The Soviet Jewish Writer Whose Masterpiece Was Banned for 200 Years
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In 1959, Soviet Jewish writer Vasily Grossman finished his magnum opus, the novel Life and Fate, an account of the Battle of Stalingrad during the Nazi invasion of the USSR and, simply, a masterpiece.
A year later, the KGB raided his flat, seized his manuscript, notes, and even his typewriter’s ribbon, and, citing the harm the novel could bring to the USSR, informed him that his book would not be published for over 200 years. Grossman, a lovely, gentle man with a sweet smile, aged rapidly. His hair grayed; he felt like he had been “strangled…in a dark corner.”