Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
The GULAG Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation
For years I have with reluctant heart withheld from publication this already completed book: my obligation to those still living outweighed my obligation to the dead. But now that State Security has seized the book anyway, I have no alternative but to publish it immediately.
The key quote from this work:
“oh how we burned in the camps later, thinking: what would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests,as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and every step on the staircase but had UNDERSTOOD they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers or whatever else was at hand.”
This is not fiction. It’s a first party accounting of Solzhentsyn’s incarceration in the Soviet gulags. There are Russians warning us, right now, to pay attention…