Stalin's reign of terror in the Soviet Union has been called 'the other Holocaust'. During the Stalin years, it is thought that more innocent men, women and children perished than in Hitler's destruction of the European Jews. Many millions died in Stalin's Gulag of torture prisons and forced-labour camps, yet others survived and were freed after his death in 1953. This book is the story of the survivors. Long kept secret by Soviet repression and censorship, it is now told by renowned author and historian Stephen F. Cohen, who came to know many former Gulag inmates during his frequent trips to Moscow over a period of thirty years. Based on first-hand interviews with the victims themselves and on newly available materials, Cohen provides a powerful narrative of the survivors' post-Gulag saga, from their liberation and return to Soviet society, to their long struggle to salvage what remained of their shattered lives and to obtain justice. Spanning more than fifty years, "The Victims Return" combines individual stories with the fierce political conflicts that raged, both in society and in the Kremlin, over the victims of the terror and the people who had victimized them.
This compelling book will be essential reading for anyone interested in Russian history.