Surviving Stalin’s Labor Camps of WWII
Author Miriam Roza Bensman survived persecution, destruction, and death under the Nazis and again under the Russian Communists. But her greatest fear is that she sees it happening all over again in the United States.
Bensman told her story to the East Baton Rouge Republican Women’s Club at Drusilla Seafood last Thursday. Now a resident of Baton Rouge, Bensman has written her story in the book, A Glimpse of Paradise. It is illustrated by well-known Baton Rouge artist David Norwood.
Bensman said the Nazis invaded her town in Poland and seized Jewish families, beat them, and forced them across the river into territory controlled by Russian Communists.
There her mother, father, and sister were herded into railroad box cars, where they were kept locked for weeks with little food or water and no sanitation. Everyday, bodies would be removed from the cars.
Then, like 25 million Russians, they were forced onto collective farms where they performed forced labor for the Communist state. They were slaves, and for their toil from sunrise to sunset, they received nothing, not even food. Everything they ate, they had to produce on small private plots at night. Millions were worked to death and millions more died of starvation and disease, she said.
“The current state of America brings back memories of my life in Soviet Russia under Joseph Stalin, one of the most murderous dictators in history,” she said. She recalled the death of her father, who contracted typhus and died because there was no medicine. She too got typhus and lingered for weeks between life and death with no medicine.
“Somehow I survived,” she said, “perhaps to bear witness to the evils of Communism. Shoes were a great blessing, but lives were worthless. The rulers had total control over us. The students were taught that Russia was the wealthiest and best country on earth. Lies were essential to Marxism. Class warfare was the tactic. Take from some and give to others. An ideology such as this can only survive on lies.”
“Under Stalin, God was rejected, and we saw the personality cult of the leader. Under Obama, we are seeing much of the same. Barbara Walters referred to him as the Messiah. You see the complete destruction of the truth,” she said.
“The lies are endless but include shovel-ready jobs. Benghazi was caused by a movie. If you like your health care, you can keep it. He violates the Constitution daily. He changes laws passed by Congress. He says he has a pen and a phone. He can make whatever laws he desires. His behavior reminds me of Soviet lawlessness. America is the hope of the world if we can somehow preserve it.”
Mrs. Bensman is available for speaking engagements. She can be reached at 225-766-6228.