Elisa Kriza deposited Wer ist hier der Feind? Verbündete und Gegner in Alexander Solschenizyns Darstellung von Deutschland in the group LLC Russian and Eurasian on MLA Commons 1 year, 1 month ago
The prominent Russian writer and Nobel Prize Laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) was known mainly for his work on the Soviet prison camps. In many of his fictional and non-fiction works, however, Solzhenitsyn dealt with the subject of Germany. This article analyses Solzhenitsyn’s depiction of Germany in the works August 1914, The Gulag Archipelago, and shorter non-fiction texts. The aim is to assess Solzhenitsyn’s interpretation of Germany in the context of the two World Wars and the Cold War. Complex opposites and friend-foe paradigms characterise the portrayal of Germany and its relation to Russia in Solzhenitsyn’s work. Solzhenitsyn suggests a bond of fate between Russia and Germany. Yet it was his trivialising discussion of Nazi crimes that became particularly relevant to his German reception, as well as his benevolent interpretation of the denazification process. Solzhenitsyn’s admiration for German troops in the First World War and his views on Nazism are examined here in the context of the author’s anti-communism, nationalism, and anti-Semitism. A discussion of paradigmatic texts from his (West) German reception during the Cold War illustrates the complexity of Solzhenitsyn’s historical interpretations and the different responses to them.