THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO
Book Review by Brian Dearing

The "Gulag Archipelago" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn might be a bit of a mouthful for erstwhile readers, but it is a mouthful not to be ignored. Written by a man who for ten long years saw the horrors and lunacies of Stalin's "Gulag" (Labour Camp) system, to miss reading it, is to miss a lesson in just where Marxism, unrestrained can lead humanity.

It is a whopper of a book, both in scope and in size. It is in three parts and all of them are hefty volumes. Solzhenitsyn employs a remarkable memory and linguistic style to bring home the brutality of the Soviet system both to himself and to the millions of others caught up in the Communist meat grinder.

To be able to review the book in one short article is well nigh impossible but I hope to give readers a taste of what this tremendous work is about.

It works on many levels. It is a history of the Soviet Secret Police from their beginnings as the Cheka, until their final transformation into the KGB. It is also a history of what Solzhenitsyn calls "the Russian sewerage system" along whose many paths and conduits, millions of Zeks (slave labourers usually innocent of any crime) poured from Russia and the many occupied countries, into the Gulag. It is also Solzhenitsyn's personal history of arrest, "trial" and his years in prisons and camps.

The main thing that stood out for me whilst reading was the occurrence of "waves" of prisoners. Each year, each purge was met by another wave of Zeks hurtling to unknown Gulag destinations for unbelievable periods of imprisonment. Twenty five year terms were not uncommon. Solzhenitsyn's work has also some dry humour in it, for example:-

"I got ten years and I am innocent!" says one Zek.

"Of course you are innocent, if you had been guilty, you would have got twenty-five!" replies an old hand.

It is estimated today that over twenty million people died in the Gulag's camps and prisons - the "Archipelago" or series of islands. Starvation, sickness, execution and simply freezing to death was the unbelievable misery and suffering of Russia's toiling masses.

Whilst thousands of books and pamphlets bewail the dubious "Holocaust" figure of six million, how many books mention these twenty million plus? Very few indeed, when compared to the Zionist controlled machine pouring out "Holocaust" propaganda across the world.

Solzhenitsyn's book deserves to be read in tribute. In tribute to the unknown and untold millions who died mostly innocent of any crime at the hands of Stalinism and the red, left-wing terror.

We leave the last word to Solzhenitsyn in the preface to Volume II:-

"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, not remembered it all, for not having divined all of it"

(The "Gulag Archipelago" is available from Collins/Fontana publishers)


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