In 1939, Yitzkhak Erlichson, a nineteen-year-old Jew, fled the German occupation of Wierzbnik, his hometown in Poland, for the Soviet Union, where he spent the next four years. His escape placed him out of the reach of the Nazis but did not spare him the ordeal of prison and labor camps. Though Erlichson had hoped to find justice and brotherhood in Russia, he was arrested as an “English spy” immediately after his arrival there. When he attempted to join the Polish army that was forming in the Soviet Union he was turned away because he was Jewish. After the war, he returned to Poland and discovered that none of his family had survived the Holocaust.
By 1947, Erlichson was living in Paris, and, in 1953, published his memoir, Mayne fir yor in Sovyet Rusland (My Four Years in Soviet Russia) under the pen name, Yitzkhok Edison. The book is now available in an English translation by Maurice Wolfthal published by Academic Studies Press.
Read an excerpt from the book here.
The original Yiddish edition of this book is available in the YIVO Library as:
Mayne fir yor in Soṿyeṭ-Rusland
מײנע פיר יאר אין סאװיעט־רוסלאנד
Jerzy Edison עדיסאן, יצחק.
Pariz : o. fg.; פאריז : אפ״ג 1953