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Solzhenitsyn: A HERO in the struggle against Soviet tyranny

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was the first man who exposed the horrific Soviet Gulag camps to the world.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

“Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.”

On July 21, 1994, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn returned to Moscow after spending 20 years in exile for writing his book “The Gulag Archipelago,” where he described the horror of the Soviet prison camps.

Solzhenitsyn stepped off at Yaroslavsky Station in Moscow and was greeted by thousands of people with flowers and posters that said:

“Thank you Solzhenitsyn! He described our suffering and exposed the Gulag camps to the entire world.”

The Nobel Prize-winning author personally went through everything that he wrote about. A World War II veteran, he spent eight years in a prison camp after being sentenced for criticizing Joseph Stalin in his private letters. After living through the horror system of Stalin’s labor camps, he was the first author to reveal to the West the dreadful realities of the “Gulag” (Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies).

Solzhenitsyn in Gulag (1953)

The author saw his mission as writing about his experience as a Gulag survivor. In 1962, he published his “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” a novel which gives an account of one day in life of a Gulag prisoner.

The Gulag Archipelago (1918-1956)

In 1973, just after his next most famous book, “The Gulag Archipelago,” was released to the West, Solzhenitsyn was arrested by the KGB, charged with treason, and exiled to the United States. The author’s work was labeled anti-Soviet propaganda.

In 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the USSR, dropped the treason changes against Solzhenitsyn and restored his citizenship.

Shortly after arriving back to Moscow, Solzhenitsyn emerged as a critic of Russia’s post-Soviet government, and particularly, of then-President Boris Yeltsin:

“I have concluded Russia is in a very serious condition. There are groans resounding across the country… Nobody expected the way out of communism would be painless, but nobody expected it to be so painful… The government is not fulfilling its duties.”

The Russian White House under tank attack (October 3, 1993)

Solzhenitsyn has expressed dismay that Russia seemed not to want to listen to him. He was so frustrated with “the modern Russia” that he even rejected the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle (the highest civilian award in Russia) presented to him by Yeltsin in 1998 for “outstanding services to the fatherland and for his great contribution to world literature”:

“I cannot accept an award from the supreme authority which brought Russia to its current disastrous state. Under present circumstances, when people hold hunger strikes in order to get their salaries, I cannot accept this award. Maybe after a long time, when Russia finds its way out of its troubles, my sons will be able to receive it in my place.”

Toward the end of his long life full of struggle and unrest, Solzhenitsyn finally found a political system he could embrace: Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Vladimir Putin visits Alexander Solzhenitsyn in the outskirts of Moscow (2007)

Vladimir Putin about Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

“We are proud that Alexander Solzhenitsyn was our compatriot and contemporary. We will remember him as a strong, courageous person with a great sense of dignity. His activities as a writer and public figure, his entire long, thorny life journey will remain for us a model of true devotion, selfless service to the people, motherland and the ideals of freedom, justice and humaneness.”

His last years the author spent in isolation with his wife Natalya.

Solzhenitsyn and his wife Natalia

The man who survived the revolution, WWII, the Gulag, cancer, KGB persecution, and exile, died on August 3, 2008, at the age of 90.

Solzhenitsyn’s works comprise more than 30 volumes. He was an outstanding writer, a historian, a social philosopher, and the first man who was not afraid to reveal the truth about the monstrous place that was the Gulag.

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my2CentsLe RuscinoRoddy WehrmachtNatylie BaldwinMao Cheng Ji Recent comment authors
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Le Ruscino
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Le Ruscino

Bla Bla Bla – Most of what Solzhenitsyn wrote was proved to be a clever fabric of lies & truth. Do the research ! He suited a US propaganda agenda at the time.

Addison DePitt
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Addison DePitt

ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. This was even recognized during his own lifetime, even though, as usual, the Western (pro-capitalist) propaganda noise drowned out the facts. It is also pretty irritating that Russia Feed should be spreading MORE anti-communist propaganda at a moment when the attacks on Russia are already being repackaged by prominent political figures in the US establishment (i.e., Democrat apparatchik Donna Brazile, etc.) as a fight against communism. Russia Feed has lost my trust entirely. As supporters of Russia’s decent, pro-peace internal policies, we will not be dragged into a new cult of anti-sovietism by a media channel that purports… Read more »

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Call me dumb, but when it comes to Russian Gulags I go with a Russian who experienced 7 year of it…rather than a “clever” American who sat on the other side of the globe and “knows better” because he’s “exceptional. Yeah…you know my journalist father ALWAYS told us question the talker. European history does not come from ANY American source. Did you ever live through a war? Spent a few years in a Gulag? Yet you have an opinion. My daughter did her thesis in Europe on WW2Propaganda (most likely because her mother survived it) It makes for very interesting… Read more »

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Oy – And he knew that when he started writing these books stuck in a camp that this would be pleasing to Americans…Yes..and the moon is made of cheese. No clue about war do you.???

my2Cents
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my2Cents

The following appeared in my mailbox but is conspicuously missing from this thread as well as from his own list.. Thus not allowing me to respond ..So this is a private lecture not to be seen by anyone…..Interesting FROM Patrice de Bergeracpas Sorry my2cents but you are simply wrong. And on several important grounds. First, you overrate firsthand experience. You conveniently forget that ideology, temperament and other facts color ALL human perceptions, rendering everything we say or report as truth subjective. What such subjective understanding of reality usually does is blur or massacre the context of history, without which it… Read more »

Roddy Wehrmacht
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Roddy Wehrmacht

So the USSR wasn’t a corrupt totalitarian shithole? That was all just western propaganda then?
Lol.

