All of Solzhenitsyn 's obituaries make it a point to mention that the young people of Russia scarcely know him if they know him at all. This is presented as evidence that his importance has waned since the collapse of Communism and that, in effect, he died long before he took his final breath yesterday. If this is true, then it is the greatest tribute that could be paid to him. It means that this generation of Russians is not in the thrall of the demons that haunted their parents and grandparents. It means that they are free of fear and want, that the central fact of their lives is not an omnipotent state that will dictate to them every facet of their existence and punish them for any deviation from the one ineludible path. It means, ultimately, that they don't need a Solzhenitsyn as their parents needed him and can afford the luxury of taking a Solzhenitsyn for granted. Now that every man in Russia is free to think for himself, it is no longer a novelty that one man dared to do so when few others would. A universal conscience is no longer needed in Russia because the duty of thinking has devolved on all men. It is Solzhenitsyn's legacy to his countrymen and he lives every time that injustice is denounced there or the rights of man are affirmed. To penetrate the minds of men, with your presence being unperceived but your entire essence permeating every fiber, is a better measure of a man's worth and usefulness than any personality cult or even the sincerest admiration. When a man becomes organically a part of his people then he is indeed immortal. Until we are shown another this is the only immortality we can be sure of. When Martí said that he knew "how to disappear" this is exactly what he meant. Today Solzhenitsyn has disappeared in the same sense and he, too, is more alive than ever.
Solzhenitsyn also influenced Cubans: