BENSON - Valery Nikolaevich Chalidze, 79, a long-time international human-rights activist, died unexpectedly at his home in Benson Wednesday morning, January 3, 2018.
He was born on November 25, 1938 in Moscow, the son of the Prince Nikolai Chalidze and Francheska Yansen.
Chalidze grew up in Moscow and was educated as a physicist at the University of Moscow and University of Tblisi.
Early in his career he became the head of a secret Soviet physics laboratory in Moscow. On November 4, 1970 he, along with two other scientists - Andrei Tverdokhlebov and Andrei Sakharov - founded the Moscow Human Rights Committee, began publishing a samizdatmagazine "bshchestvennye problemy" ("Social Problems"). The Committee was the first non-governmental organizations in the history of the Soviet Union, and offered free legal advice to persons whose human rights had been violated by the Soviet Government, and also to advise the Soviet Government on its legal obligations in regard to human rights under international and Soviet law. In 1972, he was invited to deliver a lecture in the United States at the Georgetown University and NYU, once there he was deprived by the USSR authorities of his Soviet citizenship and prevented from returning to the Soviet Union. He remained in the U.S., and in exile became a resident of Manhattan until 1983 when he and his wife relocated to Benson. He became a U.S. citizen in 1979.
Chalidze married Lisa Barnhardt on March 19, 1980.
He founded and was president of Khronika Press, a Russian-language publisher of human-rights material from 1972 until 1992. In 1980 he established Chalidze Publications to publish Russian-language books and human-rights periodicals that were banned due to censorship in the USSR, then smuggled into that country for readers there. He retired from those endeavors in 2000.
Chalidze has written more than twenty books on human rights and theoretical physics, including To Defend These Rights (1974), Criminal Russia (1977), Entropy Demystified: Potential Order, Life and Money (2000), and Mass and Electric Charge in the Vertex Theory of Matter(2001) and the co-editor of Papers on Soviet Law (1977-81). He was the author and published several articles in the New York Times, Washington Post and several other newspapers defending human rights.
He enjoyed cooking, designing and building homes, and designing and casting jewelry.
Chalidze received a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his work in international human rights.
He developed the Vortex Theory of Matter. Since its publication ten years ago, the large volume of information received via space telescopes and Voyager seems to substantiate this theory.
Survivors include his loving wife Lisa of Benson, a sister Francheska Chalidze of San Diego, CA, and a niece.
He was predeceased by his parents.
A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday January 7, 2017, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Fair Haven Inn.
Arrangements are by the Durfee Funeral Home, 119 North Main St, Fair Haven, VT
Memorial contributions may be made to the College of St. Joseph, Chalidze Fund, C/O Roger Weeden, 71 Clement Road, Rutland, VT 05701
Published in Rutland Herald on Jan. 5, 2018.