"An enthralling record of often dreadful experiences in what Solzhenitsyn has called 'the pole of cold and cruelty' of Stalin's labor camp system: a saga of human endurance."--Robert Conquest "An extraordinary story of human brutality, human kindness, and human ability to survive under the most inhuman conditions imaginable. It should demonstrate ...Read More"An enthralling record of often dreadful experiences in what Solzhenitsyn has called 'the pole of cold and cruelty' of Stalin's labor camp system: a saga of human endurance."--Robert Conquest "An extraordinary story of human brutality, human kindness, and human ability to survive under the most inhuman conditions imaginable. It should demonstrate to anyone who still entertains illusions about Soviet Communism how closely it resembled Nazism."--Richard Pipes "Beneath the layers of history and the ideological divisions, "Man Is Wolf to Man" is a glorious testimony to the resilience of the human spirit and a celebration of the tragic improvisations which are sometimes required to save a human life. After several generations, J. Bardach has opened another window into the tragic world first explored by A. Koestler in "Darkness at Noon." This is a worthy and affirmative book."--James A. McPherson "Being spellbound by Dr. Bardach's vivid and richly detailed recollections, you become a fellow companion of a Jewish youth from Poland in his head-spinning odyssey across eight time-zones eastward with the Kolyma gold mines as the final destination. Through Bardach's experiences, one understands the feelings of countless other victims of history who found themselves between a rock and a hard place, as the relentless and senseless forces drove them from the Nazi gas chambers into the killing fields of Communism."--Vassily AksyonovRead Less
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As New. Book. 8vo-over 7 in-9 in Tall. Soft cover. Like new condition. "The pit I was ordered to dig had the precise dimensions of a casket. The NKVD officer carefully designed it. He measured my size with a stick, made lines on the forest floor, and told me to dig. He wanted to make sure I'd fit well inside." In 1941 Janusz Bardach's death sentence was commuted to ten years' hard labor and he was sent to Kolyma-the harshest, coldest, and most deadly prison in Joseph Stalin's labor camp system-the Siberia of Siberias. The only English-language memoir since the fall of communism to chronicle the atrocities committed during the Stalinist regime, Bardach's gripping testimony explores the darkest corners of the human condition at the same time that it documents the tyranny of Stalin's reign, equal only to that of Hitler. With breathtaking immediacy, a riveting eye for detail, and a humanity that permeates the events and landscapes he describes, Bardach recounts the extraordinary story of this nearly inconceivable world. The story begins with the Nazi occupation when Bardach, a young Polish Jew inspired by Soviet Communism, crosses the border of Poland to join the ranks of the Red Army. His ideals are quickly shattered when he is arrested, court-martialed, and sentenced to death. How Bardach survives an endless barrage of brutality-from a near-fatal beating to the harsh conditions and slow starvation of the gulag existence-is a testament to human endurance under the most oppressive circumstances. Besides being of great historical significance, Bardach's narrative is a celebration of life and a vital affirmation of what it means to be human.
New. "An enthralling record of often dreadful experiences in what Solzhenitsyn has called 'the pole of cold and cruelty' of Stalin's labor camp system: a saga of human endurance."--Robert Conquest "An extraordinary story of human brutality, human kindness...
University of California Press, Berkeley, CA
Publishers Weekly, 1998-04-13 When the Red Army first arrived in the Polish town of Wlodzimierz-Wolynski in 1939, Bardach, a Polish Jew, was overjoyed believing that this army from the brave, new Soviet society was there to fight the Germans. He little dreamed that Poland would be partitioned in accord with the Hitler-Stalin nonaggression pact. After witnessing deportations and gratuitous brutality, Bardach was rather more skeptical by the time he was drafted into the Red Army in 1940. Soon after, he was sentenced to 10 years in a Soviet prison, and it's here in the labyrinthine world of the Soviet gulag that Bardach's gripping but matter-of-fact memoir really begins. Shipped from camp to camp, Bardach ends up as a zek, a prison laborer, at the gold mines of Kolyma in Far Eastern Russia. Along the way, he encounters the random cruelty of Soviet prison life and the almost incomprehensible combination of harsh conditions and constant death that can break the human spirit. But even in these desensitizing conditions, certain individuals retained their humanity, such as Efim Polzun, a fellow Jew and Soviet officer, who got Bardach's sentence commuted, or Dr. Piasetsky, who let Bardach lie his way into a job as a clinic assistant. More than many such memoirs, this volume clearly manifests the constant struggle between maintaining one's life and maintaining one's humanity in inhumane situations. A fascinating history, this compelling memoir is also a story of inner resolve and the will to keep going. It's a worthy companion to such accounts as Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago and Natalya Ginzburg's Journey into the Whirlwind. 26 b&w photos not seen by PW. (May)
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