Eugenia Ginzburg


Eugenia Ginzburg (1906-77) was born in Moscow but grew up in Kazan, a major provincial city. Her family was Jewish – her father was a pharmacist. After teacher training she took a degree in history; soon she was assistant professor and a full member of the Communist Party. She married when she was 20 and had a son; then, after her divorce, in 1930 she married a Party official, Pavel Aksyonov and in 1932 had another son. But in 1937, during the Great Purge, she was expelled from the Party and sent to the Gulag in the Russian Far East. Released in 1949, she remained in exile in Kolyma where she married a doctor, Anton Walter, and adopted a daughter, Tonya; her second son Vasily joined them (her first son died in the siege of Leningrad). She was ‘rehabilitated’ in 1955, lived in Lvov, and after her husband’s death, in Moscow, where she wrote two volumes of memoirs. Into the Whirlwind, which could not be published in the Soviet Union, came out in Italy (in Russian) and in English in 1967; Within the Whirlwind was published in Italy (in Russian) in 1979 and in English in 1981.  

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