The West is on the verge of collapse created by its own hands. Between good and evil there is an irreconcilable contradiction. One cannot build one’s national life without regard to this distinction. We the oppressed people of Russia watch with anguish the tragic enfeeblement of Europe. We offer you the experience of our own suffering. We would like you to accept it, without paying the monstrous price of debt and slavery that we have paid.
(1918 – 2008)
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.”
Russian novelist and historian