By Janusz Bardach, Kathleen Gleeson
FROM THE BOOK:"The pit i used to be ordered to dig had the right dimensions of a casket. The NKVD officer conscientiously designed it. He measured my measurement with a stick, made strains at the wooded area ground, and instructed me to dig. He desired to be certain I'd healthy good inside."
In 1941 Janusz Bardach's demise sentence was once commuted to 10 years' not easy exertions and he was once despatched to Kolyma—the cruelest, coldest, and most dangerous felony in Joseph Stalin's exertions camp system—the Siberia of Siberias. the one English-language memoir because the fall of communism to chronicle the atrocities devoted through the Stalinist regime, Bardach's gripping testimony explores the darkest corners of the human whilst that it files the tyranny of Stalin's reign, equivalent simply to that of Hitler. With breathtaking immediacy, a riveting eye for aspect, and a humanity that permeates the occasions and landscapes he describes, Bardach recounts the extreme tale of this approximately not possible world.
The tale starts with the Nazi career while Bardach, a tender Polish Jew encouraged by way of Soviet Communism, crosses the border of Poland to hitch the ranks of the crimson military. His beliefs are fast shattered whilst he's arrested, court-martialed, and sentenced to demise. How Bardach survives an unending barrage of brutality—from a near-fatal beating to the cruel stipulations and gradual hunger of the gulag existence—is a testomony to human patience less than the main oppressive situations. along with being of significant historic value, Bardach's narrative is a party of lifestyles and a necessary confirmation of what it ability to be human.
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Additional resources for Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag
We dealt with the encroaching danger not by fearing the worst but by savoring the precious hours and days we had together, planning our future as though we were destined to be free, our lives secure. Taubcia’s house had not been hit by the bombs. Her mother was in the dining room, crying, holding her face in her hands, while her father lowered his head in prayer. After a short while the bombing ceased, though for all we knew it might resume at any moment. Taubcia and I walked back to my house, holding each other closely, and talked about heading for the Soviet border.
He was much taller and bigger than me, with Mongolian features and a slight accent. He had tiny black eyes and no lips, just two thin parted lines and large yellow teeth. I couldn’t see his rank in the dark, but I saw the pistol in his hand. The second man was almost as tall as the first but had blond bushy hair and a youthful, freckled face. The third man was short and stocky. With his thick neck, flat ears, and crooked nose, he looked like a boxer or wrestler. All three wore long wool coats and Soviet army hats with the earflaps turned up.
Wladek and I rejoined the mainstream, walking the motorcycle with one of us on each side to keep it steady. The horses and wagons set a brisk pace, pushing the slower travelers to the shoulders and ditches. Parents walked with babies strapped to their backs; men pulled carts carrying small children and elderly people; old people pushed wheelbarrows filled with their belongings; the infirm hobbled along with canes, traveling lightly, hold- September 1939 17 ing on to a single bag or backpack. The refugees who had traveled the farthest were the dirtiest and most exhausted and often abandoned their bags at the side of the road.