Talk:Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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Former good article nominee Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Language and literature good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 24, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
In the news A news item involving this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on August 4, 2008.

TV shows - section: title translation[edit]

"Russian under the title Taynaya Istoriya "Arkhipelaga Gulag" (Secret History: The Gulag Archipelago)". The text in the brackets is not grammatically correct translation. That should be: "The Secret History of the Goulag Archipelago". I dont dare to edit the article text, because the source is too complicated, full of formatting signs that I am not familiar with. Pls change the ":" to "of", if you are confident with the howto of it (without messing up the structure of those formatting signs). (talk) 23:52, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Trouble archiving links on the article[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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I have just added archive links to 3 external links on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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NPOV tag: Thoroughly doctored article[edit]

I distinctly remember that the text about "200 Years Together" contained a noticeable list of references indicating that the book is full of inaccuracies, biased language, and borrowed misconceptions. Now it is gone, and the section is nothing but praise. Does anybody care to take a look? -M.Altenmann >t 00:11, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Also, I fail to see any criticism (well-referenced) that when AS become a celebrity, he acquired the "star disease", and many commenters noted that they would very much like to remember AS only for his Gulag Archipelago, and forget his later days activities . -M.Altenmann >t 00:30, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

"===On Russia and the Jews===

If I would care to generalise, and to say that the life of the Jews in the camps was especially hard, I could, and would not face reproach for an unjust national generalisation. But in the camps where I was kept, it was different. The Jews whose experience I saw – their life was softer than that of others.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 2003.[1]

Although Solzhenitsyn has often been accused of anti-Semitism, there is sharp division on whether or not the charge is valid. According to proponents, Solzhenitsyn was a Russian ultra-nationalist and anti-Semite in the mold of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Those who reject accusations of anti-Semitism insist that Solzhenitsyn merely held the Jewish people to the same standard of repentance and self limitation as he held other nations.

In his 1974 essay "Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations",[2] Solzhenitsyn called for Russian Gentiles and Jews alike to take moral responsibility for the "renegades" from both communities who enthusiastically created a Marxist-Leninist police state after the October Revolution.

In a November 13, 1985 review of Solzhenitsyn's novel August 1914 in the New York Times, Jewish-American historian Richard Pipes commented: "Every culture has its own brand of anti-Semitism. In Solzhenitsyn's case, it's not racial. It has nothing to do with blood. He's certainly not a racist; the question is fundamentally religious and cultural. He bears some resemblance to Dostoyevsky, who was a fervent Christian and patriot and a rabid anti-Semite. Solzhenitsyn is unquestionably in the grip of the Russian extreme right's view of the Revolution, which is that it was the doing of the Jews".[3]

Jewish Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel denied this claim and insisted that Solzhenitsyn was not an anti-Semite: "He is too intelligent, too honest, too courageous, too great a writer." He added he wished Solzhenitsyn were more sensitive to Jewish suffering, but believed his insensitivity to be unconscious.[4]

In his 1998 book Russia in Collapse, Solzhenitsyn excoriated the Russian extreme right's obsession with anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic conspiracy theories.[5]

In 2001, however, Solzhenitsyn published a two-volume work on the history of Russian-Jewish relations (Two Hundred Years Together 2001, 2002). A bestseller in Russia, the book triggered renewed accusations of anti-Semitism.[6][7][8][9]

The controversy was fueled by the similarities between Two Hundred Years Together and an anti-Semitic essay titled "Jews in the USSR and in the Future Russia". According to professor of Jewish history Semyon Reznik, textological analyses of the essay indicate Solzhenitsyn's authorship.[10]

Solzhenitsyn responded by saying that the essay was written using manuscripts stolen from him by the KGB forty years before. They were then carefully edited as part of the Soviet State's "active measures" against him.[9][11]

Although Two Hundred Years Together has never been published in the United States, long excerpts from it appear in The Solzhenitsyn Reader. The book began with a plea for "patient mutual comprehension" on the part of Russian Gentiles and Jews. Solzhenitsyn explained that the book was conceived in the hope of promoting "mutually agreeable and fruitful pathways for the future development of Russian-Jewish relations".[12]

In Chapter 9, Solzhenitsyn that, " would be quite wrong to say that the Jews 'organized' the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, just as it was not organized by any other nation as such."

At the end of chapter 15, Solzhenitsyn expressed a belief that, "every people must answer morally for all of its past -- including that past which is shameful." In this spirit, he urged the Jewish people to answer, "both for the revolutionary cutthroats and the ranks willing to serve them." It is not, he insists, a matter of answering "before other peoples, but to oneself, to one's consciousness, and before God." He explains that Russian Gentiles must also repent "for the pogroms, for those merciless arsonist peasants, for those crazed revolutionary soldiers, for those savage sailors... To answer just as we would answer for members of our own family. For if we release ourselves from any responsibility for the actions of our national kin, the very concept of a people loses any real meaning."[13] " Moved here for discussion.--Galassi (talk) 15:18, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Problems with the section:

  • (1) The judgement of AS was not as "black-and-white" as the section starts. The range of the opinions covers a continuous spectrum. - user:Altenmann >t 15:36, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
  • (2) The section gives more space to AS himself than to his critics taken all together. While nothing wrong with that,

but the problem is cherry-picking. Only AS niceties towards Jews are cited, while they constitute about 5% of his book about the Jews. - user:Altenmann >t 15:36, 3 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Walsh, Nick Paton (25 January 2003), "Solzhenitsyn breaks last taboo of the revolution", The Guardian (UK) 
  2. ^ Ericson (2009) pp. 527–55
  3. ^ Thomas p. 490
  4. ^ Thomas p. 491
  5. ^ Ericson (2009) p. 496.
  6. ^ Gimpelevich, Zinaida (2 June 2009). "Dimensional Spaces in Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Two Hundred Years Together". Canadian Slavonic Papers (Find articles). Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "В Островский (V Ostrovsky)" [In Ostrovsky] (in Russian). Berkovich zametki. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  8. ^ Khanan, Vladimir. И в Израиле – с Наклоном [And in Israel – with Naklonom] (in Russian). Sun round. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Young, Cathy (May 2004), "Traditional Prejudices. The anti-Semitism of Alexander Solzhenitsyn", Reason Magazine 
  10. ^ Семён Резник: Лебедь Белая И Шесть Пудов Еврейского Жира [Semyon Reznik: White Swan And Six Pudov Jewish Fat] (in Russian). Vestnik. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  11. ^ Young, Cathy (August–September 2004), "Reply to Daniel J. Mahoney", Reason Magazine 
  12. ^ Ericson (2009) p. 489
  13. ^ Ericson (2009) p. 505.

External links modified[edit]

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I have just added archive links to one external link on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 08:30, 25 August 2015 (UTC)