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Alexander Men 1935 - 1990

a father with an increasingly strong influence on intellectuals and worshippers in the parishes in and around Moscow

Baptized into the Catacomb Church and later ordained as a Russian orthodox priest in 1960, Father Alexander Men had an increasingly strong influence on intellectuals and worshippers in the parishes in and around Moscow. At the end of the Sixties he completed a history of religion, in several volumes. This was published in Brussels, in Russian, under a pseudonym, between 1970 and 1972, and was then widely "smuggled" into the officially atheist USSR. By the late Eighties, the Soviet Union had started to open up politically, socially and culturally and broad fields of activity seemed to be opening up for Father Men, but on 9 September 1990 he was axed to death by an unknown assassin, who cut short the life of a leading exponent of post-Soviet Russia’s spiritual rebirth.

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The difficult defense of human dignity

In communist totalitarianism

The Gulag as the organized system of soviet labor camps was a powerful instrument for the extermination of entire groups of citizens by the communist totalitarian regime, in the USSR since half of the Twenties and then by emulation of the other countries of the communist bloc, both in Europe and in the Far East.
Through terror, the regime exerted an iron grip over the population who completely submitted to the regime. 

For those who opposed the regime the question was not about risking their lives to rescue other human beings, but to save their true identity at the cost of their life. Through this, indirectly, other lives were saved and this courageous kind of moral resistance contributed to the collapse of the Soviet empire, which collapsed at the end of 1989.