My Journey: How One Woman Survived Stalin's Gulag
Northwestern University Press, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 266 pages
Olga Adamova-Sliozberg’s My Journey, not officially published in Russia until 2002 and here available in English for the first time, is one of the best known of all Gulag memoirs and was one of the first to become widely available in underground circulation. Alexander Solzhenitsyn relied heavily upon it when writing Gulag Archipelago, and it remains the best account of the daily life of women in the Soviet prison camps.
Arrested along with her husband (who, she would much later learn, was shot the next day) in the great purges of the thirties, Adamova-Sliozberg decided to record her Gulag experiences a year after her arrest, and she “wrote them down in her head” (paper and pencils were not available to prisoners) every night for years. When she came back to Moscow after the war, in 1946, she wrote the memoir on paper for the first time and then buried it in the garden of the family dacha. After her re-arrest and seven more years of banishment in Kazakhstan, she returned to the dacha to dig up the buried memoir, but could not find it. So she sat down and wrote it all over again. In her later years she also added a collection of stories about her family. Concluding on a hopeful note—Adamova-Sliozberg’s record is cleared, she re-marries a fellow former-prisoner, and she is reunited with her children—this story is a stunning account of perseverance in the face of injustice and unimaginable hardship.
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Stories About My Family
afraid Ania Anisia Vasilievna answered arrested arrived asked barracks Basia began boss bread brigade bunks Butyrka Prison called camps cell couldn’t cried criminal dacha daughter didn’t died doctor door dreamed dressed Elena everything exile eyes father friends Galia gave girl guards Gulag heart husband investigator Ivan Karaganda Kazakhstan Kerta knew Kolyma Komsomol kulaks Leningrad letter lived Liza looked Lubyanka Lubyanka prison Lvovna Magadan Mama Maria memoir Mensheviks Moscow mother Motia Nadia never night Nikolai NKVD o’clock Olga Ivanovna Party person Petrovka Street political prison remember Russian Sashka sent sentence sick sleep Sliozberg Solovki someone Sophia Mikhailovna Soviet Soviet Union Stalin stood story suddenly Suzdal talk terrible things thought told took Trotskyite turned Valia Vasia Verochka waiting walk wanted warm White Sea Canal whole woman women write wrote Yudel Zakgeim Zhenia