@PaulR_Gregory: You can hear the terror in the women’s voices. The landscape doesn't look like Earth, it looks like Hades.

Jan 08, 07:14 AM

Photo: An Ingush family mourns at the body of their deceased daughter, 1944.

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Marianna Yarovskaya, Muscovite documentary filmmaker, & Paul Gregory, Hoover, in re: Updated report on Women of the Gulag: the content of the film, which is extremely moving and upsetting. The book knots together the story of women in the Gulag and how they survived. This is a relatively new genre among historians, who in the past have dealt with the degrees, the way the Terror was organized, described the numbers of victims, the social classes of victims – a view of the Gulag from 3,000 feet. Also a lot of attention to the economics of the Gulag; I felt that this has to be personalized – recall Stalin: The death of a single person is a tragedy, of millions is s statistic. Two of the six women we feature are still with us, and Marianna found several more and added them, from Memorial and Sakharov. You can hear the terror in the women’s voices. The landscape doesn't look like Earth, it looks like Hades. After Solzhenitzyn died, his secretary devoted her life to working for his foundation. Women’s experiences differed from men’s experiences; they want to talk about not the most horrible parts – the rapes and violence, the hunger - their biggest tragedy was not the horror that happened to them, but what happened to their loved ones, the loss of their father or mother; to their remaining childless, they never married, their loss of family, Book review: During the course of three decades, Joseph Stalin’s Gulag, a vast network of forced labor camps and settlements, held many millions of prisoners. People in every corner of the Soviet Union lived in daily terror of imprisonment and execution. In researching the surviving threads of memoirs and oral reminiscences of five women victimized by the Gulag, the author Paul R. Gregory has stitched together a collection of stories from the female perspective, a view in short supply. Capturing the fear, paranoia, and unbearable hardship that were hallmarks of Stalin’s Great Terror, Gregory relates the stories of five women from different social strata and regions in vivid prose, from their pre-Gulag lives, through their struggles to survive in the repressive atmosphere of the late 1930s and early 1940s, to the difficulties facing the four who survived as they adjusted to life after the Gulag. These firsthand accounts illustrate how even the wrong word could become a crime against the state. The book begins with a synopsis of Stalin’s rise to power, the roots of the Gulag, and the scheming and plotting that led to and persisted in one of the bloodiest, most egregious dictatorships of the 20th century.