Alexander Dolgun's story: An American in the Gulag by Alexander Dolgun

By Alexander Dolgun

This publication is ready survival in any respect charges. it truly is appealing in it really is haunting methods and unhappy past trust. yet there's a thread of spirit that is going via it that makes you respect Mr.Dolgun very greatly. i used to be sorry to listen to he died so younger.

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Example text

I tried to talk with him but each time he just shook his head wordlessly and put his finger to his lips. I asked about the weather outside. Shook his head. Asked how often I would get to have a shower. Shook his head, more vigorously. Then I got an idea and asked him if he liked his job. He shook his head just as hard as before, and even made a grimace when he put his finger to his lips, and almost managed to look fierce. But I don't think he had really listened to the question. Wordlessly he pulled out an old pair of hand-operated barbers' clippers and ran them through my soft, weekold beard, reducing it to a stiff stubble and tearing out a good many hairs in the process since the clippers were dull.

I mean the effect on me. I was grinning to myself. I had discovered another instrument for my survival. It sounds crazy talking about this childish song as an instrument of survival. But this was a song from America. It was a song they were singing in New York somewhere. Back at the American Embassy on Mokhovaya Street, there was a phonograph with that record on it. Maybe not right now, at eight o'clock in the morning, but the record was there all right and sometime today probably, maybe tonight after work, someone would play it.

Then, just while I sat and looked at it in my hand, I found myself saying silently that the plate was about twentytwo centimeters across and the inner section about ten centimeters. If that was true, I could prove it by making some sort of tape measure and checking the two dimensions against each other. Of course, my belt and tie were gone. I started looking around the cell for something I could use. The towel caught my eye. It was woven pretty loosely of a fairly coarse cotton. It took just two seconds to unravel a thread from across the end, and I got a piece about forty centimeters long.

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