[Epub] ↠ White Nights: The Story of a Prisoner in Russia Author Menachem Begin – Dcrjservices.co.uk


10 thoughts on “White Nights: The Story of a Prisoner in Russia

  1. says:

    Told with cool, incisive prose, White Nights is Begin s own harrowing account of his 1940 1941 detention by the Soviet Union s NKVD Decisively, it is a memoir, the first of Begin s two the other is about Etzel s revolt against the British Mandate , though interspersed throughout is also some political analysis of the Soviet Union s tyrannical regime and the culture of abject fear it engendered in its population I read this text after I was inspired by Yehuda Avner s depiction of the great Jew Told with cool, incisive prose, White Nights is Begin s own harrowing account of his 1940 1941 detention by the Soviet Union s NKVD Decisively, it is a memoir, the first of Begin s two the other is about Etzel s revolt against the British Mandate , though interspersed throughout is also some political analysis of the Soviet Union s tyrannical regime and the culture of abject fear it engendered in its population I read this text after I was inspired by Yehuda Avner s depiction of the great Jewish leader in The Prime Ministers, as one instilled with a keen sense of Jewish history and Jewish destiny Begin s emphasis on hadar Jewish pride, royalty, politeness, honor in addition to his insistence on self defense and the use of force to restore a Jewish national homeland in the Land of Israel intrigued me Who was this political leader, grown up scrawny and short in Brisk, Poland, who led the Etzel s underground s revolt in British Palestine, spearheaded the Israeli government s opposition for almost 30 years, struck peace as Prime Minister with Sadat in Egypt in 1979than any previous administration could accomplish and whose legacy for unashamed Jewish pride reverberates unto this day I wanted to start an investigation Who was this man with iron clad Zionist resolve, the head of Beitar Poland, the eloquent orator who followed Jabotinsky s Revisionist rejection of the labor and socialist Zionist establishment only to overtake his mentor in implementing his ideals Why haven t American Jews really heard so much of him In the English speaking world, why does his name seem to have been relegated to the annals of history As the leader of the Opposition for many years in Israel, why did he connectwith the Mizrachi constituency that the Ashkenazi one, given his bona fides They say that if you want to learn about someone, you need to visit their roots Certainly to understand Begin s political ambitions, we must first understand his Zionist upbringing, by Ze ev Dov and Chasia Begin, alongside his two younger siblings Rachel and Herzl Then we would look to his jump by the instruction of his father to switch from the Zionist socialist HaShomer HaTzair youth organization to Beitar, one spearheaded by Jabotinsky andsupportive of physical Jewish self defense Then we would continue to analyze Begin s rise through Beitar, eventually becoming Poland s head of the organization, and look at his detention by the NKVD, marriage to Aliza Begin, aliyah to Israel, underground fighting against the British, aBegin had a very full life indeed But White Nights isn t about all that Without an ounce of self pity, it s simply about his detention and interrogation in the enormous NKVD machine In short, Begin was detained in 1940 in Vilna, and brought in for questioning at the Lukiskes Prison, where he stayed some time Eventually he was transferred North, to the northern Russian tundra, where temperatures routinely reached many degrees below zero, where he performed hard labor carrying iron and building railway tracks, until Hitler broke his blood pact with Stalin in 1941, the Soviets allied with the Poles, and all Polish POWs were henceforth released This is the story, and Begin writes it with a certain wit and matter of fact tone that makes the reader wonder just how the prisoner maintained his sense of humor throughout all the terrible frostbite and hunger and thirst and sleepless nights But he did nonetheless, and as readers we benefit from his strength and courage Overall, Begin s memoir gave me an incredible appreciation for his struggle and his constant, unabashed hope in liberation His moral strength and clarity, which he maintained in the face of Soviet interrogators, even at the cost of sleep, food, and human interaction was inspiring indeed Begin was willing to die for his ideal In one incident, after many long white nights of questioning, Begin is asked to sign a page admitting that he was guilty of having been the chairman of the Betar organization in Poland In an astonishing display of nerve, Begin refuses to sign He insists that the citizen interrogator cross out the word guilty, reading instead that I admit that I was the chairman For the interrogator, the words are one in the same, and eventually he relents But to Begin, hadar Jewish dignity and pride are everything In a word, we might say that it was Begin s sincerity ok, and imagination vision that captured a generation of hopeless Jews to return to Israel and fight for independence In White Nights, Begin s sincerity is on full display With humility and deference to the Jewish tradition, Begin viewed himself not as an individual leader but one link in the 200 generation Jewish chain stretching back to Abraham In many ways, I believe that he derived his strength and pride from the greatness of the Jewish tradition And, concluding the memoir, Begin gives us a window into the pleasure he experienced during the birth of the State of Israel when he announced as much to his thousands of Etzel members who had been tirelessly waging war It wasthan a haha, I told you so to all the Soviet interrogators who had told him that he would never live to see a Jewish state, who told him he would die in the transit camp on the banks of the Pechora, freeze to death as a nameless bunch of bones in the white snowit wasthan thatIn a word, this was redemption


