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Solzhenitsyn: “What would things have been like if…people had not simply sat there”

18 December 2018

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

 

 

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 18 December 2018 8:11 pm

    Too bad the people of Russia did not have the freedom to bear arms during Stalin’s reign of terror.

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