Alexander Solzhenitsyn dies

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Deacon, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Alexander Solzhenitsyn, one of my favorite Russian authors died last Monday in his home country, Russia. [LINK]

    Popularly known for his short story, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, he wrote of the horrors of the Soviet labor camps under Stalin, putting the word Gulag into the vocabulary of many.

    Rob
     
    #1 Deacon, Aug 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2008
  2. ktn4eg

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    Sorry to hear about his death.

    IMHO, he did a lot more to break up the old communist Soviet Union than most folks would probably give him credit.
     
  3. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I agree with you ktn4eg. Those that would hold people in tyranny have no better weapon than ignorance. Freedom of speech is more important to maintaining our liberty than the right to bear arms ever will be. To stand up to his government and tell the truth like Solzhenitsyn did made him one of the bravest men of the 20th century if not human history itself.

    I was greatly moved when I first read the “Gulag Achipelago.” One section sticks in my mind more than any other. Alexander wrote about how the jailers would use starvation to destroy the humanity of the prisoners. The Germans (remember Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned by them also) would starve prisoners during WW II. But the Germans were very scientific about it. If the bread ration was 16 ounces per person per day then each person would receive a piece of bread exactly that size. What the Russians would do is take a room with 30 people in it and give them 5 loaves of bread and let the prisoners tear it into pieces. The total amount of bread might be the same overall, but the starving prisoners would kill each other over a few extra crumbs. Solzhenitsyn wrote how the constant hunger would destroy the last vestiges of humanity in you, how you would steal from your best friend for a few bites.

    But then he put in this line, and I am paraphrasing from memory here you can try to look for it later if you want. Right after talking about how hunger would destroy anyone, Solzhenitsyn added, “Except for those Christians.” He wrote how some of those prisoners there because they were Christians maintained their humanity. Even while starving to death he said they would still give away what food they had and cared more for others then themselves. And often, he noted they seemed to remain healthier anyway. Then he goes on to another subject and leaves this just standing on its own.

    To me the greatest tragedy of the Solzhenitsyn’s life and writing is not his imprisonment but the fact that he seemed to have come so close to the gospel but never knew it. Now I don’t know the fate of the man’s soul and I do hope that he trusted Christ later in life but when he wrote the Gulag to me it seemed obvious that he needed Christ. He seemed to recognize that he needed something but as far as I know he never found it.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I agree. I would put him side by side with Thatcher and Reagan.
     
  5. Rippon

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    My Christian reading material in the 70's was poor. In 1976 I was going through Hal Lindsey's :The Late,Great Planet Earth. I had an older Christian friend at the gym who was reading The Gulag Achipelago. I thought at the time "Hmm,kinda' deep."

    Later, a Chuck Colson book went into some detail about A.S's life.That made me admire that Russian believer.

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn spoke out with prophet-like clarity regarding America's moral climate. He was dead-on.I'll miss his voice.
     

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