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Survivor from an Unknown War: The Life of Isakjan Narzikul [Hardcover]

Stephen Lee Crane
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)


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Book Description

June 1999 0788182706 978-0788182709 1ST
This book takes you across the borders of time and distance in order to view the world of a half century ago from the perspective of the other side. This was the side that lived in Central Asia under Russian domination; the side that lost to all parties including the Allies, the Germans, and the Communists; the side that history has forgotten. This book will grab you with its suspense and inform you with its incredible revelations.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Review

As the story unfolded I came to know and love Isakjan . This was a man who grew up in the most difficult of times, and he survived impossible circumstances while maintaining a great and dignified human nature. The politics of this book are clear and honest. Isakjan makes political comments that appear to be as open and fair as any I have ever heard. The fact that the author wrote this book from years of conversations with his subject makes this biography even more compelling. The author appears to have done some extensive research to verify the accuracy of this story and the footnotes and extensive bibliography give me confidence in the factual information that is provided. I thought that I knew about WWII, but this book provides vision for the political events that are being played out today. I think I will read it again, and then send a copy to a friend. --Eric Stahl, reviewer

Survivor from an unknown war (Narzikul Isakjan) This book is about a Turkistani from Kazakhstani central Russia. He starts from the most humble beginnings. He wends himself into amilitary school, then as an officer in the Russian Red Army. With only modest combat experience after Germany attacked the USSR, he was captured and placed into a German POW camp. The Nazis then formed a regiment of Central Asian Moslems to fight for Germany, thereby achieving their independence. He became a captain there leading 200 soldiers. They deserted as a unit after perfidy bny his leaders. He had befriended a hungarian family and eventually married one of the three sisters. He made a life with them after the war rather than returning to his homeland. He was exposed,taken by the German government and placed in a Displaced Person (DP)camp. He escaped the DP camp and made it to the U.S. He remarried and formed a machine shop business in Philadephia. His escape from a German refugee camp explains one of the most appalling events in US history. Stalin negotiated with Roosevelt at the Yalta Conference for all Russian nationals that were DP's to be rounded up and returned to their homelands. For hundreds of thousands or maybe millions, this meant Soviet slave labor, Siberia or death. This was because the Germans took millions for slave labor during the war causing their displacement. Stalin considered Russians in the German army as there by treason. Most of the Stan nations rebelled against the Soviets and their citizens found themselves as German POWs or inductees into the German army. The US had agreed therefore to round up DPs across Europe and return them to the Gulag Archipelago or death. Stalin's laws condemned all to death for treason against the Soviets. The DP's usually would not return voluntarily and revolted against being loaded into trucksby the Americans for delivery to the Red Army. The US soldiers forced them into the trucks and battered many with their gun butts to load them. Many of the DP's slit their throats or wrists in suicide attempts or otherwise tried to change their fate. This went on for some time. In this respect, the US effectively became the Gastapo of the Red Army. The writer here has done an excellent job. He deals with the physical acts as the 'plot' unfolds. He also deals effectively with the psychological factors driving the life and the story. This is an excellent story that is well told. It is well worth the money. I recommend it. --Jack Williams, reviewer

What an incredible book! In addition to a moving presentation of a fascinating life, the book opened my eyes to hidden momentous folds in the fabric of history. We have all read history as dictated by the winners and explained by the losers. Mr. Crane shows what those squeezed in the middle have to say. --Rebecca Matthias, author --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

This book takes you across the borders of time and distance in order to view the world of a half century ago from the perspective of the other side. This was the side that lived in Central Asia under Russian domnination; the side that lost to all parties including the Allies, the Germans, and the Communists; the side that history has forgotten. This book will grab you with its suspense and inform you with its incredible revelations. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co; 1ST edition (June 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0788182706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0788182709
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,525,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book would make a great movie. February 7, 2001
Format:Paperback
As the story unfolded I came to know and love Isakjan . This was a man who grew up in the most difficult of times, and he survived impossible circumstances while maintaining a great and dignified human nature.
The politics of this book are clear and honest. Isakjan makes political comments that appear to be as open and fair as any I have ever heard. The fact that the author wrote this book from years of conversations with his subject makes this biography even more compelling. The author appears to have done some extensive research to verify the accuracy of this story and the footnotes and extensive bibliography give me confidence in the factual information that is provided.
I thought that I knew about WWII, but this book provides vision for the political events that are being played out today. I think I will read it again, and then send a copy to a friend.
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Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPELLBINDING DRAMA WRAPPED IN ASTONISHING HISTORY June 16, 1999
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book for the Soviet and World War II history. It opened my eyes to some of the most complex, important and unknown aspects of that period. I loved reading "Survivor" because the subject, Jay Narzikul, led one of the more interesting lives of our era, replete with staggering world events, love, dirty and clean politics, deceit, adventure, heroes and fools, murder, freedom, and the pursuit of justice. The story unfolds like the best of novels.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an incredible book January 15, 2001
Format:Paperback
What an incredible book! In addition to a moving presentation of a fascinating life, the book opened my eyes to hidden momentous folds in the fabric of history. We have all read history as dictated by the winners and explained by the losers. Mr. Crane shows what those squeezed in the middle have to say.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wms review January 7, 2012
By Last-
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wms (Jack R. Williams) Review

Survivor from an unknown war (Narzikul Isakjan)
This book is about a Turkistani from Kazakhstani central Russia. He starts from the most humble beginnings. He wends himself into a military school, then as an officer in the Russian Red Army. With only modest combat experience after Germany attacked the USSR, he was captured and placed into a German POW camp. The Nazis then formed a regiment of Central Asian Moslems to fight for Germany, thereby achieving their independence. He became a captain there leading 200 soldiers. They deserted as a unit after perfidy bny his leaders. He had befriended a hungarian family and eventually married one of the three sisters. He made a life with them after the war rather than returning to his homeland. He was exposed,taken by the German government and placed in a Displaced Person (DP)camp. He escaped the DP camp and made it to the U.S. He remarried and formed a machine shop business in Philadephia.

His escape from a German refugee camp explains one of the most appalling events in US history. Stalin negotiated with Roosevelt at the Yalta Conference for all Russian nationals that were DP's to be rounded up and returned to their homelands. For hundreds of thousands or maybe millions, this meant Soviet slave labor, Siberia or death. This was because the Germans took millions for slave labor during the war causing their displacement. Stalin considered Russians in the German army as there by treason. Most of the Stan nations rebelled against the Soviets and their citizens found themselves as German POWs or inductees into the German army. The US had agreed therefore to round up DPs across Europe and return them to the Gulag Archipelago or death. Stalin's laws condemned all to death for treason against the Soviets.
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