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Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn

Once on the meeting Nikita Khruschev called Aleksandr Isayevich as Ivan Denisovich(character of Solzhenitsyn book). USSR Author, Nobel Prize laureate.

Education

  • Educated at high school in Rostov-on-Don. Graduated from Rostov University in mathematics and physics, 1941.

Career

  • His father died before Aleksandr’s birth. Brought up by his mother (the daughter of a rich farmer), who knew French and English well, and worked as a typist and stenographer. Artillery captain, 1941-1945.

    Arrested in February 1945 at the front in East Prussia by the NKVD for disparaging remarks about Stalin in his letters. Sentenced to 8 years imprisonment. Spent the first 5 years of his prison term employed as a mathematician in a special scientific research institute in Moscow (Sharashka) run by the Interior ministry-MGB. Later gave a remarkable description of this establishment in his novel V Kruge Pervom (The First Circle).

    Sent to a labour camp in Kazakhstan, 1950-1953 (described in Olen’ i Shalashovka-T\t Love Girl and the Innocent - and in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich). Released after Stalin’s death in March 1953 with terminal cancer, prohibited to live anywhere except Central Asia. Described his illness in Rakovyi Korpus (The Cancer Ward).

    Settled in KokTerek, Kazakhstan, as a mathematics teacher, 1953-1956, and made an amazing recovery. Receiving permission to move to Central Russia, returned to Riazan, resuming family ties with his first wife N. Reshetovskaia. His first story was published in the magazine Novyi Mir thanks to the efforts of its editor-in-chief Tvardovskii and the personal permission given by N. Khrushchev.

    Ivan Denisovich was the first public description of the tragedy of the Gulag camps in the USSR, which so deeply affected the life of the whole nation, and created a sensation in 1962. Became an over-night celebrity and a symbol of the demands for glasnost. By judicious use of his literary talent and practical ingenuity (described in The Calf and the Oak), gained enormous prestige and was able for years to successfully resist considerable pressure (constant persecution by the Committee for State Security, expulsion from the Writers Union, refusal to publish his works).

    His works and declarations (against censorship, for religious freedom and for a return to traditional cultural values) became wellknown in samizdat, although after 1966 he was unable to publish anything officially in the USSR and even his previously published works were removed from libraries. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. Not permitted to receive the prize officially, and refused the Swedish offer to get it clandestinely (in the end, received it in person at a full-scale ceremony in Stockholm when already living in the West).

    The pressure from the establishment and the Committee for State Security was matched by the deep sympathy which was felt for him among very wide circles in the USSR. Given refuge at the most difficult time by Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, the opera singer Galina Vishnevskaia, at their dacha in Peredelkino. Received the widest cooperation from hundreds of his former Gulag inmates when gathering material for his sensational 3-volume Gulag Archipelago. Met a young scientist Natalia Svetlova, and married her (after his estrangement from Reshetovskaia, who had been manipulated by the Committee for State Security).

    When the Gulag Archipelago began to appear abroad (Les Editeurs Reunis, Paris), expelled from the USSR (in handcuffs, on a special plane with a Committee for State Security guard) to Germany. Stayed with Heinrich Boll (a fellow Nobel Prizewinner), later moved to Zurich, where he completed research for Lenin in Zurich. In 1976, moved to the USA, where he settled with his family in the state of Vermont.

    A Laureate of the Templeton Prize for the Advancement of Religion. Seen by some in the West as a shrewd and difficult personality with right-wing and monarchist leanings, due to his sharp polemics against left-wing circles. In the 1980s, engaged in a multi-volume historical work Krasnoe Koleso (The Red Wheel) on life in Russia during World War I and the Revolution 1917, which he regards as the main work of his life.

    Also instrumental in starting a debate on postWorld War II forcible repatriation of Russians, 1943-1947, and the lifting of the anathema on Old Believers by the Russian Orthodox Church, practiccally healing the schism (Raskol). Despite many acrimonious controversies, generally regarded by enemies and friends alike as by far the most important figure of present times in Russian literature. Other works: A Letter to the Leaders of the Soviet Union, Avgust 14 (August 1914), Matrenin Dvor.

    Several editions of his collected works published in France, USA and Germany.

Religion

Denomination: Atheist

Views

Quotations: Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."[49]

Membership

  • Academy Arts and Scis.

  • Hoover Institute War

  • Revolution and Peace (honorary)

  • Russian Academy of Scis. (field of language).

Connections

  • children: Yermolai
  • Ignat
  • Stephan
  • Wife: Natalia
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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  • November 30, 1936 - November 30, 1941
    University Rostov
  • November 30, 1939 - November 30, 1941
    Moscow Institute History

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    • book: Lenin in Zürich
    • book: Lenin in Zürich
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    • Photo: leksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, RSFSR (now in Stavropol Krai, Russia). His mother, Taisiya Solzhenitsyna (née Shcherbak) was Ukrainian.[3] Her father had apparently risen from humble beginnings, as something of a self-made man. Eventually, he acquired a large estate in the Kuban region in the northern foothills of the Caucasus. During World War I, Taisiya went to Moscow to study. While there she met and married Isaakiy Solzhenitsyn, a young officer in the Imperial Russian Army of Cossack origins and fellow native of the Caucasus region. The family background of his parents is vividly brought to life in the opening chapters of August 1914, and in the later Red Wheel novels. In 1918, Taisia became pregnant with Aleksandr. Shortly after her pregnancy was confirmed, Isaakiy was killed in a hunting accident. Aleksandr was then raised by his widowed mother and aunt in lowly circumstances. His earliest years coincided with the Russian Civil War. By 1930 the family property had been turned into a collective farm. Later, Solzhenitsyn recalled that his mother had fought for survival and that they had to keep his father's background in the old Imperial Army a secret. His educated mother (who never remarried) encouraged his literary and scientific learnings and raised him in the Russian Orthodox faith;[4] she died in 1944.[5] As early as 1936, Solzhenitsyn was developing the characters and concepts for a planned epic work on World War I and the Russian Revolution. This eventually led to the novel August 1914 – some of the chapters he wrote then still survive.[citation needed] Solzhenitsyn studied mathematics at Rostov State University. At the same time he took correspondence courses from the Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature and History, at this time heavily ideological in scope. As he himself makes clear, he did not question the state ideology or the superiority of the Soviet Union until he spent time in the camps.[citation needed]
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    • Personal site: http://www.solzhenicyn.ru/
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    • Moscow Institute History
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    • Recipient Lenin prize nomination
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    • Academy Arts and Scis.
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    • Hoover Institute War
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    • Revolution and Peace (honorary)
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    • Russian Academy of Scis. (field of language).
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  • Works
    • book: A Storm in the Mountains
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    • book: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
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    • book: Matryona's Place
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    • book: The Love-Girl and the Innocent
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    • book: Lenin in Zürich
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    • book: Prussian Nights
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    • book: The Oak and the Calf
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    • book: Warning to the West
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    • book: November 1916
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    • book: Victory Celebration
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    • book: Prisoners
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    • book: Godlessness, the First Step to the Gulag
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    • book: August 1914
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    • book: Rebuilding Russia
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    • book: March 1917
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    • book: The Russian Question
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    • book: Two Hundred Years Together
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  • Relatives
    • Yermolai
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    • Ignat
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    • Stephan
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    • Natalia
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