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The Pontecorvo AffairA Cold War Defection and Nuclear Physics$
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Simone Turchetti

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226816647

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226816661.001.0001

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A Political Motive

A Political Motive

(p.153) 6. A Political Motive
The Pontecorvo Affair
University of Chicago Press

This chapter deals with the associations between peace campaigners and Soviet leaders that made it possible for Bruno Pontecorvo to leave the West, and also considers important questions, such as who helped him in arranging his trip to Sweden, who provided the funding, and who helped him cross the Iron Curtain. The existence of political tensions motivated Pontecorvo to envision a future career in Russia. Emilio Sereni's activities within the Cominform led him to travel frequently to meet “comrades” in Russia and its satellite countries. According to Giulio Seniga, Pontecorvo left Italy with the support of the party's secret committee. Pontecorvo's decision met with general disapproval that was only mildly extenuated by the support received by pacifist campaigners. By the time he openly endorsed the pacifist cause, the political project for which Sereni had worked had fallen into a state of sheer decadence.

Keywords:   peace campaigners, Soviet leaders, Bruno Pontecorvo, Sweden, Iron Curtain, political tensions, Russia, Emilio Sereni, Giulio Seniga

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