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Nadezhda Mandel'shtam 1899 - 1980

Wife of the dissident poet Osip Mandel'shtam

Married since 1922 to the famous poet Osip Mandel'shtam, she shared with him the precarious and continuously threatened life, standing by his side when sent to confinement, from the arrest to his death in the GULag (1938). She survived to him for over forty years, during which she consecrated her life to the preservation of the poet's work and memory, working for his rehabilitation. With this intent, she wrote her Memoirs, which are of considerable historical-literary interest: published in Russian between 1970 and 1987 in three volumes, they were also proposed in Italian in partial editions: L'epoca dei lupi (1971) and Le mie memorie (1972)

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The difficult defense of human dignity

In communist totalitarianism

The Gulag as the organized system of soviet labor camps was a powerful instrument for the extermination of entire groups of citizens by the communist totalitarian regime, in the USSR since half of the Twenties and then by emulation of the other countries of the communist bloc, both in Europe and in the Far East.
Through terror, the regime exerted an iron grip over the population who completely submitted to the regime. 

For those who opposed the regime the question was not about risking their lives to rescue other human beings, but to save their true identity at the cost of their life. Through this, indirectly, other lives were saved and this courageous kind of moral resistance contributed to the collapse of the Soviet empire, which collapsed at the end of 1989.