I open the eyelids and see a young man with a guitar with short moustaches, in black glasses. He stands near the wall and sings.
- Why I don't know this language? Somebody, tell me what's going on? Where am I? I fell in the whirlpool, to the bottom. What's the date today? Who is it?
“Tanks go across Prague
In a bloody decline of dawn.
Tanks go across Truth,
Which is not a name of newspaper!”
- Prague, year, what is the year? You, guitarist, tell, what's the day today, which year?
- August 20, 1968.
Some blood, there is again the blood spot! Well, for how many times you will crush me?! Remove the tanks, it is heavy for me! I can explode. The young bard with guitar bends over me and sings: "Choose: lie or truth? Choose quickly!"
- I don't know. I don't want war, I don't wish blood. Who is right? I don't know! Why the Soviet tanks are here?
Everything, almost everything was silent.
- Look, Maria, you hear? You hear me?
- Who are you? I know your face. I love your face.
- My name is Alexander Galich.
- Yes, that's you who couldn't live without Russia. You suffered. Always suffered and sang. You was singing truth. Yes, you always sang truth. And me, what do I do now?
Alexander bent over me and started to sing:
"All the silent ones got in chiefs,|
Because silence is gold!
Be silent and get to first ones,
Be silent and you'll be informer.
Be silent, be silent, be silnt!
That is the easiest way to be rich,
That is the easiest way to be a butcher!
Be silent, be silent, be silnt!"
- Not, never! I'll better die. I choose truth! Always! Here and now and always - I choose truth and justice!
- Remember, captain, then in 1968 Len Karpinsky he blessed you with his light. There was truth and light living in him. He chosen it - the truth. The newspaper Pravda (The Truth) became not truthful sins long ago. And he published an article there. He has said openly that he is against these tanks. Do you remember how his destiny changed straight after? He was an associate and a friend of most known communists and members of government, a friend of M.S. Gorbachev.
He helped to Novella Matveeva to become a singer. He helped to Bulat Okudjava, Ilia Glaunov and to many other people. He sensed talented people, he was finding them and given them a green street. That is so important! He didn't take anything for himself, but only was giving. He truly served the nation and the country. But his family always lived without accumulations, because he helped to other people and was forgetting of the relatives. With him I felt both - an acute pain and a happiness. He lost everything back then. He was excluded from the party and announced a dissident. He wandered for many years. He couldn't leave Russia. He loved it. He knew:
"Even though it fake, with birches and icons,|
With troikas on a fiery snow,
But I'll nowhere run
From these deliriums
With ringing and bows.
Are these deliriums? There are in me for centuries.
What is my life? What is the life of these who gave me life?
The Russia's powerful hand
Will reach all these betrayed her,
And drive a knife of nostalgia in the soul.
She will appear as a fair-hired bell-tower,
As a quiet beauty,
But if she leaves -
It will be till the end".
You knew it, and till the end was with her, with Russia. You died. Your country forgot you. But your friends will remember you. Sometimes they'd have a stitch under their shoulder-blade and remember your image.
And if everybody will forget, I'll not forget and will never be silent. I'll remember of you, bright head, warm heart, Len, and of you, bard of Russia, singing it's bitter truth, Alexander Galich.
I bend my knees before you. That's you who saved me then, in 1968, on twentieth day of August, on the asphalt of Prague. You taught me to tell the truth. Let your names always shine in the Russian's history!
While I prayed like that on the asphalt of Prague for a fraction of a moment the sky opened and I saw the House of my Father.