Monday, June 06, 2011

From The Gulag Archipelago

I have now read the three English-language volumes of The Gulag Archipelago and have posted my notes online. They have a bias toward the Polish experience. They're on three web pages beginning with
I particularly liked this quote, from Volume 3, speaking of the Russian prisoners of war who joined the Vlasov army to aid the Germans:

"These people, who had experienced on their own hides twenty-four years of Communist happiness, knew by 1941 what as yet no one else in the world knew: that nowhere on the planet, nowhere in history, was there a regime more vicious, more bloodthirsty, and at the same time more cunning and ingenious than the Bolshevik, the self-styled Soviet regime. That no other regime on earth could compare with it either in the number of those it had done to death, in hardiness, in the range of its ambitions, in its thoroughgoing and unmitigated totalitarianism--no, not even the regime of its pupil Hitler, which at the time blinded Western eyes to all else." p.28

And this, directed toward Communism's western apologists:

"All you freedom-loving 'left-wing' thinkers in the West! You left laborites! You progressive American, German, and French students! As far as you are concerned, none of this amounts to much. As far as you are concerned, this book of mine is a waste of effort. You may suddenly understand it all someday--but only when you yourselves hear 'hands behind your backs there!' and step ashore on our Archipelago." p.518

Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


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