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Into the Whirlwind (1967)

Tekijä: Eugenia Ginsburg

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: Into the Whirlwind (1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
8241426,472 (4.16)56
Both witness to and victim of Stalin’s reign of terror, a courageous woman tells the story of her harrowing eighteen-year odyssey through Russia’s prisons and labor camps. Translated by Paul Stevenson and Max Hayward. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
  1. 20
    Grass Soup (tekijä: Xianliang Zhang) (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Two descriptions of life in a labour camp, decades apart - one in 1930s Russia and one in 1950s China. Both very moving.
  2. 20
    The Betrayal (tekijä: Helen Dunmore) (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: One autobiographical and one fictional tale of what it was like to fall victim to Stalin's purges. Dunmore lists "Into The Whirlwind" as one of the books she referred to when writing "The Betrayal".
  3. 10
    Kuiskaajat : ihmiskohtaloita Stalinin Neuvostoliitossa (tekijä: Orlando Figes) (meggyweg)
  4. 00
    Elämä ja kuolema Shanghaissa (tekijä: Nien Cheng) (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Being a victim of the Chinese Cultural Revolution isn't that much different from being a victim of Stalin's purges of the 1930s.
  5. 00
    Haluan elää : venäläisen koulutytön päiväkirja 1932-1937 (tekijä: Nina Lugovskaya) (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Eugenia Ginzburg mentions Nina Lugovskaya in passing; they briefly shared a prison cell. In its two English editions, the book is titled "I Want To Live: The Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin's Russia" or "The Diary of a Soviet Schoolgirl, 1932 - 1937."
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 14) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
She was in Kazan at a teacher’s university when a friend, Nikolai Naumorich Elvov, and colleague was arrested for promulgating Trotskyist contraband and she was accused of not have denounced him. She never saw her husband, children, or parents again. She was in a world gone mad in which husband turned against wife, wife against husband, children denounced parents, parents denounced their children, and friends lied about friends. Her sentence was 10 years in solitary confinement which was eventually added to with years in a Kolyma workcamp in Siberia. It was a dreadful time on starvation rations, exhausting work felling trees, poor shelter, psychological torment, and constant fear. She would buoy her spirits by saying to herself, ‘no luck today lady Death.’ Oddly enough, she was, at the end of the book, still an avid communist who believed “the words of Lenin would come into their own again, and that the things that had happened to her would be made public to never happen again.” ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Aug 28, 2023 |
This is the story of a teacher at a University who was sentenced to 10 years hard labor during Stalin's rule for the"crime" of being on the same faculty of a professor denounced for Anti-Party rhetoric. She actually ended up with a 17-year sentence. Her worst years are documented here.
My favorite part was on p.115: "Once, at the end of a stifling hot day, ...we heard a passable baritone singing the Toreador's Aria from 'Carmen' in the following unusual version:
"How many are you, pris'ners up there?
How many there? Please to declare!
Te-e-ell us who and what you are,
Tell us, tell us, we implore!
Our hearts are all aglow.
Your names, yes, yes, your names we want
to know. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
what a story. it's important and really gives me information into a period and travesty that i really hadn't learned much about. it's not particularly well written, and just ends abruptly - basically like, then there was 18 years of this and now I can look back - after giving so much detail throughout.

i was particularly struck by how so many people at that time memorized poetry and prose and could recite so much and for so long. this was obviously not the takeaway of this book but it was still something that really stood out.

maybe if i'd read this at another time i'd be surprised by the way we treat each other, by the cruelty we inflict (and the moments of humanity and generosity, too), but with the concentration camps at the border and the general state of the world, this is sadly not a surprise and not too exceptional right now.. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jul 9, 2019 |
In her powerful autobiography, INTO THE WHIRLWIND, Eugenia Ginzburg shares her experiences of being arrested in 1937, imprisoned, and eventually sent to do grueling manual labor in a Siberian gulag. She was “officially” convicted as a political terrorist and enemy of the people. Naturally, none of this was true - she was part of Joseph Stalin's "Great Purge" campaign. While her experiences were unbelievably harrowing and heartbreaking, it is her unrelentingly strong spirit that shines through this work.

Ginzburg was a highly educated woman, receiving university training as a teacher, and later heading up the Culture section of a regional Communist Party newspaper called Red Tartary. She was proficient in literature, poetry, and political theory; could understand some German, and read other languages. She was solidly in the Soviet Elite social class, as were most of her acquaintances. This made her, and her family, a prime target for Stalin’s program of intellectual and political repression.

