"Thanks to the unrelenting efforts of Memorial, the Ostarbeiter are no longer forgotten victims. OST is a valuable and important history; it is, moreover, a testament to revealing and recording uncomfortable truths, at a time when the myth of Russia is once again being remade, and attacks on those who would deny that myth increase." - TLS
Georgia Thomson joins us from London. She is a unique guest as she has translated two essential books on Soviet Union history from first-hand accounts called "My Father's Letters," Correspondence from the Soviet Gulag and OST, Letters, Memoirs, and stories from Ostarbeiter in Nazi Germany.
These books have helped me better understand my grandmother's story for the book I am writing today.
Georgia studied in Paris and got her first-class honors degree in Russian and French.
She's lived in Moscow and is now based out of London.
You'll hear our conversation on the History of the Soviet Union and what it can teach us about humanity, the books she translated, and how it corresponds with my grandmother's story.
OST Memorial book translated by Georgia Thomson
Winner of the Jan Michalski Prize 2021
"An Ostarbeiter was an ‘Eastern Worker’, rounded up by Nazi Germany from the captured territories in Central and Eastern Europe. By the end of the war, it is estimated that approximately 3 million to 5.5. million Ostarbeiter were forced to work in guarded work camps, many of them younger than 16 years old – at which age they would be conscripted for military service. Ostarbeiter worked 12 hours a day on starvation on rations; as ethnic Slavs, they were treated with extraordinary brutality by Nazi guards who considered them ‘sub-human’ by the standards of the Aryan master race. They were distinguished by the label ‘OST’ sewn onto their uniforms.
OST is based on over two hundred personal accounts, hundreds of hours of interviews, and over 350,000 letters. This important publication will ensure that the voices of the brutalised and displaced Ostarbeiter will not be forgotten."
- OST Book
For Georgia Thomson
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