  2. says:

    A very valuable read Not the life changing book that it was promised to be by the person who recommended it to me, but still worth it Great as a good overview personal history, but it could have beendescriptive if it was aiming to educate re Soviet history.


  3. says:

    SuperbThis is as penetrating and vivid as Ivan Denisov moving depiction of Stalinist terror by Israeli hero and Prime Minister


  4. says:

    Recounts his Russian internment Fascinating read Brave man.


  5. says:

    Helped me understand Begin and his development into the person and leader he became To be honest it is plodding but worth it.


  6. says:

    ,, ,, ,, , ,, ,, ,, ,, , , ,80


  7. says:

    I really found this book very insightful I haven t read much about the Soviet prison camps just the Nazi ones It is so sad what human beings can do to each other I wish I hadof an understanding of all the politics involved between all the countries and leaders at the time The ending of the book left me a little unsatisfied because it doesn t say how he eventually gets to Israel or if he is reunited with his wife I would have also loved to hear what ended up happening to the different I really found this book very insightful I haven t read much about the Soviet prison camps just the Nazi ones It is so sad what human beings can do to each other I wish I hadof an understanding of all the politics involved between all the countries and leaders at the time The ending of the book left me a little unsatisfied because it doesn t say how he eventually gets to Israel or if he is reunited with his wife I would have also loved to hear what ended up happening to the different people you meet throughout the book


  8. says:

    Amazing book about the unknown story of Menahem begin in the Soviet camps.In his youth Begin was arrested by the Russian authorities as a Zionist leader, he was sent his jail This testimony is well written, highly fascinating and shows the strengths of idealism for the young Jewish leader.


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  • Hardcover
  • 240 pages
  • White Nights: The Story of a Prisoner in Russia
  • Menachem Begin
  • English
  • 06 October 2019
  • 0060102896

About the Author: Menachem Begin

Menachem Begin was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel He is considered one of Israel s most extraordinary individuals, playing a key role in the creation of Israel and its politics afterwards.When he was young Begin and his family fled the Nazis He escaped to Vilna and became the head of the Betar movement, a Revisionist Zionist youth movement He was arrested in 1940 and detained in Lukiskes Prison, under the false assumption that he was spying for Britain He was interrogated and tortured, and stayed in prison until May 1942, at which time he joined the Polish Army of Anders Some time later, he was sent to Palestine and joined the Jewish national movement, soon becoming the head of the underground Igun Etzl Movement.Begin s most significant achievement as prime minister was the signing of a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, for which he and Anwar Sadat shared the Nobel Prize for Peace In the wake of the Camp David Accords, the Israel Defense Forces IDF withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula, which was captured from Egypt in the Six Day War Begin authorized the bombing of the Osirak nuclear plant in Iraq and the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 to fight PLO strongholds there, igniting the 1982 Lebanon War.Depressed by the death of his wife Aliza in November 1982, he gradually withdrew from public life, until his resignation in October 1983.