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Lists with This Book. Jan 23, P42 rated it really liked it Shelves: Jan 09, Ewa rated it really liked it. Mar 25, Daria rated it it was amazing. Iny 12, Beata rated it it was amazing. Jan 17, Lorenzo Berardi rated it really liked it Shelves: It should and might deserve to be more widely known. The first account of “Russian labour camps” I read so far in which the author not only writes about what he survived to, but tries to put it in a larger historical context.
Of course Herling was helped in this task by the fact that his isolation was awful but not as endless as inhy one of Salamov and Solzenicyn, but still he did an extraordinary job. At the same time he had the humility of reckoning that the Hell he was put into by fate was a bet It should and might deserve to be more widely known. At grudzinskl same time he had the humility of reckoning that the Hell he was put into by fate was a better one compared to the atrocities of inhy Kolyma. The passage in which Herling says that he later understood how being sent to the Kolyma for the people “working” in his camp sounded like being sent to Auschwitz for the prisoners of Nazi lagers is astonishing.
One of the many unforgettable lines I already found: Once slaves were thrown to lions. Now lions are thrown to slaves”. Recommended to David by: Judging by the paucity of English-language reviews of this book, “A World Apart” seems better known to Poles naturally and other Europeans than to Americans and Brits.
Everyone needs to be more deeply exposed to the lies of Communism and the inhuman character of the Grudzinsko society.
So call this an extended “Ivan” — 18 months of misery instead of one day. It’s baffling how anyone survived Gulag conditions, even for only 18 months, as the author did. Perhaps some of it in his case was because he had hope. Still, he was one of the last to be released, and he’d almost given up.
A World Apart (book) – Wikipedia
One strength of Herling’s character was his capacity for reflection, and this helps make “A World Apart”more than just a litany of suffering. He draws word portraits of many different prisoners, some of whom are examples of various “types” — the true believers in Communism, sure that “if only Stalin knew” all prisoners would go free; the criminals who lord over the “politicals” and prosper in the camps; the humble who accept their fate with resignation; the informers, some of whom are surprising betrayers; geudzinski hunger-demented, etc.
Accounts of Soviet prison camps, both novels and non-fiction, differ from the stories of Nazi camps for many reasons, not the least of which is the reasons for their existence. In the Nazi case, they tossed people on the garbage heap “just because” — “because you’re a Gypsy or a homosexual or a Jew or a Communist” — little or no regard for making it look “legal. Then off to the camps if you weren’t shot for the job of building the Soviet economy on the cheap. Interesting feature at the end of the book.
Chalk up one for our side! Definitely too long, but still one of the most haunting and harrowing books I have ever read. There is something about the coldness, precision and distance of the narration that unny it even scarier. It lends a completely different perspective on work grudzisnki in Russia.
The line between a victim and torturer is so vague This down to earth book is filled with gripping and eye opening events and living conditions that were the norm of the Soviet prison camps. After reading this book the reader will come to a new realization as to just how far evil can be taken in the name of loyalty to the Fatherland.
In the Preface pp. Herling had been caught trying to flee Poland during her dismemberment by the Soviets Double Genocide.
Herling had been caught trying to flee Poland during her dismemberment by the Soviets and Germans. He summarized his experiences pp. We learn, for example, that Communist tortures were designed not merely to make the victims sign a confession of guilt, but to destroy their very personality.
Previous inmates of the Gulags who now served as overseers were often extremely harsh to current inmates. This is reminiscent of Bruno Bettelheim’s testimony about the conduct of long-term inmates of Nazi concentration camps towards newer prisoners. Those inmates who planned escapes and stored food for them did not actually try to escape–which they knew was almost impossible.
Their efforts were simply to build hope for the future. Some Communists who now were incarcerated continued to cling to Communism because otherwise they would have nothing else to live for. In fact, there were. Recently, some revisionists have cited Soviet documents that allege that the number of Gulag victims was quite small. In actuality, even official Soviet documents commonly omit or greatly downgrade things according to personal preference or ideology.
Referring to a Mr. Sadovsky, a Communist official who fell out of favor and was incarcerated with him, Herling comments: Being Polish was not really a plus in the ‘s. You could end up in a mass grave in Katyn or in a ghetto, a concentration camp, forced labour camp or a crematory. Herling ended up in a Gulag, which is equally fun but unlike in German concentration camps, in a Gulag mass murder and extermination is not the aim but a pleasant side effect of the harsh conditions over there.
Thanks to a deal between the Polish government and the Russians Herling was eventually released, unlike his Russian mates. Thi Being Polish was not really a plus in the ‘s. This gave him the opportunity to write about his time in the work camps. It’s a grim tale that is totally devoid of hope. It shows us the worst side of communism and it should be a mandatory read for all those upper class commies with their fucked up ideals.
When asked what nationality they had, Polish Jews simply answered ‘Jew’. Their loyalty to their faith was admirable, but when the Polish cut a deal with Stalin, the Polish Jews were excluded from that, which only proves once again that religion sucks. Herling is a talented writer.
This book is not a dry account but a compelling read. Comes with the highest recommendations. A World Apart is an informative, descriptive and often harrowing account of life inside a Soviet prison camp during the early s. The author has done an excellent job of writing about his – and his fellow inmates – experiences as objectively as possible. A lot of the book details how the camps worked, treatment of different racial groups, nationalities the author is Polish and genders by both the Soviet guards and also the prisoners and stories about how he and his fellow prisoners came to A World Apart is an informative, descriptive and often harrowing account of life inside a Soviet prison camp during the early s.
A lot of the book details how the camps worked, treatment of different racial groups, nationalities the author is Polish and genders by both the Soviet guards and also the prisoners and stories about how he and his fellow prisoners came to be in the situation that they found themselves in. He also discusses the human spirit and how people react differently to such horrible conditions and treatment.
Apr 02, Michalina rated it liked it. The story itself was very important, but the writing style wasn’t something that I liked and I struggled with this book more than I expected. I understand that this is author’s diary written from his own experience, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is not the most enjoyable book to read.
That’s a shame, because I was really looking forward to it. A book that makes a very difficult read. A compulsory one in the last year of high school in Poland – the earliest age at which you probably can read it.
I believe that everyone should read it, so nothing like that can happen ever again, so we will never forget about those who survived it and those who lost their lives there. This is a book that many would wish it was a pure fiction, that it has never happend – as it’s really hard to believe it all First hand account of atrocities, struggle fo A book that makes a very difficult read. First hand account of atrocities, struggle for survival and everyday inhumane existence in soviet gulag.
Not many were able to survive it, those who did so, told their story. Many movies and books were created in regard to Nazis camps and that’s what most people especially those living outside of Europe associate with IIWW, history about Soviet ones isn’t that widely known.
Nov 21, Jonasz rated it really liked it Shelves: Nov 17, Tihana rated it really liked it Shelves: Hard to believe this actually happened. Aug 11, Teb rated it it was amazing. The most difficult must read in my life.
Feb 09, Alicja rated it really liked it. Ggrudzinski 16, Paulina rated it it was amazing. In A World Apart Herling describes his imprisonment in a Soviet gulag and his excruciating experience in a forced labor camp between the years This book goes far beyond a personal account, however.