Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.
It would have been difficult to design a path out of communism worse than the one that has been followed.
A horrible human toll the Russian Orthodox Church suffered throughout almost the entire 20th century. The Church is just rising from its knees. Our young post-Soviet state is just learning to respect the Church as an independent institution.
If we look far into the future, one can see a time in the 21st century when both Europe and the USA will be in dire need of Russia as an ally.
That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into omnipotent actuality.
You get no thanks from your belly-it always forgets what you've just done for it and comes begging again the next day.
This is a grave danger: the stoppage of information between the parts of the planet. Contemporary science knows that such stoppage is the way of entropy, of universal destruction.
You know the words from the Bible: 'Build not on sand, but on rock....' Tyrant leaders respect only firmness...and laugh at persons who give in to them.
Human nature is full of riddles and contradictions; its very complexity engenders art-and by art I mean the search for something more than simple linear formulations, flat solutions, oversimplified explanations.
It was wrong to be too pragmatic, to judge people solely by results; it was more humane to judge by intentions.
The task must be to banish from mankind's thought the idea that anybody has the right to use force against righteousness, against justice, against mutual agreements.
Sometimes I feel quite distinctly that what is inside me is not all of me. There is something else, sublime, quite indestructible, some tiny fragment of the Universal spirit.Don't you feel that?
Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?
The foundation stones of a great building are destined to groan and be pressed upon; it is not for them to crown the edifice.
We wanted to recreate inside ourselves our former front-line self-assurance. We were pups and we did not understand to what extent the Archipelago was unlike the front, to what degree its war of siege was more difficult than our war of explosives.
Of course, my views developed in the course of time. But I have always believed in what I did and never acted against my conscience.
Nowhere on the planet, nowhere in history, was there a regime more vicious, more bloodthirsty, and at the same time more cunning than the Bolshevik, the self-styled Soviet regime.
Those prisoners who had been in Buchenwald and survived were, in fact, imprisoned for that very reason in our own camps: How could you have survived an annihilation camp? Something doesn't smell right!
Easy money had no weight: you didn't feel you'd earned it. What you get for a song you won't have for long, the old folks used to say, and they were right.
That which is called humanism, but what would be more correctly called irreligious anthropocentrism, cannot yield answers to the most essential questions of our life.
Like a bicycle, like a wheel that, once rolling, is stable only so long as it keeps moving but falls when its momentum stops, so the game between a man and woman, once begun, can exist only so long as it progresses. If the forward movement today is no more than it was yesterday, the game is over.
Some are bound to die young. By dying young a person stays young in people's memory. If he burns brightly before he dies, his brightness shines for all time.
Lord, give me the strength to accomplish what You've given me to do and the faith to trust You that what I haven't been able to accomplish You've already assigned to someone else.
You can build the Empire State Building. Train the Prussian army. Elevate the hierarchy of a totalitarian state higher than the throne of the Most High.
But there are still people whose moral superiority defeats your own.
The October Revolution is a myth generated by the winners, the Bolsheviks, and swallowed whole by progressive circles in the West.
I dedicate this to all those who did not live to tell it. And may they please forgive me for not having seen it all nor remembered it all, for not having divined all of it -- from The Gulag Archipelago.
A whole week, a single campaign, a month, a week, even a day was far more than enough to cut a company or platoon to ribbons or cripple a man for life: it needed only a quarter of an hour.
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.
People don't know what they are striving for. They waste themselves in senseless thrashing around for the sake of a handful of goods and die without realizing their spiritual wealth.
Given that interrogations had ceased to be an attempt to get at the truth, for the interrogators in difficult cases they became a mere exercise of their duties as executioners and in easy cases simply a pastime and a basis for receiving a salary.
One world, one mankind cannot exist in the face of six, four or even two scales of values: We shall be torn apart by this disparity of rhythm, this disparity of vibrations.
Mistakes are a great educator when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them.
Literature transmits incontrovertible condensed experience... from generation to generation. In this way literature becomes the living memory of a nation.
To coexist with communism on the same planet is impossible. Either it will spread, cancer-like, to destroy mankind, or else mankind will have to rid itself of communism (and even then face lengthy treatment for secondary tumors).
You took my freedom away a long time ago and you can't give it back because you haven't got it yourself.
If decade after decade the truth cannot be told, each person's mind begins to roam irretrievably. One's fellow countrymen become harder to understand than Martians.
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.
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...
Ideology--that is what gives the evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination.
Modern society is hypnotized by socialism. It is prevented by socialism from seeing the mortal danger it is in. And one of the greatest dangers of all is that you have lost all sense of danger, you cannot even see where it's coming from as it moves swiftly towards you.
If... if... We didn't love freedom enough. And even more -- we had no awareness of the real situation. We spent ourselves in one unrestrained outburst in 1917, and then we hurried to submit. We submitted with pleasure! ........... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.
When the whole discussion of developing a national idea hastily began in post-Soviet Russia, I tried to pour cold water on it with the objection that, after all the devastating losses we had experienced, it would be quite sufficient to have just one task: the preservation of a dying people.
All the glorified technological achievements of Progress, including the conquest of outer space, do not redeem the Twentieth century's moral poverty which no one could imagine even as late as in the Nineteenth Century.
Society must cease to look upon 'progress' as something desirable. 'Eternal Progress' is a nonsensical myth. What must be implemented is not a 'steadily expanding economy', but a zero growth economy, a stable economy. Economic growth is not only unnecessary but ruinous.
Of course God is endlessly multi-dimensional so every religion that exists on earth represents some face, some side of God.
I refuse to see literature as amusement, as a game. I think that you ought not to approach literature without a moral responsibility for every word you write.
To reject this inhuman Communist ideology is simply to be a human being. Such a rejection is more than a political act. It is a protest of our souls against those who would have us forget the concepts of good and evil.
We should clearly understand that only the voluntary and conscientious acceptance by a people of its guilt can ensure the healing of a nation. Unremitting reproaches from outside are counterproductive.
There is something predetermined in the mutual attraction between Germany and Russia. Otherwise, this attraction would not have survived two ghastly World Wars.
Scientific research? Only when not at the cost of ethics-and first of all, those of the researchers themselves.
Quotes by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are featured in: