Soviet Union A Day in the Depths of the Gulag

The place where rain falls, but sun never shines

Of some 140 political prisoners pardoned last month by Soviet Party Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the best known was Mathematician Iosif Begun, a 54-year-old refusenik. He was freed after serving 3 1/2 years of a seven-year term for anti-Soviet activity that consisted mainly of teaching Hebrew and campaigning for Jewish cultural rights. After being reunited with his family and friends on a Moscow train platform last week, Begun relaxed in his apartment and spoke with TIME Moscow Bureau Chief James O. Jackson of how he passed his time in prison. A compact man with cheerful blue eyes and a velvet yarmulke covering...