« (…)I’ve been waiting for this rendez-vous with the French public for a long time.(…) If I survived more than twenty years of intense hardships, it was partly due to my strong will and determination to return to France to tell the tale of what I had seen and learned in the Gulag.

<span lang='fr'>Qu'elle était belle cette utopie !</span> Qu’elle était belle cette utopie ! JPEG - 42.3 kb Fragments de vies"During my 24 years spent in the Gulag, I interviewed thousands of fellow inmates - Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, Bouriats, just to name a few- from all walks of life - workers, peasants, soldiers, civil servants, party apparatchiks, professors. I heard stories I found hard to believe, thousands of testimonies from all corners of that huge empire which when pieced together made a gruesome patchwork of misery.

I gradually became aware that those then appealing communist ideals turned out to be in fact unattainable illusions. Those who insisted on striving to reach them would be forced to submit to lying, leading to inevitable censorship, and consequently ending in a regime of terror from the State. Right from its birth, the Soviet Union transformed itself into a huge ‘Potemkin village’, a farcical sham dissimulating oceans of mud and blood. The world’s first worker and peasant state, the hope of so many pure souls ended up being the state of absolute lie. Rather than to take the side of these misled and oppressed people, these ‘pure souls’ preferred to take the side of the Soviet bureaucracy so as to save their sacred illusions. To think that I had invested all my strength and energy into building a triumphant regime which was just as corrupt and despicable as the Nazi’s, which was more hypocritical and which lasted six times longer, contaminating almost every continent. All things considered, is there any appreciable difference between the millions of victims resulting from these two regimes, whether it be the ‘dirty Nazi traitor collaborator’ or the one who in the Western world deliberately closed his eyes to support the Soviet regime?

(…) Seventy years ago I committed myself body and soul to the Communist movement, genuinely convinced to defend the cause of social justice. Nothing has changed in that respect. Yet, let’s face it: I was led astray, and it’s now my duty to warn honest people everywhere: ‘Be careful! Don’t get involved into a path that inevitably will lead you to economic, social, political, cultural and ecological catastrophe.’ If it hadn’t been for all those years spent in the Gulag, I would have had trouble realizing all this."

Paris 1995