The little-known story of US citizens trying to escape the Depression
By Adam Hochschild
Mountainous Kolyma, only a few hundred miles west of the Bering Strait, is the coldest inhabited area on earth. During Stalin’s rule, some 2 million prisoners were sent there to mine the rich deposits of gold that lie beneath the rocky, frozen soil. In 1991, when researching a book about how Russians were coming to terms with the Stalin era, I travelled to the region to see some of the old camps of Kolyma, legendary as the most deadly part of the gulag, some of whose survivors I had interviewed.
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Americans in the gulag