Page 165. " He was at Buchenwald "
Survivors in Buchenwald Concentration Camp
Public DomainSurvivors in Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Buchenwald near Weimar in Germany was the first, and one of the largest, of the Nazi concentration camps.  Although it was not an extermination camp, the number of deaths there between 1937 and 1945 has been estimated at 56,545. 

From 1945 until 1950 it was used as an internment camp by the NKVD, the Soviet intelligence service and forerunner of the KGB.


Page 172. " We have a long way to go. Nearly to Görlitz . "
Position of Gorlitz within Germany
Public DomainPosition of Görlitz in Germany

 Görlitz is the easternmost town in Germany, and was part of Silesia until 1945 when the town was divided after the national borders were re-drawn.  The town straddled the Lusatian Neisse river, and the right bank ended up in Poland while the rest belonged to German Saxony.  In 1952, when the East German states were dissolved, it became part of the Dresden Berzik region.


Page 173. " Above them, suspended from the ceiling by three loops of wire, was a large red star made of plywood. "

Tribunals, a form of People's Courts, were a feature of Soviet socialism.  Consisting of three elected judges, or members, they had the power to make decisions and to enforce sentences.  They have their origin in the Troikas (meaning triumvirates in Russian) initiated by the Cheka but used extensively by the NKVD during the Stalinist period.

The five pointed red star became one of the best known symbols of communism.  Various suggestions as to its meaning have been put forward: the five points representing the five fingers on the hands of workers, or the five continents of the world.  It first became associated with Soviet communism during the Russian civil war (1917-1923), and was later adopted by the Eastern Bloc states after World War II.

Page 174. " she wore the kind of functional dark tunic favoured by Soviet wives "
Soviet women
Creative Commons AttributionSoviet women

Soviet women were not renowned for their elegance in the 1960s. This Soviet propaganda poster illustrates the type of badly-cut and unimaginative style that came to be associated with women from the Eastern Bloc. And the clothes shown here were specially selected to represent the best in Soviet clothing!

The caption reads: Long live the equal-rights-possessing women of the USSR!