Urszula Muskus (1903-1972) spent sixteen years as a prisoner of Stalinist Russia. Torn from her industrious, middle class life following her husband’s arrest, she was packed into a rail wagon and sent eastwards into Kazakhstan and Siberia. Cast into an alien world of political prisoners and depraved criminals she had to learn to survive to the best of her ability.
The Long Bridge was written over a period of fourteen years while she lived with her daughter in London, and translated after her death. Rich in stories of love and parting, long train journeys and forced marches on foot, other women prisoners, violent guards and bandit molls, it comes from a strong spirit who looked on her world with an unwavering eye.
Urszula’s is a unique voice speaking of terrible times that are still close to our own. She brings an uplifting view of the world and human nature born of her natural compassion and struggle to survive.