Skip to comments.Five years ago today, one of my heroes died
Posted on 08/03/2013 8:21:25 AM PDT by ReformationFan
Five years ago today, August 3, 2008, one of my heroes died. I never met him, but I think I know him. Of one thing Im certain, the influence exerted on me by Alexander Solzhenitsyn is incalculable. Its difficult to explain the personal impact of Solzhenitsyn. He was such a massive figure in the public eye and provoked controversy (the good kind) throughout the course of his life. He was born on December 11, 1918, in Kislovodsk in southern Russia. Toward the end of WW II, in 1945, while serving as a captain in the Red Army, he was arrested for making disparaging remarks about Stalin in a private letter to a friend. He was initially taken to the infamous Lubyanka prison in Moscow and was eventually sentenced to eight years of hard labor in several of the prison camps that he would later write about in his monumental three-volume, Gulag Archipelago. When I think of Solzhenitsyn, and I think of him often, several things come immediately to mind: highly principled, ferociously outspoken, unwavering, prolific author, unashamedly theocentric, inveterate enemy of all forms of totalitarianism, perseverance, endurance, faith, and perhaps most of all, suffering, suffering, and more suffering.
(Excerpt) Read more at samstorms.com ...
And he is warning us what is coming to America...
Sons of Liberty
Live on, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
In one of his books he recounts how after a politician in power gave a speech to a group, the whole crowd stood and applauded. This continued for minutes. Then more minutes. After many minutes of this (I forget the exact number.....15?) one elderly man stopped applauding and sat down.
He was taken and executed.
I will never forget that story.
It ain’t coming, My FRiend. It is already here. At this point in time, the sheep are being fattened and sedated until slaughter day.
And Congress remains quiet.
Meanwhile, Obastard will kiss the ass of every Islamic tyrant in the world. This is how far relations with real anti-communist heroes have sunk.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn ... Many will remember him ... He finished well.
I have a 12 year old Grand daughter named Alexandria, living in Jacksonville Beach. Florida: and a 3 month old great, great grandson named Alexander ... living in Houston, Texas. coincidence of course.
It's already here, but I think it is likely to get a whole lot worse in the future. I keep waiting for for someone or some people to turn the country around, but instead of getting better, it seems to get worse. I think I heard a caller to a radio talk show say something similar once.
He was born and died in proximate times as my father.
These men in the west and east saw the world change in a manner we have difficulty understanding no mater their walk of life.
We received so much from them.
That was the three hundred member Supreme Soviet listening to a speech by Stalin. When he finished the entire hall broke into a standing ovation that went on and on and on until everyone was drenched in sweat but were afraid to stop applauding.
When the one delegate stopped clapping & sat down, all the others instantly joined him. He was not immediately executed but was arrested & thrown into the Lubyanka where an NKVD officer shouted at him, “Don’t EVER be the first to stop applauding Comrade Stalin!!”
However, to prevent a recurrence the Praesidium (higher than the Supreme Soviet) ordered the installing of large bells in the assembly hall. After each subsequent speech by Stalin the standing ovation would take place until it was deemed appropriate (by whom?) to ring the bells at which the exhausted delegates could take their seats.
Solzhenitsyn is missed by lovers of freedom everywhere. After his 1978 speech at Harvard the Left tried to demonize him as a closet tsarist.
In fact, it appears that post-soviet Russia is moving in the direction of economic & other freedoms, with a revival of religion & rising birthrate reflecting new hope. Perhaps Solzhenitsyn is being vindicated in his own homeland after all.
They [the Republicans] forgot a very important rule: Never trust a traitor.
Thanks for the clarification......I need to go back and read that book again.
There were several Party Congress shots of exactly the scene you describe (minus anyone sitting down): they must have applauded until their hands were numb. At first it was hilarious until you realized the level of fear that must have been involved. The Poles I was with regarded it with a mixture of amusement and angry disgust at their national humiliation.
One of the most brilliant men who ever lived.
When Stalin spoke, they would ring a bell to tell everyone to stop applauding.
Yes, when he returned to Russia in 1994, he became a leading critic of the West, and he pretty much nailed it.
Ronald Reagan promised during his campaign in 1980 to honor Solzhenitzen by inviting him to the White House. Didn’t happen. Does anybody know why?
My guess is Chief of Staff James Baker torpedoed the idea.
One of the things that stood out in the Gulag was the absolute inability of many communists to ever admit that the State could do wrong.
I recall reading of one who said, “yes, I know that I did not do anything wrong. But there must be a higher purpose that is not clear to me. The State is more important than a single individual.”
This was, in fact a common theme. It makes clear that to many, the State is a simple substitute for God, and their belief in the State is their religion.
It requires humility to consider his admonitions. I think on what he said when I hear the term “American exceptionalism. The temptation to idolatry is a strong one.
A lot of westerners burned out by trying to start reading Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago (three volumes), instead of beginning with his much shorter novellas and novels. Short and accessible, in a readable style, they both convey the darkness of the times without overwhelming the reader.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962)
The First Circle (1968), and
Cancer Ward (1968)
If you get through those and want more, and are not too depressed with the subject matter, only then you should try Gulag.
It is also a good launching pad for Russian literature as a whole.
Solzhenitsyn was a giant. My God, we are all pygmies by comparison.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn... in 1945, while serving as a captain in the Red Army, he was arrested for making disparaging remarks about Stalin in a private letter to a friend. He was initially taken to the infamous Lubyanka prison in Moscow and was eventually sentenced to eight years of hard labor in several of the prison camps that he would later write about in his monumental three-volume, Gulag Archipelago.He didn't like the US either, or democracy, but his second wife and their three sons have US citizenship.
