DAY WILL PASS: The Diary of A Gulag Prison Guard 1935-1936


DAY WILL PASS: The Diary of A Gulag Prison Guard 1935-1936

IVAN CHISTYAKOV    Book Number: 87192    Product format: Paperback

A rare first-person testimony of the hardships of a Soviet labour camp. Long suppressed, it is becoming a cornerstone of the understanding of the Soviet Union. Originally written in a couple of humble exercise books, anonymously donated to the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Moscow, here is one of the few diaries to survive the sprawling Soviet prison system. It came with the note "Chistyakov Ivan Petrovich, repressed 1937-38. Killed at the front in Tula Province in 1941." This is all that remains of a senior guard at the Baikal Amur Corrective Labour Camp. Who was this lost man and how did he end up in the Gulag? Though a guard, he is a type of prisoner too. We learn that he is a cultured and urbane ex-city dweller with a secret nostalgia for pre-Revolutionary Russia. In his diary, Chistyakov does not just record his life in the camp, he narrates it and is a sharp-eyed witness and a sympathetic, humane and broken man. From stumblingly poetic musings on the bitter landscape of the Taiga to matter-of-fact grumbles about the inefficiency of his stove, from accounts of the brutal conditions of the camp to reflections on the cruelty of loneliness, this diary is a visceral and immediate description of a place and time whose repercussions still affect the shape of modern Russia and modern Europe. It conveys the increasing hopelessness of life under Joseph Stalin's Soviet reign. A chilling read with facsimile diary pages photographed on page 250. Paperback.
Published price: $15.95
Bibliophile price: £3.75


Additional product information

ISBN 9781681777610
Browse these categories as well: War Memoirs, War & Militaria, History

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