‘They were certain that they would be killed or, at the very least, sentenced to the unspeakable horrors of the labor camps’.
Note from RI Editor Charles Bausman: We recently stumbled across this remarkable article from 1988! in the journal Imprimis, and when we read it, we could scarcely believe our eyes. When we started asking people about it, we heard different things – one person said this has been disproven, others said it was true and that they knew eye-witnesses who were deported.
Apparently the British government sued Tolstoy when he made these charges in an attempt to shut him up. We don’t know if the charges are true or not, but it makes for extraordinary reading, and I appeal to people who know something about this to please help us fill out our knowledge in the comments section below. It is situations like this where our commentors are simply invaluable.
Imprimis Editor’s Preview: At the end of World War II, two million Russians—including White Russians, Cossacks, Slovenians, Croats and Serbs who were POWs or simply living in exile—were forcibly repatriated to the Soviet Union.
Men, women and children were turned over to the Russian secret police at gunpoint. Non-Soviet citizens were supposedly exempt, but historian Count Nikolai Tolstoy charges that they were secretly betrayed by a few key military officials, a future British prime minister among them.
This tragedy, although nearly a half-century old, ought not be forgotten. What happened in 1944-47 was more than a sinister episode. Even in this era of “glasnost,” the Soviet Union still denies freedom of emigration, one of the most fundamental human rights, to its people.
Our thanks to the U.S. Business and Industrial Council who co-sponsored this Shavano Institute for National Leadership lecture on the Hillsdale campus in the fall of 1987.
By Nikolai Tolstoy | 13 January 2018
RUSSIA INSIDER — The last world war was a long time ago, and for many of us, even those with first-hand experience, it does indeed seem to have become a distant memory. Yet some images remain vivid. Only a child at the time, I remember the London bombing raids as if they happened yesterday.
But the particular experience which has occupied much of my adult concern, oddly enough, involves a story which I understood very little of in the 1940s or for many years afterward. I had heard people talking about it in the Russian church where emigres and refugees gathered in London, but the rest, for me, came later.
Though the story is over forty years old and may not be widely known, it is one which continues to gain in significance—and tragedy. […]