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nataliya

nataliya

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing.

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"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."— J.K. Rowling

Sofia Petrovna - Lydia Chukovskaya, Lydia Chukovskaya, Aline Werth USSR. 1937. Enemy of the people. These short words might as well be - and often were - a death sentence. For you. For your friends. For your family. For anyone connected with you. For millions and millions of the Soviet people that have perished in the Great Purges, courtesy of the terror state run by paranoid and fanatical Comrade Stalin (*) (*) Little-known fact: "Joseph Stalin, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922-1953), was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 and 1948 for his efforts to end World War II." From www.nobelprize.org (**) (**) Who would nominate such a standup guy for the Nobel Peace Prize??? Hitler???Enemy of the people. The dreaded doorbell rings in the middle of the night, uniformed people drag you away from the crying family into a nondescript black car outside. You think it must be a mistake, a misunderstanding; desperately try to explain that you are a good worker from an honest peasant family. Prison cells, vermin, hunger, torture, forced coinfessions. Realizing that everyone else here has gone through the same thing. Seeing your loved ones on the other side of the bars, lying to them that you'll be alright. Exile to concentration camps if you are lucky, shot in the night otherwise. Sofia Petrovna sees the other side of the Purges. An apolitical middle-aged woman, she goes from being a proud mother of a promising young engineer to being a mother of an "enemy of the people". And yet she still fails to understand that those other political prisoners ("poisoners, spies and murderers") are innocent victims of the Stalin regime just like her son Kolya. She fails to make the connection. After all, USSR does not detain the innocents. After all, the Party and the Party newspapers don't lie. ...................Thank you, dear Stalin, for our happy childhood!Thank you, indeed...This is a chilling, gripping story of one of the darkest times in Russian/Soviet history. Written in a detached voice, it succeeds in conveying the suffocating terror, deceit and disbelief the Soviet people lived in. And all I can think when reading it is - please don't let me ever live through anything like this. Ever.__________By the way, if you want to know more about the Soviet Great Purges of 1930s, here is a handy Wikipedia link and another one as well.