When one of her coworkers, Nikolay Naumovich, was arrested for supposed terrorist activities, she was brought in for interrogation. The violence she experienced in her interrogation was purely verbal and emotional, as the questioners were not permitted to use physical torture until a few months after. During one of her interrogation sessions, she was pressured into writing a statement, one that the secret police could use to discover other “enemies of the state”. She knows that her fate has essentially been sealed, so she decides she has nothing to lose. She tells her questioner that, “Well, you yourself mentioned the kind of writing I do – articles, translations. But I’ve never tried my hand at detective novels, and I doubt if I could do the kind of fiction you want” (pg. 58). She decides that she should at least write something, as the time spent writing would be time without the interrogator’s abuse. So, she spends hours writing a letter to the head of the secret police, explaining the illegality of the case against her and the methods used for the investigation. The questioner verbally abused her for this act, but ultimately could not do anything to harm her. It is this undercurrent of sass and bravery, appearing throughout the work, which endears Ginzburg to the reader. She understands that she is powerless to change her overall situation, but jabs at those in power when she has the opportunity.

Because she refused to denounce her colleague, or to implicate others, she was tried (in a show-court lasting only a few minutes) and convicted of being a co-conspirator. She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, with a loss of civil rights for 5 years. Instead of feeling dissolute about her situation, she was almost euphoric because it meant that there was the possibility of freedom and life. However, this jubilant spirit is tested throughout the rest of the book, because the conditions she endures are horrific at best.

Ginzburg’s imprisonment is described as being “buried alive for a little over two years” (pg. 146). Ginzburg, as a political prisoner, is kept in almost complete isolation in her cell. Deprived of much light, company, and fresh air, she is afraid of losing language and her sanity, so she quietly recites poetry and other works that she can recall, and reads whatever books she is able to acquire from the prison library. This solace in literature serves her throughout the rest of her time in that prison, with its filthy conditions, meager food rations, brutal guards, and the knowledge that all this was for false charges.

The cruel treatment of the prisoners leads to near-starvation and suffering from a wide variety of malnutrition and constitution sicknesses. After being in the isolation of prison, the author and her fellow prisoners had to adapt to life in a camp where there is a hierarchy based on the crime. As political prisoners, they were treated as the lowest form of inmate, and given the hardest and least desirable tasks. Ginzburg and many of her fellow political prisoners, many of them unaccustomed to heavy manual labor, were expected to fell large trees on very meager rations and terrible living conditions. The author, herself, was close to death on many occasions, and was saved through a kind-hearted camp doctor.

Her experience of the camps, and the treatment of the prisoners, seems eerily similar to the Nazi treatment of prisoners in concentration camps. Although the USSR camps were meant for labor and not necessarily extermination, the incarcerated often died because of the harsh conditions and poor health. The most critical aspect of this novel is that most of the individuals she encounters in the prisons and camps are of similar social class to her. Therefore, the reader gets no perspective of what conditions and treatment were like for people from more impoverished conditions and rural areas. There is also no information about what life was like for non-incarcerated peoples. These criticisms are accurate, but also invalid because the book was written as her own memoirs of this time. INTO THE WHIRLWIND is important because it bears witness to the ways that the USSR treated its citizens during this time in history. In a world where political instability is a real possibility, and human rights are violated regularly, works like this remind us of how dangerous those things can be when unchecked. ( )
1 ääni BooksForYears | Nov 29, 2016 |
This is the story of Ginzburg's suffering in Stalin's Russia. Eugenia was a loyal Communist Party member who happened (unknowingly) to work for a "resistor' at a newspaper. Just by association she was pulled from her home at night and her frightful journey begins without benefit of trial or testimony. She will never see her home or son again. Stark stories of torture and deprivation in the labor camps and gulags. She wrote this book in 1953 and had to leave it unfinished as she had to flee, even though Stalin was dead. I believe the newer copies now have an addendum. ( )
  Tess_W | Jul 30, 2016 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Ginsburg, Eugeniaensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Braithwaite, RodricJälkisanatmuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Geier, SwetlanaKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Harari, ManyaKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Hayward, MaxKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Stevenson, PaulKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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The year 1937 began, to all intents and purposes, at the end of 1934--to be exact, on the first of December.
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"Journey/Into the Whirlwind" is a different work from "Within the Whirlwind" - they are the first and second parts of a memoir, respectively. Do not combine.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

Both witness to and victim of Stalin’s reign of terror, a courageous woman tells the story of her harrowing eighteen-year odyssey through Russia’s prisons and labor camps. Translated by Paul Stevenson and Max Hayward. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

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