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Kolyma 1937


Nikolai Getman, "Gulag Prisoners"

100 words

I see your noble face behind barbed wire,
looking out at endless taiga, greeted
only by cold. The laughter of the liar
who put you there is still loud in your ears,
although in far-off Moscow now—he’s seated,
the hooked-nosed slayer of the highborn rich,
sadist and defiler of Slavic daughters,
egalitarian savant and snitch.

Who do you think will recall the martyrs,
the frightened faces and the countless tears,
the forgotten dead of Russia and Ukraine?
Who will write the history of their pain?
“You who live and hear,” your voice falters,
still so frightened after all these years.

From Leo Yankevich, Tikkun Olam and Other Poems [2]