1984: book 1: chapter 7
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In the mid-sixties, during a series of great purges removing the original Revolutionary leaders, three men named Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford were arrested. Under torture, they confessed to a variety of crimes. They were then released and returned to posts within the Party. Winston once saw them at the Chestnut Tree Cafe, and their spirits seemed entirely broken. While he observed them, a song came on over the telescreen: "Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me..." Shortly afterwards, the three were rearrested and charged with a new string of crimes. Five years later, in 1973, Winston was at work and a newspaper clipping describing the three men at a function in New York on the date that they had confessed to being in Eurasia came into his workstation along with other rolled pieces of paper. Winston held in his hand concrete evidence of their innocence. Ten minutes later, Winston dropped the clipping into the memory hole, destroying it forever. But he never forgot the experience.
Remembering this day, Winston writes "I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY." He wonders if he is alone in this belief that the Party alters history, sometimes for entirely unknown reasons. He wonders if he is a lunatic, and whether it is possible to know that anything is true. Recalling O'Brien's face, he realizes he is sane. With new courage, he writes, "Freedom is the freedom