A Quote From: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1 (#4)

gulagarchipelago (Custom)

Instead of the twenty men Cell 21 was supposed to contain, there were three hundred and twenty-three! There was water underneath the bunks, and boards were laid in the water and people lay on those boards. That was right where the frost poured in from the broken windows. It was like Arctic night down under the bunks. There was no light down there either because it was cut off by the people lying on the bunks above and standing in the aisle. It was impossible to walk through the aisle to the latrine tank, and people crawled along the edges of the bunks. They didn’t distribute rations to individuals but to units of ten. If one of the ten died, the others shoved his corpse under the bunks and kept it there until it started to stink. They got the corpse’s ration. And all that could have been endured, but the turnkeys seemed to have been oiled with turpentine — and they kept driving the prisoners endlessly from cell to cell, on and on. You’d just get yourself settled when ‘Come on, get a move on! You’re being moved!’ And you’d have to start in again trying to find a place!
~ page 644

And this is just in one of the holding prisons before any of the prisoners got to their final destinations.  As much as I am loathe to admit it, I don’t think I could hold on to my humanity in such a situation.  I pray to God my Christianity is never tested like that.



bookstooge (Custom)

26 thoughts on “A Quote From: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1 (#4)

  1. I was reading 5th book in Clifton Chronicle where main character was trying to free fictional Russian writer, taken prisoner for writing book. I was googling if there is actually any Russian writer who was jailed in history, there I came across Aleksandr Solzhenitsynand and this title by him. What little I read about this book was horrifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes. I am horrified by the conditions, but also by the fact that your blog readers didn’t know any of this ever happened. No shade on them, it’s our educational system, but still …! Good Lord …! Imagine being sent to the Gulag for standing up to evil, and 50 years later, no one has ever heard of you.

    I wouldn’t have learned a thing about the Russian Revolution except that I went to a magnet school in 6th grade and our teacher made us read Animal Farm even though it didn’t seem to have any connection to the rest of the curriculum. And he gave us some context for it. We were still just scratching the surface, but at least we got a basic introduction.

    This is why we get people making statements like “No one has ever killed anyone in the name of atheism” with a straight face.

    Sorry for the rant, everyone. I guess the gulag triggers me for some reason …

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s a school within the public school system that sort of functions like a private school. You have to apply to get in, it’s a little bit more academically rigorous, and it usually has a special focus (in my case, environmentalism). Hence, “magnet” because it pulls in students from all around the city.

        We didn’t actually call it a magnet school when I attended, but I thought that would be the clearest thing to call it. Obviously not. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          1. When I hear charter school, I think of that school I attended but I don’t know what charter schools actually are. When I was attending (that and another similar school) we didn’t call them charter schools or magnet schools. We called them “special” schools and then we’d have to explain. XD

            Liked by 1 person

    1. If it was my comment that triggered this rant I am sorry, being from a different country and different educational background I do tend to come off as ignorant at times. In this case Stooge was more than helpful with his reply to me to leviate that ignorance a bit. Im sure if i start talking about my history/heritage and the stuff going down in my home country others might have the same problem.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not only you my dear. I was horrified that anyone would have to wonder whether there was actually any Russian writer who was jailed in history. That’s like asking was there ever a German dictator who caused any trouble.

        Again, not your fault for not being taught, and you did the right thing by looking it up as soon as you heard the concept.

        And you are absolutely right, I don’t know where you hail from but I am sure I am woefully ignorant of your country’s history as well.

        I don’t know how it is by you, but here in the U.S., everyone knows about Nazism but very few know about the atrocities of Communism under Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, and many others. Hence, everyone is ready to fight Nazis (who are not really a threat any more), but they are actively calling for communism. Also, it seems they don’t know what a purge is or how things usually go after violent, ideological revolutions. So, many young people actually want an overthrow of society to bring about a communist (or socialist) utopia. It’s got me really really worried.

        I don’t think I know about gulags because I was educated in America. I think it’s because I’m a Christian. In my church growing up, we learned a lot about missionaries and martyrs and we regularly prayed for the persecuted church around the world and for suffering people of all kinds. In this process, we incidentally got at least an introduction to many historical atrocities that weren’t necessarily being taught about in the public schools.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I am from South Africa. Living in The Netherlands now, but things at home is not going great and the whole world only sees one part of what is going on. This is due to a corrupt government that strives to control what happens in the media. The history I was taught in school then is seen as a complete fabrication and it has been abolished.

          I am interested enough in history and am always willing to learn more. Its just sad how screwed up the human race can be. Saddens me a lot.

          Thank you for the reply. It is safe to say i am worried about what goes on in our little world but there is not a lot I as a person can do about it.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Nice to meet you. I have Dutch ancestry, so I guess that makes us distantly related.

            Yes, it is frustrating when the received history gets changed on us. And now we see it happening in real time from day to day.

            All you can do a person is educate yourself and, if able, pray. So perhaps you are doing more than you think. The more people who educate themselves about history the better off we will be.

            Liked by 2 people

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