A stunning quote. We should re-read it on a regular basis and take it to heart. Thank you.
I have tried to read his stuff a bunch of times. Never got more than fifty pages into it. Perhaps I will try again.
“He didn’t like the US either, or democracy”
True, Solzhenitsyn regarded the West as decadent, irreligious, & uncomprehending of the evil of communism, and said so in his 1978 speech, but where in his writings does he suggest a humane alternative to democracy?
There was a spoof ad for “Mother’s Borscht”, a kosher product, featuring Solzhenitsyn’s endorsement:
“Because even cowardly Western liberals have the right to eat well!”
try the above
Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag trilogy should be prescribed reading in all colleges along with Hayek’s “The Road To Serfdom.” Presidential candidates should have to read them as well. Especially Columbia graduates.
Another of his stories is one of the peasant who had two dogs and named them after Marx and Lenin (or Lenin and Stalin...names like that). The local commie council found out and couldn’t figure out if the peasant was honoring the commies or making fun of them. So they decided to shoot the peasant anyway to make sure.
A version of that book was actually aired on tv back in the early sixties. I remember watching it. I doubt it would get aired today.
Up until a few years ago I found such stories about the USSR shocking... now it seems so, so, so NAS and Homeland Security-ish...
Good advice !
Stalin had to have someone actually physically read the mail — a huge expenditure of manpower during years when literally millions were being fed to the guns. After the “allies” met in Germany, all of those Red Army soldiers who could be identified from news photos and eyewitnesses were sent to the Gulags. When Marshall Zhukov was asked how the families of the slain should be notified (probably an impossible job), he said, eh, after a couple of years when they don’t come home, the families will get the idea.
Even when the Wehrmacht was in retreat, and Hitler was demanding “counterattacks” (i.e., feeding whole armies into the Red Army guns) the carnage was horrendous on the Soviet side; the figures for the Battle of Berlin have been systematically and ludicrously understated (wikiwacky states 81K, a UK source claims 70K) by the various Stalinists in and out of all gov’ts and alleged institutions of learning — the Red Army losses (mostly 1st Ukrainian and 1st Byelorussian, they were tasked with it, due to the anti-Soviet activity during most of the war) were in the 100s of 1000s; in the street and house-to-house fighting, and with seriously superior artillery and other firepower, they managed to lose 2000 tanks in that period of not quite two weeks, and must have endured atrocious friendly-fire losses in their ground forces, a phenomenon which had also taken a serious toll during the open-country fighting.
The T34 is widely regarded as the best tank in WWII, but most of the Soviet tanks weren’t T34s. During the first year of Operation Barbarossa, a couple of million RA soldiers were shot down, another million/millionfive were captured or gave themselves up, and of the various tanks the RA was using, 1500 remained in working order (it sez here) out of the 22,000 (astonishing number!) they’d started with.
Molotov went east for very secret meetings with the Japanese (there was hardly a shot fired for years between the Red Army and the Japanese until victory in Europe) and came back to tell Stalin that he believed the czarist-era treaty would hold, so 70 divisions deployed in the east were brought west as quickly as they could be loaded on trains. The trains went back empty to bring another massive load. Had it not been for that tremendous redeployment, the defeats and collapse would have been much worse.
He’s well known as an advocate for the return of monarchy.
I believe that he advocated a return to traditional Russian monarchy, and to simple rural agrarian life in some ways echoing Jefferson on the virtues of the latter.
It was a great film. Early seventies
You’re an interesting person SunkenCiv...
One question if you don’t mind... When you speak of Molotov - was he the same person who signed the Soviet-Nazi non-agression pact before WWII? And the person who the “molotov cocktail’ was named after? Just curious...
Saddam Hussein did and North Korea does things like that
Same guy. Von Ribbentrop and Molotov negotiated the non-aggression pact (how’d that work out?) to divide Poland, and both countries invaded. It triggered WWII — then nothing much happened for seven months or so. The Germans invaded Denmark and Norway early in April, and then began the whopping month of fighting that bagged Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and France.
At Dunkirk, Adumph lost his nerve (as he did in 1943 at Kursk) and failed to close out the war in the west by capturing the 300,000-man BEF. Although it took four years for the UK to recover from that (and with a lot of US help), capture of the entire army would have resulted in the collapse of the ramshackle British gov’t coalition, with or without a cross-channel invasion.
Then, instead of finishing up in North Africa, the Austrian pinhead thought it would be a better idea to invade the USSR.
Imagine that — despite the recent experience of the Russian front in WWI, and Napoleon’s self-destructive debacle a century before that, and (going back a bit more) the Persians’ attempt to subdue the Scythians by marching all over what is now the Ukraine until they felt the first breath of winter, he thought it would be a good idea.
Prevailing in North Africa was easily within their grasp; elimination of the British hold on the Suez Canal and the oil would have scratched the British Navy off the to-do list, as well as given the Reich and Axis (including Japan) all the fuel they’d need.
IOW, no Pearl Harbor, no Russian front (until they were fully mobilized and had eliminated all other threats), no D-Day...
It’s remarkable to contemplate, and I’m grateful he was such a dumbass.
Solzhenitsyn was invited to lunch at the White House in 1982, The lunch included other dissidents, but Solzhenitsyn was to have a preliminary meeting with Reagan. Solzhenitsyn turned down the invitation.
Solzhenitsyn was invited to lunch at the White House in 1982, The lunch included other dissidents, but Solzhenitsyn was to have a preliminary meeting with Reagan. Solzhenitsyn turned down the invitation.Wow, that's too bad.
He was one of the good guys, helped expose evil in an excellent fashion.
Bumpin' this thread...
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