Guest / Limited Access /

Alesksandr Solzhenitsyn returns from exile to point a way out of the Soviet "quagmire."

In October 1917, a "sealed train" smuggled the notorious exile Vladimir Lenin across war-torn Europe into St. Petersburg, launching the Bolshevik revolution and the country's ultimately doomed experiment in communism.

Seventy-seven years later, another historic train has crossed Russia headed for the nation's capital. In contrast to Lenin's train, this one traveled slowly from East to West, making frequent stops. The passenger, Alesksandr Solzhenitsyn, exiled from the country 20 years ago, is reacquainting himself with his homeland. Russia has radically changed since the KGB put the Nobel laureate on a plane out of Moscow a generation ago.

"I return to a Russia tortured, stunned, altered beyond recognition, convulsively searching for itself, for its own true identity to search with you [for] ways to get out of our quagmire," he said to thousands gathered in Vladivostok, the Siberian city on the Pacific coast where he began his 55-day journey to Moscow.

The renowned author of GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, which chronicled the arrest, enslavement, torture, and murder of an estimated 65 million in Soviet labor camps, re-enters Russia with a revolutionary mission of repentance. He believes Russia must boldly confront its communist past. Russia's current "great misfortune," Solzhenitsyn said in Vladivostok, "is that our society did not cleanse itself spiritually; nobody in Russia ever repented. Communism remains in our hearts, in our souls, in our minds." He includes in his call for repentance the current government as well as those leaders in the Orthodox Church who collaborated with the Soviet state.

Although Solzhenitsyn is not primarily known in the West ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedBill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
(UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickGod's Hot Pursuit of an Armed Bank Robber
God's Hot Pursuit of an Armed Bank Robber
After I surrendered to the FBI, I surrendered to the Holy Spirit.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisAugust 15 August 15

In the Magazine

August 15, 1994

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.