Without Vodka: Adventures in Wartime Russia

Aleksander Topolski

Published by Steerforth, 2001
ISBN 10: 1586420127 / ISBN 13: 9781586420123
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Synopsis: ALEKSANDER TOPOLSKI was sixteen years old on the morning of August 24, 1939, when he was called up for military service. In eight days his native Poland would be invaded by the Germans. Shortly after that, the Russians rolled in under the Hitler-Stalin pact, and when Topolski tried to sneak across the border into Romania, he was captured by Soviet border guards. Thus began a more than two-year-long ordeal through the Soviet Union's outrageously absurd penal system. Writing with an unexpected sense of humor and irony and an almost superhuman capacity for recalling fascinating details, Topolski recounts the fight for survival in the gulag. Mendacious NKVD officers, whimsical pickpockets, ruthless youth gang members, wise political prisoners, Polish patriots, unfortunate Uzbechs and countless other unforgettable characters populate this often raucous odyssey. "But it's not for our brains to ponder these things," someone along Topolski's journey utters, mouthing an old Russian saying, "without vodka you can't figure it out." Ultimately Topolski escapes into Iran to join the Polish 2nd Corps which is being formed there to fight the Germans . . . but that's another story.

From the Publisher: I am only a part-time publisher as I have a full-time job elsewhere and would be more than happy to let a big-name publisher write this section. (Authors' Son.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Without Vodka: Adventures in Wartime Russia
Publisher: Steerforth
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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