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Secrets and Spies

Mara Moustafine

Harbin in north China was once a vibrant Russian community. But by the mid-1930s, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria drove many Russians to seek refuge elsewhere. Those who fled back to Russia became victims of the Stalinist purges, accused of being Japanese spies. The author was determined to trace the scattered community.
Secrets and Spies
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Publisher Description

Harbin in north China was once the heart of a vibrant Russian community of diverse cultural and political origins. But by the mid-1930s, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria drove many Russians to seek refuge elsewhere. For the thousands who returned to their motherland in the Soviet Union, it was a bitter homecoming. At the height of Stalin's purges, they were arrested as Japanese spies. Some were shot, others sent to labour camp, few survived. Among them were members of the author's family. Driven by curiosity and armed with churzpah, Mara Moustafine fronted up at the headquarters of the former KGB in post Soviet Moscow and asked for help to discover what had happened. She got more than she bargained for. The family's secret police files, retrieved from archives at opposite ends of Russia, revealed the horror of the purges as well as startling secrets about their lives in turbulent years in China and the Soviet Union. What was fact? What was fiction? Written with sensitivity and humour, Secrets and Spies skilfully weaves personal and political, past and present to give an insider's perspective on the life of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

Author Biography

  • Put forth for generic advertising in Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and Good Reading

Prizes

Winner of NSW Premier's Literary Awards: Community Relations Commission Award 2003.

Product Details

Author
Mara Moustafine
Publisher
Random House Australia
Year
2002
ISBN-10
1740510917
ISBN-13
9781740510912
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
2002-11-01
Subtitle
The Harbin Files
Country of Publication
Australia
Illustrations
illustrations, maps, portraits
Pages
312