The Drink of Despair

I am writing this entry from a borrowed computer. It now looks like I’ll need some time to stabilize my financial situation, probably overseas, to the point of resuming my blogging.

Meanwhile I’d like to add something to what I had said in previous entries, that in order to understand our woes you must purchase and read a copy of Tom Goodrich’s Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany (1944-1947).

Readers of this book have complained a lot that a detailed account of the Allies’ atrocities committed during and after the Second World War—a true Holocaust of German victims—is too ghastly and painful to contemplate. The author himself told me that he died “a thousand deaths” while writing Hellstorm.

In his Archipelago Solzhenitsyn said that in prison you have to “eat a mountain” of pain to be able to metamorphose your soul instead of becoming mad, as other zeks became mad in the Gulag. He meant to go through the dark night of the soul all the way through the other side. Some passages of his book convey beautifully what I want to say here. However, since in these times very few young westerners have read Solzhenitsyn, I must find a metaphor to explain the same dilemma to a broader audience.

In the Harry Potter film when Dumbledore dies (a silly film but it makes my point), Dumbledore explains a mysterious potion, the Drink of Despair, to his pupil:
 
Harry: “You think the Horcrux is in there, sir?”

Dumbledore: “Oh yes. But how to reach it? This potion cannot be penetrated by hand… I can only conclude this potion is supposed to be drunk.”

Dumbledore drinks the potion to the point of experiencing extreme fear, delirium, and thirst but that was the only way to reach the Horcrux.

I would say the same about Hellstorm. If we are to find and destroy the Judeo-liberal Horcrux that presently is making our enemy invulnerable, there’s no other way but to endure the torment of reading Hellstorm from cover to cover.

You really got to drink that potion, and then talk with your pupil-friends about it, to understand the whys of the West’s darkest hour…

Mantra questions

Today, Sebastian said in another thread:

Of late, the greatest strides in pro-White awakening (whether one likes it or not) have been done by the Mantra crowd, and those guys aren’t even White Nationalists. They don’t engage in rational, philosophical debate; they just use well-crafted propaganda and repetition and emotional appeal and ridicule of their adversary to achieve their goal… and it is working.

That’s exactly why, when we get a sponsor, we’ll film emotional videos using the most potent mantra-questions that will screw in the musty heads of white folks like the giant robot-spider which unplugged Neo.

Think of this question to the common liberal: “What if I demonstrate in thirty seconds that you are plugged into the Matrix?” After some laughs coming from the leftist audience, we ask:

Who killed more men, women and children in the 20th century, the Bolshevik Jews or the Nazis?

Or even simpler:

Who killed more civilians in the century when we were born: the Germans or the Jews?

Even taking the official figure of holocaust victims of 6 million (which I believe is inflated), Solzhenitsyn says in his Gulag Archipelago that about 60 million died under Lenin and Stalin. If he was right, that’s ten holocausts.

still-plugged

You can imagine the havoc that the repetition of exposing the hidden holocausts committed by the Allied forces would cause among whites!

If the leftists don’t believe Alexandr Solzhenitsyn we quote the Jew Albert Lindemann; we quote from a book about “Jewish takeover and Gentile reaction” that got the imprimatur of Cambridge University (although the media fails to mention it).

The historical facts are with us. They are irrefutable. But the real emotional atomic bomb would come from Thomas Goodrich. The contents of his book Hellstorm are exactly the tone that potentially could nuke the current feelings of white guilt that are, literally, destroying the race. That’s why I have said that so far this century it is the most important book in English. And there are lots of more mantra questions that occur to me:

• If you believe you’re unplugged, explain me why there are a hundred Hollywood films, museums and TV documentaries on the holocaust and zero about the Gulag?

• Why a hundred films, museums and TV documentaries on the holocaust and zero about the Holodomor?

• Why a hundred films, museums and TV documentaries on the Jewish holocaust and exactly zero about the true Holocaust committed by Roosevelt and Eisenhower?

• For God’s sake!: Why haven’t you even heard the word “Holodomor,” the holocaust where the Bolshevik Jews committed, in a year, a genocide larger than what your media attributes to the entire life of the Third Reich? Can there be any real doubt that the real Holocaust in Ukraine by Judeo-Bolsheviks influenced both the German voters and the decision to give Hitler the Chancellorship? For God’s sake!: Why isn’t this taught in the schools?

• Don’t you realize that this iteration ad infinitum and ad nauseam of Germany’s purported crimes while, at the same time, not saying a peep about the much larger crimes of the Allies is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth? What truth you ask?

That since 1945 your people are being targeted for extermination throughout the West

“Taking the black”

Or

Night’s Watch ascetics vs. today’s degeneracy

 

After the suffering of decades of violence and oppression, the human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today’s mass living habits, introduced as by a calling card by the revolting invasion of commercial advertising, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.

—Solzhenitsyn

The sign of the times is degeneracy. This term—degeneracy—sums up all that is happening to the West.

—Iranian for Aryans

The modern European knows no pain, no honor, no blood, no war, no sacrifice, no camaraderie, no respect or combat; and thus he does not know the ancient and gentle goddesses known as Illumination, Gloria or Victoria.

—Evropa Soberana

Basically, the American system simply assumes that people will be self-interested pigs, but through the magical device of checks and balances, no single self-interested pig will gain too much power. While I’m in favor of checks and balances, I think we’ve seen what a culture of self-interested pigs leads to…

—Trainspotter

Most white nationalists are merely lefties who, understandably, loathe Jews and niggers, etc. They want the 1960s (sex & drugs & rock’n’roll, abortion, absence of any duties, etc.) without the unpleasantness of the aforementioned groups in their midst. The herd needs a great deal of culling.

—Patrick

The problem is not to cull out the mongrels, the Judaized, the degenerates, the moral prostitutes from a healthy mass, so that the cull can be destroyed and the mass saved. The problem is to pick the few who embody the best of what the West once was and to take the necessary measures to see that that which they embody does not perish with the mass.

—William Pierce

Today we need more than morality. We need hypermorality, the Nietzschean ethics of difficult times. When one defends one’s people, i.e., one’s own children, one defends the essential. Then one follows the rule of Agamemnon and Leonidas but also of Charles Martel: what prevails is the law of the sword, whose bronze or steel reflects the glare of the sun.

—Guillaume Faye


game_of_thrones_nights_watch

Aryan female beauty has been my inspiration to defend the race from the anti-white zeitgeist. However, the blogger Iranian for Aryans is so right—degeneracy sums up all that is happening to the West—that soon I will move the image of Botticelli’s Venus from the sidebar’s top to a secondary place and put, instead, an illustration evoking military Sparta. After all, it was the Spartan males the ones who defended their women with their entire Honor and often even with their lives.

If at least some of us fail to develop such ascetic hypermorality by becoming what might be called military priests of the fourteen words—as Pierce so desperately dreamt in the last chapter of his last book—, the fair race will go extinct.

