In Memoriam Aleksandr Solzjenitsyn

In Memoriam Aleksandr Solzjenitsyn


De Russische schrijver Aleksandr Solzjenitsyn, Nobelprijswinnaar voor de literatuur en oud-dissident uit het Sovjettijdperk, is gisteren in Moskou overleden. Zie ook mijn blog van 11 december 2007.


Uit: The Gulag Archipelago


“Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somersault from one state into another.

“We have been happily borne _ or perhaps have unhappily dragged our weary way _ down the long and crooked streets of our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood, rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given a thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to penetrate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous number of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but nonetheless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all.”


“We have to condemn publicly the very idea that some people have the right to repress others. In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations. It is for this reason, and not because of the `weakness of indoctrinational work,’ that they are growing up `indifferent.’ Young people are acquiring the conviction that foul deeds are never punished on earth, that they always bring prosperity.

“It is going to be uncomfortable, horrible, to live in such a country!”


Aleksandr Solzjenitsyn (11 december 1918 – 3 augustus 2008)