I WAS STALIN'S PRISONER by Robert with Leigh White Vogeler

I WAS STALIN'S PRISONER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

With a simplicity which approaches dignity, this is a straightforward presentation of Vogeler's story which holds not only the drama of the ordeal he underwent, but serves as a demonstration of official impotence in the face of the violations of the rights of American citizens abroad. And Vogeler, in telling his story now, makes a plea for public support of William Oatis, the now liberated four fliers, through an embargo and retaliatory restrictions against the Soviet ""gangster governments"". Vogeler, as you may remember, was sent over to Vienna by I.T. & T. to try and prevent the confiscation of their properties there- and later in Prague and Budapest. The increasing tension with the passage of the months; his wife Lucile's close experiences with the Russians; the constant suspicion and surveillance- all this prefaced and presaged the last act which was played out in Budapest where vogeler attempted to save an I.T. & T. subsidiary but was held up by the dilatory State Department negotiations which eventually imperilled his position. His arrest, on the Hungarian border, led to the seventeen months of imprisonment- all save two in solitary confinement; the 71 days' resistance- on his part- to the psychological torture reserved for the ""cultured prisoners""; and finally the crack-up and confession to more than 200 acts he couldn't possibly have committed, in an attempt to expose its fraudulence; the long sentence, and finally the release after his wife's long fight to secure intervention which was diplomatically discountenanced as ""interference"" ... It's a frightening story, this, as the victimization of one man exposes our uneasy, unsteady foreign policy in the face of the Soviet stranglehold of Western Europe. A book to be watched, in spite of the cooling off period since the headline interest in the case.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1952
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace