The desecration of Saint Solzhenitsyn

The Neo-Palestinian Ekaterina Jung – who calls herself “Cathy Young” now that she wants to convince everyone that she’s a Real American who loves hot dogs, apple pie, and baseball just as much as anyone else – sends a strong signal that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is in the process of being added to the Neo-Palestinian blacklist in her hit piece entitled “Solzhenitsyn: The Fall of a Prophet”:

The 100th anniversary of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s birth on December 11 was an occasion for many tributes. A decade after his death, Solzhenitsyn remains one of the past century’s towering figures in both literature and public life. His role in exposing the crimes of the Soviet regime is a historic achievement the magnitude of which can hardly be overstated. But his legacy also continues to be the subject of intense debate among people who share his loathing of that regime—and those controversies, which have to do with freedom, traditional morality, and nationalism, are strikingly relevant to our current moment.

Solzhenitsyn was once my childhood hero. Growing up in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, in a family of closet dissidents, I knew him as the man who defied the system and told the truth about its atrocities—the man idolized by my parents, especially my father, himself the son of gulag survivors. I was eleven when Solzhenitsyn was arrested and expelled from the Soviet Union; our Stalinist political instructor at school bellowed that he should have been shot as a traitor. A year or two later I heard excerpts from The Gulag Archipelago on foreign radio broadcasts; then, the coveted book appeared for a short while in our home.

Later, after my family emigrated to the United States in 1980, Solzhenitsyn’s heroic halo gradually began to lose its luster in our eyes. We were hardly alone; as the years went by, many of his erstwhile admirers came to believe, with bitter disappointment, that Solzhenitsyn could no longer be seen as a champion of freedom and justice.

The real reason for Jung’s rejection of her former hero Solzhenitsyn, of course, is that because Russia is now Hitler. The Neo-Palestinians are furious that the Russians under Vladimir Putin have managed to shake off the leash of liberal imperialism that the Neo-Palestinians, unlike their considerably more sensible nationalist cousins in Israel, so fervently support. And I suspect that this new anti-Solzhenitsyn campaign is founded in the realization that the eventual publication of Solzhenitsyn’s Two Hundred Years Together in English, whenever that finally happens, is going to completely explode the myth of the poor innocent Neo-Palestinians who never did nothing to nobody nowhere, once and for all.

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