Under Two Dictators: Prisoner of Stalin and Hitler: With an introduction by Nikolaus Wachsmann

Under Two Dictators: Prisoner of Stalin and Hitler: With an introduction by Nikolaus Wachsmann

Margarete Buber-Neumann

Language: English

Pages: 386

ISBN: B00CP5UAMQ

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This book is a unique account by a survivor of both the Soviet and Nazi concentration camps: its author, Margarete Buber-Neumann, was a loyal member of the German Communist party. From 1935 she and her second husband, Heinz Neumann, were political refugees in Moscow. In April 1937 Neumann was arrested by the secret police, and executed by the end of the year. She herself was arrested in 1938.

In Under Two Dictators Buber-Neumann describes the two years of suffering she endured in the Soviet prisons and in the huge Central-Asian concentration and slave labour camp of Karaganda; her extradition to the Gestapo in 1940 at the time of the Stalin-Hitler Friendship Pact; and her five years of suffering in the Nazi concentration and death camp for women, Ravensbrück. Her story displays extraordinary powers of observation and of memory as she describes her own fate, as well as those of hundreds of fellow prisoners. She explores the behaviour of the guards, supervisors, police and secret police and compares and contrasts Stalin and Hitler's methods of dictatorship and terror.

First published in Swedish, German and English and subsequently translated and published in a further nine languages, Under Two Dictators is harrowing in its depiction of life under the rule of two of the most brutal regimes the western world has ever seen but also an inspiring story of survival, of ideology and of strength and a clarion call for the protection of democracy.

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in confusion and desperation some of the women even went back to Ravensbrück. The chaos of freedom, with its demand for personal initiative, proved too much for them and they fled back to slavery. I went up to a group of soldiers and asked them if they had a map and a piece of paper and pencil they could give me, and whether they knew where the fronts ran. They produced a map and showed me where they thought the fronts were. In the east the Russians were still on the Oder, but in the north they

Valerie Alexandrovitch, who had managed to shave off his beard and tidy himself up. He had come to see Nadia Bereskina. The first love affair in our transport was well under way. After a day or so of inactivity, Grete Sonntag and I decided it would be much better if we could get something to do rather than pass our time being alternatively smoke-cured in the hut and frozen outside, so we went to the office and asked for work of some kind. They were startled that anyone should want to work, but

old Munich acquaintance, Erich Wollenberg, who had held a high command in the Red Army, but who by that time had broken with the Soviet Union and the Communist Party. Neither Carola nor Zensl belonged to the Party, so they were not subject to the Party discipline, which would have prevented their associating with Wollenberg. Wollenberg gave Carola the address of a friend of his in Moscow, and Carola got in touch with the man when she arrived. That and her association with Wollenberg was the cause

We’ll give you time to think it over. Perhaps that will make a difference.’ She had then been taken to a part of the Butirka she had never been in before and placed in a single cell. The central heating had been cut off; there was no bed, not even a mattress and no blanket. There she had stayed for three days without food. On the fourth day the heating was turned on and they gave her a mattress, a pillow and blankets and meals. This went on for a number of days and then she was taken before the

women and 130 men were waiting for transport. They had all been deported from Russia and handed over to the Nazis. ‘Are you Gretchen?’ a young, fair-haired girl asked me. I was astonished. There were only two people who ever called me Gretchen, and they were Heinz and Hilde D. ‘I am,’ I said, ‘but how did you come to know that name?’ ‘I was in prison in Kazan with Hilde Duty,’ she replied. ‘She told me to keep my eyes open for you and to tell you what had happened to her if ever I met you.’

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