Le Ruscino
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Le Ruscino

USSR had the same GDP as US so it wasn’t all bad ? Putin put it best when he said “anyone who doesn’t miss the Soviet Union has no soul but anyone who wants to g back there has no brain” – Nothing is Black & White ! But Solzhenistsyn was a clever fraud & a useful idiot for the West.

Doug Brown
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Doug Brown

A very great man. A fearless and prolific writer. I remember reading many of his works as a youth. How noble, a true hero. He and Father Malachi Martin were both tremendously influencial in my development.

Le Ruscino
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Le Ruscino

& a liar !

Doug Brown
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Doug Brown

He is a great man, and a great writer. You are a little man that cannot write.

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Why was he a liar?

Le Ruscino
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Le Ruscino

He wove truth with lies & exaggerations – this was exposed clearly even when he was alive but it sold well to the West & some still does as can be seen by some poorly informed sheep on here.

my2Cents
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my2Cents

In 1945, after criticizing Stalin, he spent 8 years in jails and Gulags after which 3 more years in exile…He lied, you say, according to WHOM? And WHO exposed him?. . The Soviets? When a writer is imprisoned for the things he writes logic tells me he’s stating an inconvenient truth that must not be made known. AND, of course there are always those in a camp/Gulag who, for some incentive/reward, contradict certain statements. There is no black and white during war or in any camps/Gulags. It’s survival. But because the “West” liked his writings he became a liar and… Read more »

Mao Cheng Ji
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Mao Cheng Ji

The image you identify as “The Gulag Archipelago (1918-1956)” is in the wikipedia article for Ebensee (Austria) concentration camp: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebensee_concentration_camp : “Inmates of Ebensee concentration camp after their liberation by American troops on May 6, 1945 (Photograph by Arnold E. Samuelson)”. Also here, colorized: http://imgur.com/r/ImagesOfThe1940s/iSnq86Y

my2Cents
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my2Cents

The allies had a vast amount of photos and film they used for propaganda purposes. One German doctor saw himself on film “walking among the dead in a Concentration camp” He was never in any concentration camp. He was walking among the dead in Dresden after 3 days and nights of non-stop fire bombings killing around 350,000 people, looking for anyone still alive. Photos of mass graves filled with emaciated bodies claiming to have been starved to death were typical victims of Typhus…. I have seen many fotos of German concentration camps and the picture used in the Wikipedia story… Read more »

Mao Cheng Ji
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Mao Cheng Ji

Oh really, just like that: “most likely”, in your esteemed opinion, eh?

I wonder what Mr Arnold E. Samuelson and his crew of photographers attached to the 80th Infantry Division (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_E._Samuelson ) would’ve said about it…

…not to mention the lawyers working for this organization: https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10006177

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Let me say this….real….slowly… There..is…NOTHING….coming …..from ….ANY….American source…..that…I…believe….about WW2….Read that again. After having survived Nazi occupation and THREE fire bombings by the American Army Air Corps, claiming a faulty atlas, attending bombed out schools watching “Allied” propaganda films I can say that EVERY American photographer accompanying Eisenhower in the camps had their footage used not for historical purposes but solely for propaganda purposes. Read THAT again…….And guess what, the allies committed far worse war crimes and killed far more people than the Germans ever did. Read THAT again . “Most likely” was in error. please read “definitely”. The Holocaust did… Read more »

Mao Cheng Ji
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Mao Cheng Ji

I don’t care what you do or don’t believe; your apparent hobby-horse doesn’t interest me.

All I’m saying is that this photo is completely unrelated to Solzhenitsyn/GULAG, which is the topic here. To publish it here with the caption “The Gulag Archipelago (1918-1956)” is simply dishonest.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

It certainly is not related to Mauthausen. (Ebensee is Mauthausen) nor is it related to Arnold E. Samuelson
Wake up, you are being had…..brainwashed.
You make a patently false claim based on imgur and Wikipedia…seriously?
Did you ever finish school?
But you insist that imgur/wikipedia are better sources than this Russia site.
NO one in ANY German/Austrian Concentration camp dressed like that.
Arnold E. Samuelson did not take this picture (another lie) because he had no access to any Russian Gulag. Research is not imgur or Wiki
Got it now.

Natylie Baldwin
Guest

My first reaction at seeing that photo was that it reminded me more of a Nazi concentration camp than a Gulag camp. I just visited the Gulag Museum in Moscow a couple of months ago and the photos of prisoners and the camps did not have the look in the above photo.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

Does that look like a concentration camp uniform to you?

Natylie Baldwin
Guest

What I’m mainly saying is that it doesn’t look like the Gulag images that I saw.

Frank frivilous
Guest
Frank frivilous

I tend to agree with Solzhenitsyn’s critics, the fact that he was traded to the west and became a popular dissident. But I also think he was courageous in his decision to write his final book “200 years together” exposing the Jewish tyranny in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. This book has yet to be published officially in english particularly in targeted countries like United States. The complete story of our quest for humanity, including that of Solzenitsyn, has yet to be told.

Le Ruscino
Guest
Le Ruscino

Russia Feed is in dire need of employing some genuine Russian academics & historians to avoid publishing more of this horse manure!

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