In Austria, The Fall Of an Extremist

There are few political obituaries more enjoyable to write than that of Joerg Haider, so I won’t resist the temptation: As of yesterday, Haider, the Austrian politician who came bouncing onto the political scene a few years ago wearing Spandex bicycle shorts, denouncing immigrants and spouting carefully crafted nuggets of Anschluss nostalgia, is officially a spent force. Continue reading “In Austria, The Fall Of an Extremist”

After the Gulag

  • The Gulag Survivor: Beyond the Soviet System,
    Nanci Adler, Transaction, 290 pp.
  • Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia,
    by Catherine Merridale, Penguin, 402 pp.
  • Reabilitatsiya: Kak Eto Bylo (Rehabilitation: How It Was),
    by Andrei Artizov, Yuri Sigachev, Vyacheslav Khlopov, and Ivan Shevchuk,
    Moscow: International Democracy Foundation, 502 pp.

In 1955, the Russian writer Yuri Dombrovsky returned home to Moscow after twenty-five years in Soviet camps and exile—twenty-five years “out there”—to discover that he had not, after all, been completely forgotten. He was handed a rehabilitation document, given a grudging pension, assigned a single room in a communal apartment. Although few of his works would ever be published again, he was allowed to rejoin the Writer’s Union. Most of his colleagues there shunned him. Continue reading “After the Gulag”