President Roosevelt was weak and tired upon his return from the Yalta Conference. In his last major speech, reporting on the results of the meeting, he acknowledged - for the first time - his polio-caused leg braces. He called them "ten pounds of steel."
Scholars still debate whether the president's health impaired his judgment at Yalta, the event which marks the beginning of the Cold War. How else, historians wonder, are we to understand the secret “deals” which the West made with Joseph Stalin? How else does one explain the agreed-to partition of Germany, after the war?
The impact of Yalta was more far-reaching than FDR could have imagined. East Germany was not the only country to come under Soviet influence. So did many other Eastern European nations. Some of them created prisoner of war camps resembling the Soviet GULAG.
What was the GULAG? What other countries had similar forced-labor camps? Were children part of them? Was it possible to escape?
In this story behind the film (I am David) and Ann Holm’s book on which it is based (North to Freedom), meet individuals, such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Janusz Bardach, who endured life in the GULAG. Examine the paintings of a forced-labor-camp survivor, Nikolai Getman. Learn about the kolkhoz, collective farmers forced to carry out five-year agricultural plans.
Take a virtual tour of Solovetski Monastery, the first Soviet labor camp (which Solzhenitsyn called the “mother of the GULAG”). Learn how, and when, forced-labor camps began in other communist countries, like Bulgaria. Read excerpts of survivors’ stories and see pictures of the building projects which they accomplished. And ... take a virtual journey to many of the places which David visited on his path to freedom.
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