A World Apart (Penguin Modern Classics)
2 journalers for this copy...
It was quit shocking some times...
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
The book itself seems to be very relevant for Polish history. I hadn't heard about it before. Its style looks very good, but the reviews warn that it is 'not for the faint-hearted'.
I will probably find a thematic release-place for this book, e.g. a historical museum here in Warsaw. If I'm feeling really brave, I may read it before releasing!
From the preface of 1951 by Bertrand Russell (who was ahead of his time in his view of communism):
Of the many books that I have read relating the experiences of victims in Soviet prisons and labour camps, Mr. Gustav Herling's `A World Apart' is the most impressive and the best written. He possesses in a very rare degree the power of simple and vivid description, and it is quite impossible to question his sincerity at any point. In the years 1940-42 he was first in prison and then in a forced labour camp near Archangel. The bulk of the book relates what he saw and suffered in the camp. The book ends with letters from eminent Communists saying that no such camps exist. Those who write these letters and those fellow-travellers who allow themselves to believe them share responsibility for the almost unbelievable horrors which are being inflicted upon millions of wretched men and women, slowly done to death by hard labour and starvation in the Arctic cold. Fellow-travellers who refuse to believe the evidence of books such as Mr. Herling's are necessarily people devoid of humanity, for if they had any humanity they would not merely dismiss the evidence, but would take some trouble to look into it.
Communists and Nazis alike have tragically demonstrated that in a large proportion of mankind the impulse to inflict torture exists, and requires only opportunity to display itself in all its naked horror. But I do not think that these evils can be cured by blind hatred of their perpetrators. This will only lead us to become like them. Although the effort is not easy, one should attempt, in reading such a book as this one, to understand the circumstances that turn men into fiends, and to realise that it is not by blind rage that such evils will be prevented. I do not say that to understand is to pardon - there are things which for my part I find I cannot pardon. But I do say that to understand is absolutely necessary if the spread of similar evils over the whole world is to be prevented.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
The book has been released in the very nice café Karma (http://www.warsaw-life.com/drink/pubs_cafes_details/98-Coffee_Karma) on Plac Zbawiciela 3/5.
If you aren't familiar with Bookcrossing, take a few minutes to check out this very cool site. Bookcrossers LOVE books, and more than anything, they love to read books and then set them free for other people to find and enjoy. I would love it if you would leave a journal entry -- you can say where you found the book or how you liked it when you read it. This may be done anonymously and, of course, in the language of your preference, for example Polish or English.
Bardzo dzękuje! / Thank you very much!
Srdecznie pozdrawiam / Best wishes,
violoncellix (from The Netherlands)