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The passing of Richard Pipes

Reader comment on item: NYT: Richard Pipes, Historian of Russia and Reagan Aide, Dies at 94
in response to reader comment: My deepest condolences

Submitted by David Dyzenhaus, May 23, 2018 at 06:58

Richard Pipes and my father, Alexander Dyzenhaus, were close friends in Warsaw before the war. They maintained irregular contact after the war and last met in Paris in the late 40s as my father was studying there. After my father's death in South Africa in 1990, Dick and Irene were very kind to me and he provided me with insight into those pre-war years which my father, who was in Warsaw for the war (first in the ghetto and then in hiding in Christian Warsaw), was loath to talk about.

Dick gave me his correspondence with my father which they started after he and his family left Warsaw until the Germans put a stop to this. It also includes a postcard my father sent from Warsaw just after the Soviet army entered the city to let Dick know that he had survived.

My last memory is of drinking a bourbon with him on a warm Cambridge afternoon almost exactly two years ago. I mention all of this only because, while the many public tributes will be to the great academic and public intellectual, my memories are of personal warmth and generosity.

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