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About The Book

Danylo Shumuk, a Ukrainian from the Volhynia region, was at one point Amnesty International's most "senior" prisoner of conscience, having been incarcerated in various prisons and labor camps for almost thirty-seven years. Life Sentence is his autobiography.

It describes the author's early life and his involvement with the communist movement under Polish rule. After the Soviet invasion of Western Ukraine in the autumn of 1939, Shumuk became disillusioned with communism. During the war, he joined the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which was engaged in a struggle to drive both German and Soviet occupants from Ukrainian soil. But in 1945, he was captured by Soviet troops and sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment).

Life Sentence gives a vivid portrayal of camp life: the factions, the intrigues, and the unprecedented challenge to the Soviet authorities that was mounted by the strike in the Norilsk area in 1953. Throughout the book, the character of Shumuk shines through. He remains a symbol of defiant challenge to a totalitarian regime.

About The Author

Contributing Authors

Reviews

  1. David Marples' review in The Ukrainian Weekly, Vol. 52, No. 53, 30 December 1984

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