The dramatic story of Gene and Mark, two young Jews forced to flee their home in southern Poland in 1939, only to be arrested by Soviet authorities the following year and transported to labor camps north of the Arctic Circle. Near death from starvation, they were released after 18 months and traveled thousands of miles across the Soviet Union before finding refuge in a Cossack village in the Caucasus. They survived six months of Nazi occupation and were later drafted by a Polish brigade of the Red Army and participated in Soviet advance through Poland and into Germany, where Gene was seriously wounded and counted for dead.
Alan Elsner is a journalist and author based in Washington, DC. In 25 years working for Reuters News Service, he has covered the U.S. State Department, headed coverage of U.S. presidential campaigns and is currently their U.S. National Correspondent. He is author of “Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons”.