Solidarité Ukraine
INED Éditions. Sound Archives, European Memories of the Gulag

Russia and the Russians

“I’d even say I like the Russians. They are a very interesting people, inclined to mysticism.

They are so ambivalent: when they’re drunk on vodka, they’re like wild animals; when they’re sober, they’re as meek as lambs.

They are a willing people, credulous, capable of sharing their last bit of bread, they know how to help, they like helping. They are a people full of generosity. But throughout their history they have been slaves, serfs…

First in the time of the Boyars around the year 1000, then during the Mongol invasion, which lasted 300 years, then there were the 300 years of the Romanov dynasty, which was not a “garden of raspberries” either, as the Russians say. And then, the Soviet regime. I don’t know when there will be a democracy over there; because quite simply this people as lived under continual oppression and an eternal slavery, servitude.

Have you been back to Russia since?

I’ve been, several times. I feel homesick for that land. That’s where I spent my youth. I feel really happy among them.”