SOVIET GOLD: My Life as a Slave Laborer in the Siberian Mines by Vladimir Petrov

SOVIET GOLD: My Life as a Slave Laborer in the Siberian Mines

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Siberian gold fields are a closely guarded secret zone- and few of the political prisoners exiled to the fields escape to tell the story. Vladimir Petrov is an exception, and is now teaching at Yale. This is specifically his story of six years in those gold field prison camps, but implicit in his story is much of significance in throwing light on life in Russia as known by a man, still young, who grew up under the Soviet regime, believed in it, was framed as a political traitor by a girl who had wanted his love, and was taken, along with others innocent of the ""crime"" from among student ranks and condemned to six years' exile. At the end of the term he emerged a marked man, with a record that made service to the State impossible, and no other service open. Those years are here recorded, in intimate but surprisingly unemotional record. The system under which the mines are operated, inhuman, based on terror, is one aspect of the slave system he came to recognize as symbolic of the Russia he had believed in. Russia lost a citizen and made an enemy, with strength and intelligence to make himself heard. Unlike other concentration camp and escape stories, this is a sober, undramatized, factual record.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1949
Publisher: Farrar, Straus