I wish I could carry the torch originally lit by Pierce and say now something to the effect of, “Contact me, either here or by email” but, alas, in these degenerate times the problem with starting an organization will always be finding a sponsor—at least a single wealthy white man with Honor on the entire planet!

Solzhenitsyn

In his 1978 Harvard Address Solzhenitsyn let academics know that the West and their America are, to put it succinctly, full of shit. More recently, the blogger Iranian for Aryans has gone further. He has pointed out that even pro-white advocates “are extreme individualists who don’t practice what they preach. Moreover, they are breathing the same cultural miasma as their ‘unenlightened’ coevals.”

Below, my abridgement of Solzhenitsyn’s address:

Solyenitsin

Harvard’s motto is “VERITAS.” Many of you have already found out and others will find out in the course of their lives that truth eludes us as soon as our concentration begins to flag, all the while leaving the illusion that we are continuing to pursue it. This is the source of much discord. Also, truth seldom is sweet; it is almost invariably bitter. A measure of truth is included in my speech today, but I offer it as a friend, not as an adversary.

How short a time ago, relatively, the small world of modern Europe was easily seizing colonies all over the globe, not only without anticipating any real resistance, but usually with contempt for any possible values in the conquered people’s approach to life. It all seemed an overwhelming success, with no geographic limits. Western society expanded in a triumph of human independence and power. And all of a sudden the twentieth century brought the clear realization of this society’s fragility.

We now see that the conquests proved to be short lived and precarious (and this, in turn, points to defects in the Western view of the world which led to these conquests). Relations with the former colonial world now have switched to the opposite extreme and the Western world often exhibits an excess of obsequiousness, but it is difficult yet to estimate the size of the bill which former colonial countries will present to the West and it is difficult to predict whether the surrender not only of its last colonies, but of everything it owns, will be sufficient for the West to clear this account.

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.

Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the first symptom of the end?

When the modern Western states were being formed, it was proclaimed as a principle that governments are meant to serve man and that man lives in order to be free and pursue happiness. (See, for example, the American Declaration of Independence.) Now at last during past decades technical and social progress has permitted the realization of such aspirations: the welfare state.

Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and in such quality as to guarantee in theory the achievement of happiness, in the debased sense of the word which has come into being during those same decades.

The individual’s independence from many types of state pressure has been guaranteed; the majority of the people have been granted well-being to an extent their fathers and grandfathers could not even dream about; it has become possible to raise young people according to these ideals, preparing them for and summoning them toward physical bloom, happiness, and leisure, the possession of material goods, money, and leisure, toward an almost unlimited freedom in the choice of pleasures. So who should now renounce all this, why and for the sake of what should one risk one’s precious life in defense of the common good and particularly in the nebulous case when the security of one’s nation must be defended in an as yet distant land?

Even biology tells us that a high degree of habitual well-being is not advantageous to a living organism. Today, well-being in the life of Western society has begun to take off its pernicious mask.

The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals. It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.

On the other hand, destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society has turned out to have scarce defense against the abyss of human decadence, for example against the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, such as motion pictures full of pornography, crime, and horror. This is all considered to be part of freedom and to be counterbalanced, in theory, by the young people’s right not to look and not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil.

This tilt of freedom toward evil has come about gradually, but it evidently stems from a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which man—the master of the world—does not bear any evil within himself, and all the defects of life are caused by misguided social systems, which must therefore be corrected. Yet strangely enough, though the best social conditions have been achieved in the West, there still remains a great deal of crime; there even is considerably more of it than in the destitute and lawless Soviet society. (There is a multitude of prisoners in our camps who are termed criminals, but most of them never committed any crime; they merely tried to defend themselves against a lawless state by resorting to means outside the legal framework.)

The press can act the role of public opinion or miseducate it. Thus we may see terrorists heroized, or secret matters pertaining to the nation’s defense publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion into the privacy of well-known people according to the slogan “Everyone is entitled to know everything.” But this is a false slogan of a false era; far greater in value is the forfeited right of people not to know, not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life has no need for this excessive and burdening flow of information.

Your scholars are free in the legal sense, but they are hemmed in by the idols of the prevailing fad. There is no open violence, as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to accommodate mass standards frequently prevents the most independent-minded persons from contributing to public life and gives rise to dangerous herd instincts that block dangerous herd development.

In America, I have received letters from highly intelligent persons—maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but the country cannot hear him because the media will not provide him with a forum. This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, to a blindness which is perilous in our dynamic era. An example is the self-deluding interpretation of the state of affairs in the contemporary world that functions as a sort of petrified armor around people’s minds, to such a degree that human voices from seventeen countries of Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia cannot pierce it. It will be broken only by the inexorable crowbar of events…

But should I be asked, instead, whether I would propose the West, such as it is today, as a model to my country, I would frankly have to answer negatively. No, I could not recommend your society as an ideal for the transformation of ours. Through deep suffering, people in our own country have now achieved a spiritual development of such intensity that the Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive. Even those characteristics of your life which I have just enumerated are extremely saddening.

A fact which cannot be disputed is the weakening of human personality in the West while in the East it has become firmer and stronger. Six decades for our people and three decades for the people of Eastern Europe; during that time we have been through a spiritual training far in advance of Western experience. The complex and deadly crush of life has produced stronger, deeper, and more interesting personalities than those generated by standardized Western well-being.

After the suffering of decades of violence and oppression, the human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today’s mass living habits, introduced as by a calling card by the revolting invasion of commercial advertising, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.

There are telltale symptoms by which history gives warning to a threatened or perishing society. Such are, for instance, a decline of the arts or a lack of great statesmen. Indeed, sometimes the warnings are quite explicit and concrete. The center of your democracy and of your culture is left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of a sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc. The smooth surface film must be very thin, then, the social system quite unstable and unhealthy.

But the fight for our planet, physical and spiritual, a fight of cosmic proportions, is not a vague matter of the future; it has already started. The forces of Evil have begun their decisive offensive. You can feel their pressure, yet your screens and publications are full of prescribed smiles and raised glasses. What is the joy about?

How has this unfavorable relation of forces come about? How did the West decline from its triumphal march to its present debility?

This means that the mistake must be at the root, at the very foundation of thought in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world which was born in the Renaissance and has found political expression since the Age of Enlightenment. It became the basis for political and social doctrine and could be called rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the pro-claimed and practiced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of all.

The turn introduced by the Renaissance was probably inevitable historically: the Middle Ages had come to a natural end by exhaustion, having become an intolerable despotic repression of man’s physical nature in favor of the spiritual one. But then we recoiled from the spirit and embraced all that is material, excessively and incommensurately. The humanistic way of thinking, which had proclaimed itself our guide, did not admit the existence of intrinsic evil in man, nor did it see any task higher than the attainment of happiness on earth. It started modern Western civilization on the dangerous trend of worshiping man and his material needs.

Two hundred or even fifty years ago, it would have seemed quite impossible, in America, that an individual be granted boundless freedom with no purpose, simply for the satisfaction of his whims.

Subsequently, however, all such limitations were eroded everywhere in the West; a total emancipation occurred from the moral heritage of Christian centuries with their great reserves of mercy and sacrifice. State systems were becoming ever more materialistic. The West has finally achieved the rights of man, and even excess, but man’s sense of responsibility to God and society has grown dimmer and dimmer. In the past decades, the legalistic selfishness of the Western approach to the world has reached its peak and the world has found itself in a harsh spiritual crisis and a political impasse. All the celebrated technological achievements of progress, including the conquest of outer space, do not redeem the twentieth century’s moral poverty, which no one could have imagined even as late as the nineteenth century.

As humanism in its development was becoming more and more materialistic, it also increasingly allowed concepts to be used first by socialism and then by communism, so that Karl Marx was able to say, in 1844, that “communism is naturalized humanism.”

This statement has proved to be not entirely unreasonable. One does not see the same stones in the foundations of an eroded humanism and of any type of socialism: boundless materialism; freedom from religion and religious responsibility (which under Communist regimes attains the stage of antireligious dictatorship); concentration on social structures with an allegedly scientific approach. (This last is typical of both the Age of Enlightenment and of Marxism.) It is no accident that all of communism’s rhetorical vows revolve around Man (with a capital M) and his earthly happiness. At first glance it seems an ugly parallel: common traits in the thinking and way of life of today’s West and today’s East? But such is the logic of materialistic development.

I am not examining the case of a disaster brought on by a world war and the changes which it would produce in society. But as long as we wake up every morning under a peaceful sun, we must lead an everyday life. Yet there is a disaster which is already very much with us. I am referring to the calamity of an autonomous, irreligious humanistic consciousness.

It has made man the measure of all things on earth—imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity, and dozens of other defects.

We have placed too much hope in politics and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. It is trampled by the party mob in the East, by the commercial one in the West. This is the essence of the crisis: the split in the world is less terrifying than the similarity of the disease afflicting its main sections.

Is it right that man’s life and society’s activities should be ruled by material expansion above all? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our integral spiritual life?

If the world has not approached its end, it has reached a major watershed in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will demand from us a spiritual blaze; we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life, where our physical nature will not be cursed, as in the Middle Ages, but even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon, as in the Modern Era.

The ascension is similar to climbing onto the next anthropological stage. No one on earth has any other way left but—upward.

Hunter – 4

dr_pierce

This entry has been moved: here.

Published in: on August 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm  Comments Off on Hunter – 4  

The new Solzhenitsyn

A couple of days ago I received another communication from Tom Goodrich, the author of Hellstorm, of which I would like to quote one single passage:

We are at the edge of the cliff now; no time for selfish or arrogant thoughts among any of us. Cesar, I can tell you this as an absolute truth: I have been involved in or followed the movement for over thirty years. Never, never, have I been more hopeful. As the skies darken, as death closes in around us, more and more young people are following their survival instincts and coming to us. This is due to people like yourself. Thank you!

May I remind my readers that the most relevant information I have come up in the pro-white movement is the discovery that the System lied to me through the decades about what really happened in and after the Second World War. I’ll never tire to repeat that what the Allies did in times of peace was incomparably more monstrous than the crimes attributed to the Germans in times of war.

After Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago was published when I was a teenager W.L. Webb said, “To live now and not to know this work is to be a kind of historical fool.”

I would say exactly the same of those who don’t know the new Solzhenitsyn and his work about the Crime of the Age.


The Ascent of the Soul

Book excerpts

Soul building

To order a signed copy, see here:

From Tom’s desk

Published in: on December 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm  Comments (6)  

The ascent of the soul

Before reading last year J. A. Sexton’s review of Thomas Goodrich’s Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947, I knew nothing of what the Allied forces had done to defenseless Germans during and after the Second World War.

I confess that, throughout most of my adult life, I was infected with anti-Nazi hatred due to my mind having been colonized with films, books that I read, articles and documentaries about the evils of National Socialist Germany. Little did I realize then that the War propaganda has not really ended, which made me demonize the Third Reich in my inner thoughts for many years—the System simply had covered up the history of what actually happened from 1944 to 1947.

Now that thanks to Hellstorm I have awakened to the real world I am moved to, in memory of the millions of men, women and children tormented and murdered by the Allies, keep a moment of silence out of respect for the victims. Freezing this site for a while with this entry at the top will provide visiting westerners in general, and Germans in particular, the opportunity to find out the grim facts about an unheard of Holocaust perpetrated on Germanic people—a real Holocaust in every sense of the word.

As to the perpetrators of the crime of the age, in his Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn, who in his younger years was involved in the rape and murder of civilian Germans, wrote:

There is nothing that so aids and assists the awakening of omniscience within us as insistent thoughts about one’s own transgressions, errors, mistakes. After the difficult cycles of such ponderings over many years, whenever I mentioned the heartlessness of our highest-ranking bureaucrats, the cruelty of our executioners, I remember myself in my captain’s shoulders boards and the forward march of my battery through East Prussia, enshrouded in fire, and I say: “So were we any better?” And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me:

“Bless you, prison!”…

In prison, both in solitary confinement and outside solitary too, a human being confronts his grief face to face. This grief is a mountain, but he has to find space inside himself for it, to familiarize himself with it, to digest it, and it him. This is the highest form of moral effort, which has always ennobled every human being. A duel with years and with walls constitutes moral work and a path upward… if you can climb it.

Through tragic personal experience I corroborated that processing the mountain of grief was, certainly, the only way to develop the soul. Only the rarest among the rare have climbed the path. Which is why in no website that I know in this hedonistic age the forced initiation is taken seriously. But there are exceptions… In the comments section of this site, Goodrich wrote:

I wrote the above book…
I died a thousand deaths in so doing…
Yet I felt I had to finish it—for them.
Thanks to Mr. Sexton for his review.
Like himself, I have never been the same man since.
I am sad… but I am also extremely mad… extremely mad.

Last weeks I had to pause during my agonic reading of Hellstorm by talking frequent breaks, but like the author I had to digest the sins that the West committed against itself—and besides feeling outraged paradoxically I also feel strangely calm and liberated now. The psychological causes of self-loathing among present-day westerners had been an enigma. The idea is dawning in my mind that the last words quoted by Goodrich in the last page of his book provide an answer:

We had turned the evil of our enemies back upon them a hundredfold, and, in so doing, something of our integrity had been shattered, had been irrevocably lost.

Alas, since Anglo-Saxons did not examine their conscience but instead still celebrate their having led the “civilized” world in ganging up on Germany, the moral integrity of this subgroup of the white world is gone. Forever gone. And precisely because of the unredeemed character of this sin, what the former Allies did in Hitler’s Germany has created a monster from the Id that has been destroying our civilization since then: a lite Morgenthau Plan for all white people.

