Photograph of Soviet Russian writer and journalist Vasily Grossman.

Vasily Grossman

(1905 - 1964)

Vasily Grossman worked in his midtwenties as a mine-safety inspector and as a chemistry teacher before publishing in 1934 “In the Town of Berdichev,” a short story that caused Isaac Babel to exclaim, “Our Yid capital has been seen through new eyes.” During World War II, Grossman reported for a Red Army newspaper and spent over a thousand days on the front lines. In 1944 he published the first account of a Nazi extermination camp, interviewing peasants as well as forty survivors; his report, “The Hell of Treblinka,” was later used as evidence at the Nuremberg trials.

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