The Day Will Pass Away
The Diary of A Gulag Prison Guard, 1935-1936Book - 2017
"Originally written in a couple of humble exercise books, which were anonymously donated to the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Moscow, this remarkable diary is one of the few first-person accounts to survive the sprawling Soviet prison system.At the back of these exercise books there is a blurred snapshot and a note, "Chistyakov, Ivan Petrovich, repressed in 1937-38. Killed at the front in Tula Province in 1941." This is all that remains of Ivan Chistyakov, a senior guard at the Baikal Amur Corrective Labour Camp.Who was this lost man? 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 this diary, Chistyakov does not just record his life in the camp, he narrates it. He 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 an astonishing record--a visceral and immediate description of a place and time whose repercussions still affect the shape of modern Russia, and modern Europe"--Google Books.
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books, 2017
Branch Call Number: 365.45095 C448d 2017
Characteristics: 249 pages : images of manuscripts ; 24 cm