By Editorial Staff
Published March 1, 1990
The Gulag Archipelago is so profound in its insight into the Soviet system of repression that it has caught the attention of politicians in the West. Much of the reform and revolution presently occurring in the Soviet Union has been foreseen by Solzhenitsyn. Considering the accuracy of Solzhenitsyn’s predictions, Americans should take notice of his warning to the free democratic nations of the West.
Mine was, probably, the easiest imaginable kind of arrest. It did not tear me from the embrace of kith or kin, nor wrench me from a deeply cherished home life. One pallid European February it took me from our narrow salient on the Baltic Sea, where, depending on one’s point of view, either we had surrounded the Germans or they had surrounded us, and it deprived me only of my familiar artillery battery and the scenes of the last three months of the war.
The brigade commander called me to his headquarters and asked me for my pistol. Two counterintelligence agents stepped forward and shouted theatrically: “You are under arrest!”
Burning and pricking from head to toe, all I could exclaim was: “Me? What for?”
And even though there is usually no answer to this question, surprisingly I received one! “You have … a friend on the First Ukrainian Front?”
I knew instantly I had been arrested because of my correspondence with a school friend.
“Resistance! Why didn’t you resist?” Today those who have continued to live on comfort scold those who have suffered. Yes, resistance should have begun right there, at the moment of the arrest itself. But it did not begin.
During a daylight arrest there is always that moment when they are leading you through a crowd of hundreds of just such doomed innocents as yourself. You aren’t gagged. You really can and you really ought to cry out – to cry out that you are being arrested. That villains in disguise are trapping people! That millions are being arrested on the strength of false denunciations!
Instead, not one sound comes from your parched lips, and the passing crowd naively believes that you and your executioners are friends out for a leisurely stroll. I myself often had a chance to cry out.
So why did I keep silent?
Every man has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself. Some still have hopes of a favorable outcome to their case and are afraid to ruin their chances by an outcry.
As for me, I kept silent for one further reason: because those Muscovites thronging the steps of the escalators were too few for me, too few! Here my cry would be heard by 200 or twice 200, but what about the 200 million? Vaguely, unclearly, I had a vision that someday I would cry out to the 200 million.
The following is an excerpt from “Russia’s Prophet in Exile”, Time, July 24, 1989, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s first interview in 10 years.
From the age of nine, I knew I was going to be a writer, although I didn’t know what I was going to write about. I was raised by my elders in Christianity, and almost through my school years, up to 17 or 18, I was in opposition to Soviet education. I had to conceal this from others. But this force field of Marxism, as developed in the Soviet Union, has such an impact that it gets into the brain of the young man and little by little takes over.
From age 17 or 18, I did change internally, and from that time, I became a Marxist, a Leninist, and believed in all these things. I lived that way up through the university and the war and up until prison, but in prison, I encountered a very broad variety of people. I saw that my convictions did not have a solid basis, could not stand up in dispute, and I had to renounce them.
Then the question arose of going back to what I had learned as a child. It took more than a year or so. Other believers influenced me, but basically it was a return to what I had thought before. The fact that I was dying also shook me profoundly. At age 34, I was told I could not be saved, and then I returned to life. These kinds of upheavals always have an impact on a person’s convictions.
It is quite extraordinary the extent to which I have been lied about. It is remarkable, and it makes me ashamed of journalists. No one ever gives any quotes. The same is true for the charge that I am a nationalist. I am a patriot. I love my motherland. I want my country, which is sick, which for 70 years has been destroyed, and is on the very edge of death, I want it to come back to life. But this doesn’t make me a nationalist. I don’t want to limit anyone else. Every country has its own patriots who are concerned with its fate.
In Western civilizations – which used to be called Western-Christian but now might better be called Western-Pagan – along with the development of intellectual life and science, there has been a loss of the serious moral basis of society. During these 300 years of Western civilization, there has been a sweeping away of duties and expansion of rights. But we have two lungs. You can’t breathe with just one lung and not the other. We must avail ourselves of rights and duties in equal measure. And if this is not established by the law, if the law does not oblige us to do that, then we have to control ourselves.
When Western society was established, it was based on the idea that each individual limited his own behavior. Everyone understood what he could do and could not do. The law itself did not restrain people. Since then, the only thing we have been developing is rights, rights, rights, at the expense of duty.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)