One Hundred Monkeys in Texas

August 5, 2008

‘I would be glad to be judged by God right this minute’

Filed under: Books,History,Soviet Union — alancochrum @ 6:21 am
Tags: , ,

A story from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died Aug. 3, that he related in the first volume of The Gulag Archipelago amid a discussion of courage in the face of interrogation:

“N. Stolyarova recalls an old woman who was her neighbor on the Butyrki bunks in 1937. They kept on interrogating her every night. Two years earlier, a former Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church, who had escaped from exile, had spent a night at her home on his way through Moscow. … ‘All right then. To whom did he go when he left Moscow?’ ‘I know, but I won’t tell you! … There is nothing you can do with me even if you cut me into pieces. After all, you are afraid of your bosses, and you are afraid of each other, and you are even afraid of killing me.’ (They would lose contact with the underground railroad.) ‘But I am not afraid of anything. I would be glad to be judged by God right this minute.'”

There’s the key. When you can say that last sentence at any given time, half the battle is won.

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