in charge appeared to yield to theirndemands, they were crushed with gratitude.nThey grew gullible. When commissionsncame from the outside to ask themnwhere they would like to go upon theirnrelease, they were astonished but theyntrusted. They believed things had actuallynchanged. When they grew off their guard,nthe “authorities” turned on them andntook their leaders away to punishmentncells or to death and brought back theninformers and the thieves and the murderers.n(Diplomats should study thesennegotiations.) Although the defiancenfailed, it changed the campnpermanently:n”On the surface, we were prisonersnliving in a camp just as before, but innreality we had become free—free becausenfor the very first time in our lives,nwe had started saying openly and aloudnall that we thought! No one who hasnnot experienced this transition cannimagine what it is like!”nThe defiance drew the distinction betweenna community and a mob whichnexists in terror of itself. It also made itnclear that such a community could notnlive without courage and that the readinessnto risk one’s life did not guaranteensurvival—but that without courage onencould not survive to live a life worthnliving. It also taught that a courageousndeath has its own honor. All this seemsnlike classical patriotism rediscovered inna concentration camp, but it is not, fornthe courage to stand alone of one’s ownnchoice contrasts with the soldier’sncourage. In the camps Solzhenitsyn sawnto his surprise that officers and soldiersnwho had withstood the terrors of battlenwere often as servile as the othernprisoners:n”Oh, how difficult it is, how difficult itnis, to become a human being! Even ifnyou have survived the front and bombingnand been blown up by land mines, that’snstill only the very beginning of heroism.nThat is still not the whole thing.”n8nChronicles of CultttrenWhat is innocence—that is thensubject of this volume. This word innocencenis very precious to Solzhenitsyn.nHe uses it rarely as if he would not use itnup. He leaves it to the reader to pronounce.nAnd we pronounce it hesitatingly.nHow hard it is to say it! Thenprisoners themselves, when they defiednthe camp “authorities,” did not dare saynit: “In the foul fog of terror that hungnthickly over the land, the cases broughtnagainst most of us, and the sentencesnpassed seemed to our judges fully justified—andnthey had almost made us believenit ourselves.”nIn the Tsarist camps there were onenor two men who were innocent—in thenSoviet camps there were millions. Solzhenitsyn’snstory is not of the guilty whonrepented in prison but of some of theninnocent who came to experience theirninnocence in the camps and to stand alonenin their own defense and the defense ofntheir peers, the other innocents: “And itnwas only when I lay there on rottingnprison straw that I sensed within myselfnthe first stirrings of Good.” This meantnalso experiencing the evil, the destructivenessnwithin them.nIn free countries, or in Tsarist Russia,nthe establishment of innocence dependednon the perception of others, on publicnopinion, on judges and juries, not on thenaccused’s experience of his innocence—nand his guilt. But in the Soviet Union,nwhere there is no public opinion onlynorganized opinion, and where there isnno law (independent of political expediency),nevery accused and condemnednindividual is driven to accuse himselfnand to be judge in his own case. As anresult these individuals face only the mostnunsparing judges, themselves. For everybodynis severest on himself, most of allnthose who imagine they are not.nNo regime which commits the murdernreported in this book can survive unlessnit can bring the governments of the restnof the world, especially the free world,nto assert things that they know are notntrue: “Ours is the only country in thenworld to pamper perjurers.”nBut our governments do not appear tonhave realized that something has startednin the Soviet Union which cannot benstopped even if the West caves in andnthereby prolongs the force of the Sovietnregime. They think and talk as if thenSoviet regime will last forever. Like mostnof those who think otherwise, Solzhenitsynnknows the changes in Russia arengoing to have to come slowly from thenRussians themselves. That is why hencriticizes the attack on Stalin and thencult of personality as evasive: it feeds thenillusion that only “Whiskers” is responsiblenfor the murder:n”But let us admit: if under Stalin this wholenscheme of things did not come into beingnon its own—and if, instead, he himselfnworked it out all for us point by point—henreally was a genius!”nJust this assumption of their ownnresponsibilities by Russians makes thenresponsibilities of the West more clear,nbecause not limitless: to take actions innforeign policy that will strengthen thenbrave individuals in Russia who are fightingnfor respect for law and constitutionalnliberties—and not to mince words. Dn”As to this country’s relations with the Communist stales, wejear that Air.nSolzhenitsyn does the world no favor by calling up a holy war. The weapons arenfar too formidable, the stakes in hummi life far too high. But there is somethingnelse as well. Much as we have been instructed and inspired by Mr. Solzhenitsyn,nhis willingness to set aside all other values in the crusade against Communismnbespeaks an obsession that we are happy to forego in this nation s leaders. Ancertain amount of self-doubt is a valuable attribute for people tuho have charge ofnnuclear weapons.”n— From an editorial on Solzhenitsyn’s CommencementnAddress at Harvard UniversitynThe New York limes, June 13, 1978nnn