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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

In Search of Solzhenitsyn

360_solzhenitsyn_0804On this date in 1973, “The Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was published in Paris, and the rest of the world learned the horrific realities of Stalin’s labor camps.  Today, Russia needs strong spiritual figures such as Solzhenitsyn to speak up from within the country against national directions that are self-defeating and self-deluding.

Given the dark clouds forming over Russia these days, we would do well to review x14539Solzhenitsyn’s life and work now.  He connects the dots from the Russian Revolution of 1917, to the reign of Stalin as repressive measures increased step-by-step.  Nothing happened in a vacuum, and nothing happened over night.  It was gradual.

Solzhenitsyn himself was arrested because of his personal letters to a close friend, criticizing Josef Stalin.  A total of eight years were spent at forced labor camps, after which the book is named.  These remote Siberian camps were virtually unknown by the average Russian populace, much less the West.

Working on The Gulag Archipelago from 1958 to 1968, the book was circulated in underground publication form (“samizdat”) before its official release on December 28, 1973.  Repression, restriction, interrogation, and imprisonment are all chronicled based on Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s experience and the eyewitness accounts and testimonies of his prisonmates.

Opposition supporters gather before a protestExiled to a Siberian prison camp, when he was released and his writings started to be known, the new writer was stripped of Soviet citizenship and deported to West Germany, finally settling in the U.S.  Those were heady days for Russian-Americans as we marveled at his courage to tell the truth and draw back the curtain on a slice of suffering that Russians experienced during those years.

His faith kept him going with a moral compass that did not fail.  We can only pray that the  same spirit of truth and determination prevail as sharp, repressive winds blow through the land.

 

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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Cassandra says:

    The orphanage system is the new Gulag Archipelago…

    • avatar admin says:

      It’s true. The invalids in body are often put into adult insane asylums, where they are locked up and anything can happen. It’s exile and it’s prison. Solzhenitsyn once wrote that Putin was bringing Russia into a Western-style democracy where small changes would bring steady hope for the future. I wonder what he would say today! How sad.

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