Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 4

This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 4 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here.

During the night, Krymov is transported to the Lubyanka. Deliriously walking down the endless hallways filled with doors and “government air,” thoughts race through a sleep-deprived Krymov’s mind.

The narrator describes how he first sets foot in the building, how “The door opened. He entered an X-ray world of stifling official air and glaring official light. It was a world that existed quite independently of the war, outside it and above it,” (p. 621). As one of the most well-known symbols of repression and frequently home to secret police during its tenure, the Lubyanka truly did stand outside of time and space for many people. Those who went through the doors were often never seen again. It was under this type of glaring official light that interrogators frequently “produced” their evidence.