Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Solzhenitsyn was exiled from the  for his book .
Solzhenitsyn was exiled from the Soviet Union for his book The Gulag Archipelago.

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Алекса́ндр Иса́евич Солжени́цын) (born December 11, 1918) is a Russian novelist, dramatist and historian. He was responsible for thrusting awareness of the Soviet forced labor system on the non-Soviet world.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1970 and was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974.

Born in Kislovodsk, Russia, Solzhenitsyn fought in the Red Army during World War II. He became a captain before he was arrested in 1945 for ASA or Anti-Soviet agitation, criticizing Joseph Stalin in letters to his brother-in-law. He was imprisoned for eight years, from 1945 to 1953, under the Article 58 law.

He spent some time at hard manual work in labor camps of the Gulag system. He wrote about this in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago. Then he spent time in a sharashka, a white-collar prison labor compound. He wrote about this in The First Circle.

According to Leonid Samutin's book Do Not Create an Idol, Solzhenitsyn voluntarily became an informant and lied or kept back the facts about this in his books. [1] ( Leonid Samutin was a staunch anti-communist and knew Solzhenitsyn since they met in the camp. In 1970s at the request of the author Samutin kept the manuscript of The Gulag Archipelago hiding it from KGB.

The novel about Ivan Denisovich brought the Soviet system of forced labor to the attention of the West, but it was his monumental history of the massive Soviet concentration camps for both criminal and political prisoners that made it impossible for either the West or the Soviet Union to ignore the realities of the Communist regime. No longer was this an issue for anti-communists only - all Western democracies had to confront it.

On February 13, 1974, Solzhenitsyn was deported from the Soviet Union to West Germany and stripped of his Soviet citizenship. The KGB had found the manuscript for the first part of The Gulag Archipelago. Less than a week later, the Soviets carried out reprisals against Yevgeny Yevtushenko for his support of Solzhenitsyn.

Solzhenitsyn first settled in Zrich, Switzerland, and later in Vermont, USA. In 1990 his Soviet citizenship was restored, and in 1994 he returned to Russia.

Despite an enthusiastic welcome on his first arrival in America, followed by respect for his privacy, he had never been comfortable outside his homeland. However radical he might have been in the USSR, outside that context he appeared to some to be a reactionary, particularly in his Russian nationalism and his religious orthodoxy.

He has been criticized by some who consider him a radical; according to their claims he frequently makes connections between the activities of Jews, Georgians and Latvians and the causes of the mishaps that befell Russia in the 20th century.

In May 1997, Solzhenitsyn was elected full member (academician) of the Russian Academy of Science. In 1997 he established his own prize in literature ($25,000).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn met with President Boris Yeltsin in 1994 and President Vladimir Putin in 2000. He met Putin again in 2002.

Solzhenitsyn's two-volume book 200 Years Together (partially based on his 1968 manuscript Jews in USSR and in the Future Russia, in which he uses expressions such as "Lenin-Jewish revolution"[2] (,[3] (,[4] ( is considered by many to be antisemitic. Several books and series of articles have been written to refute particular claims made by Solzhenitsyn in his work (e.g. [5] (,[6] (

Published works

Further reading

  • Edited and with an introduction by Michael Scammell, translated under the supervision of Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, The Solzhenitsyn Files: Secret Soviet Documents Reveal One Man's Fight Against the Monolith, edition q, 1995, hardcover, ISBN 1-883695-06-6

External links


de:Alexander Issajewitsch Solschenizyn fr:Alexandre Soljenitsyne hr:Aleksandar Solženjicin he:אלכסנדר סולז'ניצין it:Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn nl:Aleksandr Solzjenitsyn ja:アレクサンドル・ソルジェニーツィン pl:Aleksander Sołżenicyn ro:Aleksandr Soljeniţîn ru:Солженицын, Александр Исаевич fi:Aleksandr Solženitsyn sv:Aleksandr Solzjenitsyn zh:亚历山大·索尔仁尼琴


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