Books: Survivor of the Purge

THE ACCUSED (518 pp.)—Alexander Weissberg—Simon & Schuster ($4).

Alexander Weissberg, an Austrian physicist, was in charge of the construction of an experimental plant in Kharkov. Every morning when he swept off to work in his chauffeur-driven car he would pass the prison of Kholodnaya Gora and "avert my gaze" from the distressing spectacle of "prisoners clinging to the bars." But one morning in 1937, Weissberg was unable to avert his gaze: he was clinging to the bars himself.

Weissberg's arrest was part of the "Great Purge" that followed the first Moscow trials. The G.P.U. gave...

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