By Alexander Dolgun
This publication is ready survival in any respect charges. it's appealing in it truly is haunting methods and unhappy past trust. yet there's a thread of spirit that is going through 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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Additional info for Alexander Dolgun's story: An American in the Gulag
But it was very reliable. It could be counted on, even if I did not like it much. Memory keeps you alive. I firmly believe this. It's obvious you need food and water and air and shelter, of course. But lonely men have gone mad or killed themselves even when they were warm enough and had enough to eat. A man in my position-left in a dark room, not really enough food to keep his furnace going, cold, insulted and abused by the few people he does encounter, so that he doesn't see them as people anymore-needs a good memory to keep in touch with human beings who are somewhere else.
I was beginning to learn how to sleep in a hard wooden chair without falling off, and to be ready to wake up again at the smallest sound. I had tried it two or three times on Sidorov already but I think he was getting wise to me. " Then I would put my hand to my head and close my eyes and doze off, just go to sleep. The first time I came to with a lurch and he knew I had been sleeping. I said, "I can't help it. " I said, "It helps me to remember. " I tried it again a day later, in the daytime, and this time I was able to signal myself to wake up in a minute, smoothly, and say quietly, "No, I can't remember," in answer to his question.
But most of the guards took the opportunity to break their own boring routine, I guess, and throw open the slot and threaten me with the hard punishment cells. Anyway, they really believed I was an enemy of the people. I found that out later. Breakfast would come about six thirty. I had figured this out by counting the number of times the peephole opened between "Podyom" and breakfast. Once every minute, nearly. I don't claim I was precise about it. " Then around seven sometime the door opens again and a guard hands in an old greatcoat from the days of the Revolution, must be thirty years old at least, quite threadbare, and motions you into the corridor and clicks the key on his belt and takes you down some steps and out into the yard for the exercise period.