It is true that I have abandoned Christianity. But I still believe in the salvific effects of the triad examining conscience, repentance and atonement: the painful soul-building that Solzhenitsyn experienced in his cell (though, it must be said, not as a penalty for his having massacred civilian Prussians). If, unlike him, we haven’t had the opportunity of being committed to a gulag prison, let us experience, in the gloomy solitude of our bedrooms, the same painful yet awakening process through pondering on the historical events exposed in Goodrich’s book.

Prison causes the profound rebirth of a human being… profound pondering over his own “I”… Here all the trivia and fuss have decreased. I have experienced a turning point. Here you harken to that voice deep inside you, which amid the surfeit and vanity used to be stifled by the roar from outside…

Your soul, which formerly was dry, now ripens from suffering…

Hellstorm • chapter 3

In almost any war one side can be dishonestly demonized even by a truthful enumeration of its crimes, if the crimes of its adversaries are suppressed. —Irmin Vinson


Excerpted from Thomas Goodrich’s 2010 book

Hellstorm:
The Death of Nazi Germany
(1944-1947)



Between Fire and Ice

With the remnants of the German army in headlong flight, hordes of Red soldiers swarmed through the breach and poured into Greater Germany. As word of the Russian breakthrough spread, millions of Germans in their path hastily packed and fled into the freezing weather.

Already bitterly cold, several days after the exodus began the temperature plunged below zero. As a result, little children and infants dropped by the thousands. “It was terribly cold, and the wind was like ice,” said one young mother, “the snow was falling and nothing warm to eat, no milk and nothing. I tried to give Gabi the breast, behind a house, but she didn’t take it because everything was so cold. Many women tried that, and some froze their breasts.” When Gabi died, the distraught woman continued to cradle the tiny corpse until her own arm eventually froze. “I couldn’t carry her more after she was dead. I couldn’t stand it any more,” the mother sobbed. “I wrapped her up well and put her deep in the snow beside the road… Thousands of women put their dead in the ditches by the roadside where they wouldn’t be hurt by automobiles or farm wagons.”

Hideous as conditions were, the treks pressed steadily west, away from the terror looming somewhere behind. Although millions were on the roads in full flight, millions more remained at their farms, villages and towns. They did not really believe that the Russians were as cruel and inhuman as they were reputed to be, but hoped to win over the latter by welcoming them and being hospitable.

“The Mongols are coming… You go quick. Go quick.”

Composed largely of Mongols, Kulaks, Kazakhs, Kalmuks, and other Asians, as well as convicts and communists, these men who formed the second wave of troops [the first were Slavs] were regarded, even by their own comrades, as utterly merciless. Terrified by the news, many Germans did attempt to flee and move in the wake of the first Soviet wave. Most, however, found themselves trapped and could do little more than hide young girls and once again pray that their worst fears were unfounded. After a wait of sometimes days, but normally only hours, the dreaded second wave arrived.

While flames shot up from different corners of the towns and gunfire erupted as citizens were murdered in the streets, the invaders soon began kicking in door homes, shops and churches. A frightened boy recalled, “Right next to me poor defenseless women were being ravished in the presence of their children.” Said another victim, “The women were raped, not once or twice but ten, twenty, thirty and hundred times, and it was all the same to the Russians whether they raped mere children or old women. The youngest victim in the row houses where we lived was ten years of age.” Mothers were raped in the presence of their children; girls were raped in front of their brothers. While many upright Russian officers courageously stepped in and risked their own lives to stop the murders and rapes, their efforts were little more than a drop of water to a forest fire.

“All of us knew very well that if the girls were German they could be raped and then shot,” admitted Alexander Solzhenitsyn. “This was almost a combat distinction.”

When the Russians eventually tired of looting, robbing, murdering, and ill-treating the women and girls, “they set fire to a considerable part of the village and razed it to the ground,” said a survivor of Schoenwald, the small community that had dismissed rumors of Russian ruthlessness and opted to welcome them instead.

While those who remained endured unspeakable fates, Germans who fled with treks also suffered. “What surprised us most was the way they traveled,” recalled a British POW, who, along with thousands of other Allied prisoners, was being marched west away from the advancing Soviets.

It was so cold that even in day-time any drink mixed with cold water froze solid before it was possible to carry it to one’s mouth. At night men and women could keep alive only by huddling together in a wagon… Those who fell asleep in the snow were dead within a few minutes.

Given the chaotic conditions, and with freezing refuges clogging the way, many treks were quickly overhauled by the Russians. Some Soviet tanks refused to leave the roads and crashed straight through the columns, squashing all in their path. After heavy traffic, the victims—men, women, children, and animals—were eventually as flat as cardboard.

As a rule, those who fled by train fared best. Speed did not always guarantee escape, however. Russian aircraft routinely strafed and bombed the cars from above and tanks cut the rails from below. When the Soviets suddenly captured the town of Allenstein, they forced the stationmaster to signal the “all clear” to refugee trains still arriving from the east. As one unsuspecting train after another steamed into Allenstein, the Russians first slaughtered any men found on board, then passed their time raping carload after carload of females.

Meanwhile, the red tide moved closer. In countless German cities and towns the pattern repeated itself, as the diary of a Catholic priest from Klosterbrueck reveals:

January 21st 1945. Strange to say, the population intends to remain here, and is not afraid of the Russians. The reports that in one village they rapped all the women and abducted all the men and took them away to work somewhere must surely have been exaggerated.

January 25th. They told us that whole families had been shot by the Russians. Girls who had refused to allow themselves to be raped, and parents who had sought to protect their children, had been shot on the spot.

January 27th. We priests were allowed out of the chapel for half an hour today in order to bury Margarethe in the yard. Poor girl, it is a good thing you were dead and so did not know what the Russians did to your body!

“In every village and town they entered,” wrote one who spoke with soldiers, “the German troops came upon scenes of horror: slain boys, People’s Army men drenched with gasoline and burned—and sometimes survivors to tell the tale of the outrages.”

Hundreds of thousands massacred, hundreds of thousands raped, millions already enslaved—but this was nothing. Worse was to come.


____________________________

Educate yourself about the Holocaust perpetrated on the German people by the Allied forces that the mainstream media has covered up for nearly seventy years.

Hellstorm is still available from the publisher.

Ten books that changed my mind


1. Maxfield Parrish Poster Book

2. The Sickle

3. Laing and Anti-Psychiatry

4. Childhood’s End

5. A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology

6. The Relentless Question

7. Final Analysis

8. The Gulag Archipelago

9. For Your Own Good

10. The Emotional Life of Nations

Published in: on June 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm  Comments Off on Ten books that changed my mind  

The Gulag Archipelago

Or:

The ten books that made an impact in my life
before I became racially conscious
8.- The Gulag Archipelago
(read in 1999)


The Gulag Archipelago, The Harvill Press, 1999. Abridged by Edward Ericson. No ellipsis added between excerpts:



Foreword to the Abridgement

If it were possible for any nation to fathom another people’s bitter experience through a book, how much easier its future fate would become and how many calamities and mistakes it could avoid. But it is very difficult. There always is this fallacious belief: “It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible.”

Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible everywhere on earth.

Yet I have not given up all hope that human beings and nations may be able, in spite of all, to learn from the experience of other people without having to live through it personally. Therefore, I gratefully accepted Professor Ericson’s suggestion to create a one-volume abridgement of my three-volume work, The Gulag Archipelago.

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn


Introduction

For a few decades the word Holocaust has served us well as a shorthand term for modern man’s inhumanity to man. In recent years a second such shorthand term has entered our working vocabulary: Gulag. This term comes to us not from a host of witness but from one lone man: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose very name has become a household word around the world.

Were The Gulag Archipelago to be even more widely read than it has been, it would, I believe, make an indelible impression on the modern mind and have a salutary effect on the whole world. Here we have the greatest horror story of human history—in quantitative terms, at least (the comparable toll in China having not yet been calculated)—and, although it happened during our lifetime, most of us do not even know about it.

This work was written especially for future generations of Russians. It is these readers in particular who need to know, in as much detail as possible, the truth of their history. This abridged text is designed for the general reader, not for the scholar.

At Solzhenitsyn’s own suggestion, I have eliminated much of his personal story, though parts of it I treasure too much to drop.

Needless to say, I take responsibility for any errors of omission or commission. I hope only that any mistakes which I have made do not interfere with the transmission of Solzhenitsyn’s words to an audience which I believe desperately needs to hear them.

Edward Ericson


Author’s Note

And the Kolyma was the greatest and most famous island, the pole of ferocity of that amazing country of Gulag which, though scattered in an Archipelago geographically, was, in the psychological sense, fused into a continent—an almost invisible, almost imperceptible country inhabited by the zek people.

And this Archipelago crisscrossed and patterned that other country within which it was located, like a gigantic patchwork, cutting into its cities, hovering over its streets. Yet there were many who did not even guess at its presence and many, many others who had heard something vague. And only those who had been there knew the whole truth.

In this book there are no fictitious persons, nor fictitious events. People and places are named with their own names. If they are identified by initials instead of names, it is for personal considerations. If they are not named at all, it is only because human memory has failed to preserve their names. But it all took place just as it is here described.

This book could never have been created by one person alone. In addition to what I myself was able to take away from the Archipelago—on the skin of my back, and with my eyes and ears—material for this book was given me in reports, memoirs, and letters by 227 witness, whose names were to have been listed here.

What I here express to them is not personal gratitude, because this is our common, collective monument to all those who were tortured and murdered.


Chapter 1: “Arrest”

How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? At ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they’ve never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or of any one of its innumerable islands.

Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity?

The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: “You are under arrest.” The gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all.

It is an alien, brutal, and crushing force totally dominating the apartment for hours. And nothing is sacred in a search! During the arrest of the locomotive engineer Inoshin, a tiny coffin stood in his room containing the body of his newly dead child. The “jurists” dumped the child’s body out of the coffin and searched it. They shake sick people out of their sickbeds, and they unwind bandages to search beneath them.

For those left behind after the arrest there is the long tail end of a wrecked and devastated life. And the attempts to go and deliver food parcels. And this means once and for all: “No right to correspondence”—and that almost certain means: “Has been shot.”

They take you from a military hospital with a temperature of 102, as they did with Ans Bernshtein, and the doctor will not raise a peep about your arrest—just let him try! They’ll take you right off the operating table—as they took N.M. Vorobyev, a school inspector, in 1936, in the middle of an operation for stomach ulcer—and drag you off to a cell, as they did him, half-alive and all bloody.

And even in the fever of epidemic arrests, when people leaving for work said farewell to their families every day, because they could not be certain they would return at night, even then almost no one tried to run away and only in rare cases did people commit suicide. And that was exactly what was required. A submissive sheep is a find for a wolf.

Universal innocence also gave rise to the universal failure to act. Vanya Levitsky: “Every honest man is sure to go to prison. Right now my papa is serving time, and when I grow up they’ll put me in too.” (They put him in when he was twenty-three years old.) The majority sit quietly and dare to hope. Since you aren’t guilty, then how can they arrest you? It’s a mistake! They are already dragging you along by the collar, and you still keep on exclaiming to yourself: “It’s a mistake. They’ll set things straight and let me out!” Others are being arrested en masse, and that’s a bothersome fact, but in those other cases there is always some dark area: “Maybe he was guilty…?” But as for you, you are obviously innocent! You still believe that the Organs are humanly logical institutions: they will set things straight and let you out.

Once a person was arrested he was never released. Some still have hopes of a favorable outcome to their case and are afraid to ruin their chances by an outcry. (For, after all, we get no news from that other world, and we do not realize that from the very moment of arrest our fate has almost certainly been decided in the worst possible sense and that we cannot make it any worse.)

I myself lugged a fifth suitcase with no great joy since it contained my diaries and literary works, which were being used as evidence against me. My cellmates—tankmen in soft black helmets—hid nothing. They were three honest, openhearted soldiers—people of a kind I had become attached to during the war years because I myself was more complex and worse. All three had been officers.

“Out for toilet call! Hands behind your backs!”

I was bursting with indignation that some ignoramus of a master sergeant dared to give orders to us officers: “Hands behind your backs!” But the tank officers put their hands behind them and I followed suit.

Back of the barn was a small square area in which the snow had been all trampled down but had not yet melted. It was soiled all over with human feces, so densely scattered over the whole square that it was difficult to find a spot to place one’s two feet and squat. However, we spread ourselves about and the five of us did squat down. Two machine gunners grimly pointed their machine pistols at us as we squatted, and before a minute had passed the master sergeant brusquely urged us on:

“Come on, hurry it up! With us they do it quickly!”


Chapter 2: “The History of Our Sewage Disposal System”

Although I have no statistics at hand, I am not afraid of erring when I say that the wave of 1937 and 1938 was neither the only one not even the main one, but only one, perhaps, of the three biggest waves which strained the murky, stinking pipes of our prison sewers to bursting.

Before it came the wave of 1929 and 1930, the size of a good River Ob, which drove a mere fifteen million peasants, maybe even more, out into the taiga and the tundra. But peasants are a silent people, without a literary voice, nor do they write complaints or memoirs. This wave poured forth, sank down into the permafrost, and even our most active minds recall hardly a thing about it. It is as if it had not even scarred the Russian conscience. And yet Stalin (and you and me as well) committed no crime more heinous than this. And after it there was the wave of 1944 to 1946. But in this wave, too, the people were of the simpler kind, and they wrote no memoirs.

But the wave of 1937 swept up and carried off to the Archipelago people of position, people with a Party past, yes, educated people, around whom were many who had been wounded and remained in the cities… and what a lot of them had pen in hand!

It is well known that any organ withers away if it is not used. Therefore, if we know that the Soviet security organs, or Organs (and they christened themselves with this vile word), praised and exalted above all living things, have not died off even to the extent of one single tentacle, but, instead have grown new ones and strengthened their muscles—it is easy to deduce that they have had constant exercise. This action was, in fact, explained openly (Latsis, in the newspaper Red Terror, November 1, 1918):

“We are not fighting against single individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeois class. It is not necessary during the interrogation to look for evidence proving that the accused opposed the Soviets by word or action. The first question which you should ask him is what class does he belong to, what is his origin, his education and profession. These are the questions which will determine the fate of the accused. Such is the sense and the essence of Red Terror.”

A decree of the defense Council on February 15, 1919 (the meeting was evidently presided over by Lenin), suggest that the Cheka and the NKVD take hostages among the peasants of those regions where “the cleaning of snow from the railroads does not proceed quite satisfactorily” and noted that “these hostages be executed if the cleaning is not completed.” In other words, free people were simply arrested and executed immediately…

The practice of arresting students began in 1921. In the spring of 1922 the Patriarch Tikhon was arrested and two resounding trials were held, following by the execution of those who had publicized the Patriarch’s appeal. Metropolitans and bishops were arrested, and, as always, in the wake of the big fish, followed shoals of smaller fry: archpriests, monks, and deacons. They arrested and sentenced active laymen. The circles kept getting bigger, as they raked in ordinary believers as well, old people, and particularly women, who were the most stubborn believers of all. As Tanya Khodkevich wrote:

You can pray freely
But just so God alone can hear.

(She received a ten-year sentence for these verses.) A person convinced that he possessed spiritual truth was required to conceal it from his own children. In the twenties the religious education of children was classified as a political crime under Article 58-10 of the Code.

In 1929, also, those historians who had not been sent abroad in time were arrested… It even reached a point of such confusion that men and women were imprisoned in the same cells and used the latrine bucket in each other’s presence—who cared about those niceties? Give up your gold, vipers! The interrogators had one universal method: feed the prisoners nothing but salty food and give them no water. Whoever coughed up gold got water. One gold piece for a cup of water!

In sheer size this nonrecurring tidal wave (it was an ocean) swelled beyond the bounds of anything the penal system or even an immense state can permit itself. There was nothing to be compared with in all Russian history. It was the forced resettlement of a whole people, an ethnic catastrophe.

This wave was also distinct from all those which preceded it because no one fused about with taking the head of the family first and then working out what to do with the rest of the family. On the contrary, in this wave they burned out whole nests, whole families, from the start; and they watched jealously to be sure that none of the children—fourteen, ten, even six year old— got away: to the last scrapings, all had to go the same road, to the same common destruction. (This was the first such experiment—at least in modern history. It was subsequently repeated by Hitler with the Jews.)

In 1941 the Germans went round Tagnrog, cutting it off so swiftly that prisoners were left in freight wagons at the railway station where they had been brought to be evacuated. What should one do with them? Certainly not set them free nor leave them to the Germans. Oil tank trucks were rushed to the station, and the wagons were drenched with oil and set on fire. All the prisoners were burned alive.


Chapter 3: “The Interrogation”

What had already been regarded as barbarism under Peter the Great, what might have been used against ten or twenty people in all during the time of Biron in the mid-eighteenth century, what had already become totally impossible under Catharine the Great, was all being practiced during the flowering of the glorious twentieth century—in a society based on socialist principles—not by one scoundrel alone, but by tens of thousands of specially trained human beasts standing over millions of defenseless victims.

In 1952 Anna Skripnikova was undergoing her fifth imprisonment, and Sivakov, Chief of the Investigative Department of the Ordzhonikidze State Security Administration, said to her:

“The prison doctor reports you have a blood pressure of 240/120. That’s too low you bitch! We’re going to drive it up to 340 so you’ll kick the bucket, you viper, and with no black and blue marks; no beatings; no broken bones. We’ll just not let you sleep.”

She was in her fifties at the time. And if, back in her cell, after a night spent in interrogation, she closed her eyes during the day, the jailer broke in and shouted: “Open your eyes or I’ll haul you off that cot by the legs and tie you to the wall standing up.”

As early as 1921 interrogations usually took place at night. And there was an airtight cork-lined cell in which there was no ventilation and they cooked the prisoners. A participant in the Yaroslavl uprising of 1918, Vasily Aleksandrovich Kasyanov, described how the heat in such a cell was turned up until your blood begin to ooze through your pores.

Then in the years 1937-1938, in view of the extraordinary situation prevailing (the specified millions of admissions to the Archipelago had to be ground through the apparatus of individual interrogation in specified, limited periods, something which had simply not happened in the mass waves of kulaks and nationalities), interrogators were allowed to use violence and torture on an unlimited basis, at their own discretion. For the first time in human history the calculated torture of millions was being undertaken.

In the Novocherkassk NKVD, Yelena Strutimskaya was forced to remain seated on a stool in the corridor for six days in such a way that she did not lean against anything, did not sleep, did not fall off, and did not get up from. Six days! Just try to sit that way for six hours! People could be compelled to kneel in the interrogator’s office or the corridor for twelve, or even twenty-four hours. (The interrogator himself could go home, sleep, amuse himself in one way or another—this was an organized system; watch was kept over the kneeling prisoner, and the guards worked in shifts.) What kind of prisoner was most vulnerable to such treatment? It was a good method to use with women. Ivanov-Razumnik reports a variation of it: Having set young Lordkipanidze on his knees, the interrogator urinated in his face! And what happened? Unbroken by anything else, Lordkipanidze was broken by this. Watch shows that the method also worked well on proud people.

Then there is the method of simply compelling the prisoner to stand there, and if he goes to sleep and falls over he is given a kick and straightened up.

Sleeplessness, which they quite failed to appreciate in medieval times: They did not understand how narrow are the limits within which a human being can preserve his personality intact. Sleeplessness (yes, combined with standing, thirst, bright, light terror, and the unknown—what other tortures are needed?) befogs the reason, undermines the will, and the human being ceases to be himself, to be his own “I.” (As in Chekov’s “I Want to Sleep,” but there it was much easier, for there the girl could lie down and slip into lapses of consciousness, which even in just a minute could revive and refresh the brain.) A person deprived of sleep acts half-consciously or altogether unconsciously, so that his testimony cannot be held against him.

Sometimes, as a refinement, instead of making the prisoner stand up, they made him sit down on a soft sofa, which made him want to sleep all the more. (The jailer on duty sat next to him on the same sofa and kicked him every time his eyes began to shut.) Sleeplessness became the universal method of the Organs. The prisoners were forbidden to sleep even one minute. Whoever was undergoing interrogation got no sleep for at least five days and nights. The above method was further implemented by an assembly line of interrogators. Not only were you not allowed to sleep, but for three or four days shifts of interrogators kept up a continuous interrogation.

As long ago as 1933 this was one of the ways they tortured S.A. Chebotaryev in the Khabarovsk GPU. They locked him in a concrete alcove in such a way that he could neither bend his knees, nor straighten up and change the position of his arms, not turn his head. And that was not all! They began to drip cold water into his scalp—a classic torture—which then ran down his body in rivulets. They did not inform him, of course, that this would go on for only twenty-four hours. It was awful enough at any rate for him to lose consciousness, and he was discovered the next day apparently dead. He came to on a hospital cot. They had brought him out of his faint with spirits of ammonia, caffeine, and body massage. At first he had no recollection of where he had been, or what happened. For a whole month he was useless for interrogation.

[The] bridling, also known as “the swan dive”: This was a Sukhanovka method—also used in Archangel, where the interrogator Ivkov applied it in 1940. A lone piece of rough toweling was inserted between the prisoner’s jaws like a bridle; the ends were then pulled back over his shoulders and tied to his heels. Just try lying on your stomach like a wheel, with your spine breaking—and without water and food for two days!

Is it necessary to go on with the list?


Chapter 4. “The bluecaps”

“Just give us a person and we will create a case!” That was what many of them say jokingly, and it was their slogan. What we think of torture they think of as a good work. The wife of the interrogator Nikolai Grabishchenko (the Volga Canal Project) said touchingly to her neighbors: “Kolya is a very good worker. One of them didn’t confess for a long time—and they gave him to Kolya. Kolya talked with him for one night and he confessed.”

You have a power over all the people in that military unit, or factory, or district, incomparably greater than that of the military commander, or factory director, or secretary of the district Communist Party. These men control people’s military or official duties, wages, reputations, but you control people’s freedom. From the moment you don that heavenly blue service cap, you stand higher than the publicly acknowledged power.

The girl is blushing all over and in tears. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the case,” she protests. “Yes, it does, speak up!” If you want, she’ll demonstrate with her body. She has no way out. In your hands you hold the punishment cell and her prison term.

To know what it meant to be a bluecap one had to experience it! Anything you saw was yours! [But] let everyone ask himself: “If my life had turned out differently, might I myself not have become just such an executioner?” Twenty-year-olds, we marched in the ranks of those born the year the Revolution took place, and because we were the same age as the Revolution, the brightest of futures lay ahead.

It would be hard to identify the exact source of that inner intuition, not founded on rational argument, which prompted our refusal to enter the NKVD schools. It certainly didn’t derive from the lectures on historical materialism we listened to: it was clear from them that the struggle against the internal enemy was a crucial battlefront, and to share in it was an honorable task.

Still, some of us were recruited at that time, and I think that if they had really put the pressure on, they could have broken everybody’s resistance. So I would like to imagine: if, by the time war broke out, I had already been wearing an NKVD’s officer’s insignia on my blue tabs, what would I have become? So let the reader who expects this book to be a political exposé slam its covers shut right now.

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.

Socrates taught us: Know thyself! Confronted by the pit into which we are about to toss those who have done us harm, we halt, stricken dumb: it is after all only because of the way things worked out that they were the executioners and we weren’t. Just how are we to understand that? As the act of an evildoer? What sort of behavior is this?

We would prefer to say that such people cannot exist, that there aren’t any. It is permissible to portray evildoers in a story for children, so as to keep the picture simple. But when the great world literature of the past—Shakespeare, Schiller, Dickens—inflates and inflates images of evildoers of the blackest shades, it seems somewhat farcical and clumsy to our contemporary perception. The trouble lies in the way these classic evildoers are pictured. They recognize themselves as evildoers, and they know their souls are black. And they reason: “I cannot live unless I do evil. So I’ll set my father against my brother! I will drink the victim’s sufferings until I’m drunk with them!” Iago very precisely identifies his purposes and his motives as being black and born of hate.

But no; that’s not the way it is! To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions. Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble—and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology.

Thanks to ideology, the twentieth century was fated to experience evildoing on a scale calculated in the millions. This cannot be denied, nor passed over, nor suppressed. How then, do we dare to insist that evildoers do not exist? And who was it that destroyed these millions? Without evildoers there would have been no Archipelago. That is the precise line the Shakespearean evildoer could not cross. But the evildoer with ideology does cross it, and his eyes remain dry and clear…

In that same period, by 1966, eighty-six thousand Nazi criminals had been convicted in West Germany. And still we choke with anger here. The fact that the murderers of our husbands and fathers ride through our streets and we make way for them as they pass, doesn’t get us worked up at all, doesn’t touch us. That would be “digging the past.”

Meanwhile, if we translate 86,000 West Germans into our own terms, on the basis of comparative population figures, it would become one-quarter of a million. Why is Germany allowed to punish its evildoers and Russia is not? What kind of disastrous path lies ahead of us if we do not have the chance to purge ourselves of that putrefaction rotting inside our body? What, then, can Russia teach the world?

Someday our descendants will describe our several generations as generations of driveling do-nothings. 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.


Chapter 5: “First Cell, First Love”

How is one to take the title of this chapter? Out of all the cells you have been in, your first cell is a very special one. All your life you will remember it… those days when you rethought your entire life. But it was not the dirty floor, nor the murky walls, nor the odor of the latrine bucket that you loved. For a week or a month you had been an abandoned waif, alone among enemies, and you had already said good-bye to reason and to life; and you had already tried to kill yourself by “falling” from the radiator in such a way as to smash your brains against the iron cone of the valve. Then all of a sudden you are alive again. And reason returned to you.

And that was the purpose of silent Sukhanovka: to leave the prisoner not a single moment for sleep, not a single stolen moment for privacy. You were always being watched and always in their power. But if you endured the whole duel with insanity and all the trials and loneliness, and had stood firm, you deserved your first cell! And now when you got into it, your soul would heal.

I had been dueling for four days with the interrogator, when the jailer, having waited until I lay down to sleep in my blindingly lit box, began to unlock my door. I heard him all right, but before he could say: “Get up! Interrogation!” I wanted to lie for another three-hundredths of a second. One night of undisturbed sleep was more important than all the fates on earth! And I lay there. Interrogation still pending over me, but how far it had retreated!

And there was no reason to be bored with my companions. They were people to listen and people with whom to compare notes. The old fellow with lively eyebrows—and at sixty-three he in no way bore himself like an old man—was Anatoly Ilych Fastenko. There was much in Fastenko I could not understand. In my eyes, perhaps the main thing about him, and the most surprising, was that he had known Lenin personally. Yet he was quite cool in recalling this. (Such was my attitude at the time that when someone in the cell called Fastenko by his patronymic alone, without using his given name—in other words simply “Ilych,” asking: “Ilych, is it your turn to take out the latrine bucket?” —I was utterly outraged and offended because it seemed sacrilege to me not only to use Lenin’s patronymic in the same sentence as “latrine bucket,” but even to call anyone on earth “Ilych” except that one man, Lenin.) Observing my enthusiasm, more than once Fastenko said to me insistently: “You are a mathematician; it’s a mistake for you to forget that maxim of Descartes: ‘Question everything!’ Question everything!” What did this mean—“everything”? Certainly not everything!

When, in the spring of 1943, recruiters from the first Byelorussian “legions” put in an appearance, some POWs signed up with them to escape starvation. Yuri went with them out of conviction, with a clear mind. Yuri became lieutenant in the German Army. In all, Yuri spent three weeks in our cell. I argued with him all these weeks. I said that our Revolution was magnificent and just; that only its 1929 distortion was terrible. He looked at me regretfully, compressing his nervous lips.

On May 2 a thirty-gun salute roared out. That meant a European capital. Only two had not yet been captured—Prague and Berlin. We tried to guess which it was.

That victory was not for us. And that spring was not for us either.


Chapter 6: “That Spring” [The concealed history of forced repatriation to the Soviet Union]

Along with them [a big wave of civilians that flowed into the Archipelago] were seized no less than one million fugitives from the Soviet government —civilians of all ages and both sexes who in 1946-1947 were perfidiously returned by Allied authorities into Soviet hands […]. Not until 1973—in the Sunday Oklahoman of January 21—was an article by Julius Epstein published. And I am here going to be so bold as to express gratitude on behalf of the mass of those who perished and those few left alive. One random little document was published from the many volumes of the hitherto concealed case history of forced repatriation to the Soviet Union.

That spring of 1945 was, in our prisons, predominantly the spring of the Russian prisoners of war. Not only war prisoners passed through those cells. A wave of those who had spent any time in Europe was rolling too: émigrés from the Civil War; the “ostovtsy”—workers recruited as laborers by the Germans during World War II. It was the war prisoners who constituted the bulk of the wave.

“The Motherland has forgiven you! The Motherland has forgiven you!” and snared them the moment they reached the frontiers. It would appear that during the one thousand one hundred years of Russia’s existence as a state there have been, ah, how many foul and terrible deeds! But among them was there ever so multimillioned foul a deed as this: to betray one’s own soldiers and proclaim them traitors? Then, under the most just social system in the world, came the most just war of all—and all of nowhere millions of traitors appeared, from among the simplest, lowliest elements of the population. How is this to be understood and explained? Capitalist England fought at our side against Hitler; Marx had eloquently described the poverty and suffering of the working class in the same England. Why was it that in this war only one traitor could be found among them—but in our country millions?

The Vlasov men.

In addition, there were a few volunteer anti-Soviet units, made up of former Soviet citizens but under the command of German officers. The Lithuanians were the first to start supporting the Germans (understandably so: we had really hurt them beyond endurance in just one year!). Then the Ukrainians formed a voluntary SS division, and the Estonians joined a few SS units. In Byelorussia there was a people’s militia fighting against the partisans: 100,000 men. When the Germans conquered our southern regions, the number of volunteer battalions increased: there was a Georgian one, an Armenian one, a battalion of the Northern Caucasus peoples, and sixteen Kalmyk battalions. During the German retreat from the Don region, about fifteen thousand Cossacks followed the German army. The Briansk region had twenty thousand armed men. They called themselves “The Russian National Liberation Army.”

Vlasov made public appearances in the theaters of Smolensk and Pskov, both filled to capacity; he spoke about the goals of the liberation movement and then proceeded to declare openly that national socialism was unacceptable for Russia but that, on the other hand, it was impossible to overthrow the Bolsheviks without the Germans. Those were the last months during which millions of Soviet people were still out of Stalin’s reach and could fight against the Bolshevik slavery and organize their own independent existence.

But there was a gap between the Russian and the Western conscience which exist to this day. The West was fighting only against Hitler, and for this purpose all means and all allies were good, the Soviets above all. Not only could the West not concede that the Soviet people might have their own purposes which did not coincide with the goals of the Communist government; it did not want to admit any such thought, because it would have been embarrassing and difficult to live with. It is a tragicomic fact that on the leaflets which the Western allies were distributing among the anti-Bolshevik volunteer battalions on the Western front, they wrote: “We promise all defectors that they will be immediately sent back to the Soviet Union.” We soon discovered that they really were Russians fighting against us and that they fought harder than any SS men.

The West simply has to understand that Bolshevism is an enemy for all mankind. But the West did not understand at all. In World War II the West kept defending its own freedom and defended it for itself. As for us and as for Eastern Europe, it buried us in an even more absolute and hopeless slavery. But nobody heard that squeaking. Most of the America military commanders were amazed to learn about the existence of Russians who were not Soviets; they thought it quite natural to hand them all over to the Soviet state. The ROA [Russian Liberation Army] not only surrendered to the Americans; it implored them to accept its capitulation and begged for one thing only: the promise that Americans would not extradite them to the Soviets.

In Yalta Churchill and Roosevelt had signed the agreement to repatriate all Soviet citizens, and especially the military, without specifying whether the repatriation was to be voluntary or enforced: How could any people on earth not be willing to return to their homes? The nearsightedness of the West was condensed in what was written at Yalta.

The English turned over the Soviet army command a Cossack corps of forty to forty-five thousand men which had fought its way to Austria from Yugoslavia. The extradition was carried out with perfidy which is characteristic of British diplomatic tradition. The Cossacks did not grow suspicious when they were asked to turn in their weapons, on the grounds that this was necessary in order to standardize their equipment. On May 28… [Chechar’s note: Solzhenitsyn describes in this paragraph how the Allied forces extradited these Russian people, against their will, to Stalin.]

They could not even shoot or stab themselves to death, since all their weapons had been taken away. Some jumped off the high viaduct into the river or onto the stones. The hearts of the British were not troubled, nor were their democratic minds. British tanks and soldiers arrived. The British soldiers started beating them with rifle butts and clubs, grabbing them and throwing them into the trucks, including the wounded, as if they were packages. Entire families sought death by throwing themselves into the river. Meanwhile, the British units in the neighborhood pursued and shot at the fugitives. (The cemetery where the people who were shot or trampled to death and buried still exists in Lienz.)

But even that was only the beginning. During all of 1946 and 1947 the Western allies, faithful to Stalin, continued to turn over to him Soviet citizens, former soldiers as well as civilians. It did not really matter who they were as long as the West could get rid of this human confusion as quickly as possible. People were extradited from Austria, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, from the American occupation zones, and from the territory of the United States as well.

Now, a quarter of a century later, when most of the Vlasov men have perished in camps and those who have survived are living out their lives in the Far North, I would like to issue a reminder, through these pages, that this was a phenomenon totally unheard of in all world history: that several hundred thousand young men, aged twenty to thirty, took up arms against their Fatherland as allies of its most evil enemy.

For the other nine books see here.