The Universe Behind Barbed Wire by Myroslav Marynovych
This memoir, now in English translation, by a prominent Ukrainian dissident, offers a unique account of the entire postwar period, from the author's childhood in newly Soviet western Ukraine and coming of age within the Communist system to the collapse of the Soviet Union, concluding with his reflections on culpability and justice in the post-Soviet context. Marynovych's account of Ukrainian opposition in the 1960s and 1970s focuses on the burgeoning human rights movement, particularly the formation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, of which he was a founding member. He eloquently recalls his interactions with the Soviet oppressive system, including his arrest and trial, and paints a realistic picture of daily life in a Siberian prison camp and his internal exile in Kazakhstan.
This narrative, imbued with the author's deep Christian views, provides light on the critical role faith played for some participants in the Soviet human rights movement, a movement that has generally been perceived as having a secular bent. It also offers a new perspective on the complex role of Ukrainian dissidents within the larger Soviet human rights movement, as well as the interaction between human rights activists and other dissident groups in Soviet Ukraine.
Hardcover. 482 pages.