One of the most tragic episodes of World War II—the forced repatriation of two million Russian POWs to certain doom.
At the end of the Second World War, a secret Moscow agreement that was confirmed at the 1945 Yalta Conference ordered the forcible repatriation of millions of Soviet citizens that had fallen into German hands, including prisoners of war, refugees, and forced laborers. For many, the order was a death sentence, as citizens returned to find themselves executed or placed back in forced-labor camps. Tolstoy condemns the complicity of the British, who “ardently followed” the repatriation orders.
“Finally the history of a cruel betrayal on the part of the West of millions of helpless people is being told and exposed. Exposure can no longer save any of the victims, but it can be a warning for the future.”—Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“One of the darkest blots on the British record is the forcible repatriation of very large numbers of Soviet citizens at the end of the Second World War. Some committed suicide rather than return. Many were murdered the moment they reached Soviet soil. Many more died in camps in appalling conditions. This is harrowing reading not only because of the suffering of the victims but also because of the cold blindness of the officials and politicians who sent them to their fate.” —The Times (London)
“A sordid picture of British hypocrisy and complicity with Stalinist terror. Passionate and copiously documented.” —Newsweek
“A full and profoundly disturbing account. He seems to have inherited a gift from Leo Tolstoy.” —The Economist
“Majestic and harrowing. No humane person could fail to be disturbed.” —The Spectator
Nikolai Tolstoy is a highly respected historian and biographer. He is a White Russian and heir to the senior line of the Tolstoy family. His great-grandfather was a cousin of the world-famous novelist. In compiling Victims of Yalta, Tolstoy spent five years of intensive research traveling all over Europe to interview survivors and investigate sites of repatriation operations. Tolstoy lives with his wife in Somerset, England.