“One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”
by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” is, as the title suggests, a simple story of one day in the life of Ivan Shukov Denisovich, a prisoner in a Soviet concentration camp. Shukov, a simple Russian peasant fighting for Stalin in WWII, is imprisoned for treason – a crime he did not commit – and has spent the last 8 years in concentration camps. Shukov’s day begins at 5.00 a.m. with the clang of the reveille – he is, along with the other prisoners, marched out into the bitter cold, stripped and searched for forbidden objects, and then sent to work until sundown, without rest, without a full stomach. In this slim 143 page-novella, we follow Shukov’s grueling routine and see how he struggles to maintain his dignity in small, subtle ways. On this day, he has scored some small triumphs for himself – he has swiped an extra bowl of mush at supper, found a piece of metal that can be used as a knife to mend things, replenished his precious tobacco supplies and also has had a share of a small piece of sausage before lights out. Thus, at the end of the day (and the novel), he thinks to himself that it has been “A day without a dark cloud. Almost a happy day.” He must survive only another 3653 days more.”
Freely download “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”,
by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, here:
"The Chain Of Obedience"
“The death squads and concentration camps of history were never staffed
by rebels and dissidents. They were run by those who followed the rules.”