Sunday, August 3, 2008

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, RIP - A Titan Passes

Via Protein Wisdom and LGF: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet dissident writer and Nobel literature prize winner who revealed the horror of Stalin’s camps to the world, died late on Sunday aged 89.
Washington Post has a lengthy and worthy obit. Times Online tribute calls Alexander Solzhenitsyn a "lone voice willing to speak the truth at any cost." His Truth raged against the Lies of the 20th Century Communist Totalitarians, the murderous regime of the Soviet Union, and its worst practitioner, Stalin. Although he got the Nobel prize for his fictional account of Soviet, life, his landmark work, The Gulag Archipelago, was a non-fiction expose of the network of prison camps, secret police, and murder used by the Soviet Communist regime to maintain control and power. As WashPost obit notes:

"The Gulag Archipelago" was described by George F. Kennan, a former ambassador to the Soviet Union and the chief architect of postwar U.S. foreign policy, as "the greatest and most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever to be leveled in modern times."

Solzhenitsyn meant a lot to me because I read "Gulag Archipelago" in the late 1970s when I was just a teenager. I learned the truth about Communism and its inherent murderousness here, and it sparked an interest to learn more about Russian history and Communism's twin totalitarian evil, Nazism. Solzhenitsyn wrote of a system where millions were killed in the Soviet prison camps, in purges, and in government induced famines; he wrote of how the system of murder, secret police, prison camps, and torture was created at the start of the Soviet Communist regime by Lenin; his work and his life showed how the Soviet Communist system perpetuated a totalitarian inability to tolerate dissent or freedom. Reading and understanding his catalogue could cure any would-be leftist of their utopian socialist dreams; Socialism is not a dream, but a path to a nightmare. Solzhenitsyn was a titan of the 20th century to speaking Truth to the nightmare, and helping to end that nightmare in his homeland of Russia.

One of his quotes that I will never forget: “The line between good and evil crosses every human heart.”

No comments: