Monday, August 04, 2008


Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize- winning Russian author whose books chronicled the horrors of the Soviet gulag system has died at the age of 89 years.

He was recognisable in later years by his flowing beard and ascetic dress, it was reported. He had been very frail for several years, his son, Stepan Solzhenitsyn said yesterday.

His unflinching accounts of the horror,torment and survival in the Soviet Union's slave labour camps exposed Russia's horrible and secret history - the notorious gulags.

His writing earned him 20 years of bitter exile, international renown and the Nobel Prize for Literature. He allegedly inspired millions with the knowledge that one person's courage and integrity could eventually defeat the totalitarian empiracal machinery of the Soviet Union.

He undoubtably played a major role in the downfall of the Stalinist inspired USSR. But as a writer he reportedly came up against the new nationalism of Russia in his old age -most Russians don't remember the old Stalinist days, much like the people of today in western countries who do not personally remember the Great Depression of the 1930's, relying on the stories of their grandparents.

He was obviously a man of strong principles and personal integrity, fervently anti-communist and not prepared to make political compromises; something that obviously put him offside with modern Russian politics and politicians.

Another story here

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