European Memories

of the Gulag

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The various nationalities in the camps

“The biggest group was the Ukrainians, then the Russians; sometimes it was the Lithuanians who came second. Then there were the Belarusians, former prisoners of war, Frenchmen, who nearly all died, Germans, Japanese, and so on. There were even Indians, Americans, Brits, Turks and also Jews. So many nationalities in fact that I had to make a list. There were a lot of Jews, celebrities, including all sorts of specialists.

I must say I was in one camp for political prisoners where people didn’t fight each other. You know, in that camp, if I had lost three or four kilos of gold, whoever found them would have returned them to me. Daily life was not so hard, except for morale.”