Remembering Bob Bernstein, 1923-2019

    The Board and staff of the Sigrid Rausing Trust extend their deepest sympathy to the family and colleagues of Bob Bernstein, a former member of the Sigrid Rausing Trust board, who passed away on May 27th.

    Bob Bernstein became President and CEO of Random House publishers in 1966. He took a particular interest in dissident literature publishing Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, Václav Havel, Jacobo Timerman, Xu Wenli and Wei Jingsheng, alongside authors like Truman Capote, William Faulkner and Toni Morrison. In 1973, Bernstein established the Fund for Free Expression, the parent organization of Helsinki Watch which was established to monitor the former Soviet Union’s compliance with the Helsinki Accords. In 1988, the series of “Watch Committees” created throughout the 1980s—Americas Watch, Asia Watch, Middle East Watch—merged to become Human Rights Watch. Bernstein served as the Chair of Human Rights Watch from 1978 to 1998, later becoming Founding Chair Emeritus. Bernstein was also a board member and Chair Emeritus of Human Rights in China.

    The energy and dedication which he brought to bear on the causes which the Sigrid Rausing Trust supports, will be much missed.

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