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By S.A. Malsagoff

A vintage at the early gulags, prompt through Solzhenitzyn. valuable reading.

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The Tcheki sts the p illaged library of the monastery, which during the five centuries of i ts existence had been filled w i th unique works. They heated the stoves with rare books, old document� and chronicles of the greatest anti qui ty. Finally, the di shonest methods of the new managemen t, com bined w i th the cri minal plundering and i nex p eri ence of the Soviet admini stration, rui ned the factories and workshops belonging to the monastery. The ancient building rui ns. was reduced to The Tchekists put up round i t.

The smell of the d e c o m p os ed bodies poi son e d the air for miles round. by night or The stench, which never abated day, sti fled the prisoners in the camps Three- quarters of and even made them faint. the of town the of inhabi tants Kholmogory were finally unable to endure i t any longer and abandoned their homes. Wi thout the slightest doubt the Soviet Govern­ m ent knew of the horrors perpetrated at Kholmogory and Portaminsk ; it could not help knowi ng. Bu t, having an in terest in the pitiless of extermi nation their opponen ts, and real supposed, the leaders of the Communist Party confined themselves to washi ng their hands of the whole business.

You may meet an ex-Minister and an ex-door­ keeper, general, a a young non-commissioned o fficer and big manufacturer and an assistant in small shop, an ex pri n cess and her cook. " group the masse, en whole clergy without distinction of Church, the whole of the educated and semi­ ed uca ted classes, all merchants and all officers. -which have not yet been merged with the Communists. The third category comprises the criminals proper, the so-called shpana. The Soviet authorities maintai n this same distinction in the Solovky and all the other concen­ tration camps and places of exile or settlement.

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