Cover image for A hand in the darkness : the autobiography of a refusenik
A hand in the darkness : the autobiography of a refusenik
Nudel, Ida.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Warner Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
314 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Translated from the Russian.

Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS135.R95 N825 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Told in plain, direct prose, this gripping story of a Jewish refusenik's efforts to immigrate to Israel is a testimony to human will. Aware from her youth of Russian anti-Semitism, Ida Nudel began to secretly study Hebrew long before Israel became her goal. Once her family had been issued visas--hers had been refused--she stepped up her campaign and ended up spending a painful four-year hiatus in Siberia. During her 17-year crusade, Nudel put her tireless energy to work helping other Jews, in prison and out. Many were granted exit visas while her application languished. Finally, miraculously, she and her dog made their exit in style: in Armand Hammer's private jet. The story ends in victory, save for those Nudel left behind. ~--Pat Monaghan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Human rights activist and Jewish emigration movement leader Nudel chronicles her 16-year struggle to leave the Soviet Union in order to join her family in Israel. ``A moving personal story,'' said PW. ``Her courage and indomitable spirit shine through in this memoir.'' (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Nudel's personal tale of deprivation, blatant anti-Semitism, and hardship began in 1971 when this Soviet Jewish dissident applied for a visa to emigrate to Israel. Soviet authorities harassed her, finally jailing her for her participation in human rights demonstrations in Moscow. By 1978 Nudel was sent into internal exile in a squalor-ridden village in Siberia. Luckily, her case received worldwide attention, and as a result, Armand Hammer, the American industrialist with close connections to the Soviet hierarchy, was able to extract Nudel from the clutches of the Soviet secret police and fly her to Israel in 1986. Especially detailed is her description of how the Soviet bureaucracy used popular anti-Semitism to build support for the government and found a ready-made scapegoat in the dissident community. Recommended for a wide audience.-- Sanford R. Silverburg, Catawba Coll., Salisbury, N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-- Nudel's earliest memories are of World War II: her father fighting in the Soviet army, the notification of his death, and being uprooted from her Moscow home with her mother and sister. Her later life was that of a typical educated Soviet with little interest in politics until she acquired a radio and began to listen to the Voice of Israel broadcasts. Realizing a drive to live in Israel, Nudel and her family applied for exit visas, but she was refused. The KGB harassed her, once imprisoning her for a few weeks. Her detention increased her awareness of the Jewish political prisoners held in Soviet jails, and she began her efforts to aid them and their families. This autobiography details Nudel's work and creates a sympathy in readers for the refuseniks in the Soviet society. Enlightening and thought-provoking.-- Diane Goheen, Topeka West High School, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.