The death of dissident and writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in Russia, from heart faliure,at the age of 89, has prompted tributes from around the world. His was a life which spanned the modern history of Russia. He fought for the Red Army, spent years in a forced labour camp, suffered exile from his homeland and was finally given back his country.
His neighbours remembered a remarkable man who never forgot his roots. “Solzhenitsyn is the conscience of Russia, not just a regular citizen but the true conscience of Russia,” said one. His legacy will, of course, live on in the books that he wrote.
“Until recently some part of the population didn’t really understand his work and his role in the history of Russia, but in the last 15 years his role was clear and his books were well known, as was his concern over what was going on in Russia and the role of modern Russia in the world,” said one bookshop customer.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s return to his homeland in 1994 was met by tumultuous crowds countrywide. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described his death as ‘a great loss to all Russia’.