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 I never knew about this, buy myambutol did you? The Forsaken: Americans in Stalin's gulags Noel Malcolm reviews The Forsaken: From the Great Depression to the Gulags by Tim Tzouliadis http://www.independent.ie/multimedia/archive/00193/ussr_193726b.jpg http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/graphics/2008/07/20/botzo120.jpg Americans baseball team in Gorky Park, buy myambutol Moscow, buy myambutol 1934 Russia in the late 1930s was not a good place to be. People really did sleep in their outdoor clothes, buy myambutol with a ready-packed suitcase at their bedside, buy myambutol waiting for the NKVD (the secret police) to knock on the door. You could be arrested and killed for a joke, buy myambutol for a factual remark about a food shortage, buy myambutol or for failing to denounce other people, buy myambutol including your immediate family. And you could also be arrested and killed for nothing at all, buy myambutol since the NKVD, buy myambutol like other elements of the Soviet economy, buy myambutol had productivity targets to meet Anyone who was different was suspect. In 1937, buy myambutol 53 members of a deaf-mutes' association were arrested in Leningrad, buy myambutol and 33 were sentenced to death for conducting 'conspiracies' in sign-language. Stamp-collectors, buy myambutol who had shown an unhealthy interest in letters from foreign countries, buy myambutol were hunted down, buy myambutol and so too were people who had learnt Esperanto. If life was as bad as this for Russians, buy myambutol just think how bad it must have been for people who were trying to live like Russians, buy myambutol but were in fact Americans. Not tourists, buy myambutol businessmen, buy myambutol or diplomats; no, buy myambutol these were just ordinary working people, buy myambutol who had moved to the Soviet Union. Their total number is unknown, buy myambutol but it must have run to several thousands, buy myambutol and their story - the subject of Tim Tzouliadis's gripping and important book - has never been fully told before. Why had they come? Some were idealistic Communists, buy myambutol or left-wingers whose trade-union activism had cost them their jobs in the US. But most were just looking for work, buy myambutol having lost their jobs in the way that millions of other Americans lost theirs, buy myambutol in the Great Depression. While American industry contracted, buy myambutol Russia had been recruiting skilled technicians, buy myambutol not least to run the giant car factory which was purchased - en bloc - from Henry Ford and plonked down on the banks of the Volga. At first, buy myambutol life was good for most of these immigrants - better, buy myambutol certainly, buy myambutol than the life of the unemployed in the US. They were fêted by the Russian media, buy myambutol and the authorities allowed major stadiums to be used for their baseball matches. The workers of the world were able to unite at last, buy myambutol it seemed, buy myambutol losing their chains but not their bats and gloves. True, buy myambutol there were a few little warning signs. Many of the immigrants were relieved of their American passports on arrival, buy myambutol never to see them again. Buy myambutol (Suitably doctored, buy myambutol some of the passports were used for sending Soviet agents to America.) Wages which the Russian authorities had promised to deposit in US bank accounts mysteriously failed to appear there. Pressure was put on some of the Americans to take up Soviet citizenship, buy myambutol thereby losing the protection of international law; and some found that they had taken it up unknowingly, buy myambutol having been made to sign forms in Russian which they could not read. But with the onset of the Terror, buy myambutol it hardly mattered what anyone had signed. To visit the American Embassy in Moscow, buy myambutol in order to register US citizenship, buy myambutol was in many cases to write one's own death sentence: NKVD men waited on the other side of the street, buy myambutol seized people as they emerged, buy myambutol and bundled them into vans. Nor were the most prominent and idealistic pro-Communists immune from arrest - rather the opposite. Reverend Julius Hecker, buy myambutol a Methodist from Columbia University who had published several books in the US defending Communism, buy myambutol was arrested, buy myambutol tortured and, buy myambutol before he was shot, buy myambutol made to confess that his books were just an elaborate cover for espionage. At the heart of this book are the stories of two extraordinary young men, buy myambutol Thomas Sgovio and Victor Herman; both were seized, buy myambutol tortured and sent to some of the worst Gulag camps, buy myambutol at which the great majority of the inmates died from starvation, buy myambutol disease, buy myambutol overwork and physical abuse. Thanks to their physical toughness (Herman was a keen boxer who, buy myambutol when placed in a cell full of psychopathic Russian criminals whose task it was to kill him, buy myambutol pulverised two of them and was then accepted into their gang), buy myambutol and thanks also to some extraordinary good luck, buy myambutol both survived. Decades later, buy myambutol both returned to America, buy myambutol and wrote detailed accounts of their experiences. More of the article can be read at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/07/20/botzo120.xml