The Long Bridge
Out of the Gulags
Urszula Muskus (1903-1972) spent sixteen years as a prisoner of Stalinist Russia. Torn from her industrious, middle class life following her husband’s arrest, she was packed into a rail wagon and sent eastwards into Kazakhstan and Siberia. Cast into an alien world of political prisoners and depraved criminals she had to learn to survive to the best of her ability.
The Long Bridge was written over a period of fourteen years while she lived with her daughter in London, and translated after her death. Rich in stories of love and parting, long train journeys and forced marches on foot, other women prisoners, violent guards and bandit molls, it comes from a strong spirit who looked on her world with an unwavering eye.
Urszula’s is a unique voice speaking of terrible times that are still close to our own. She brings an uplifting view of the world and human nature born of her natural compassion and struggle to survive.
‘This book is truly inspirational reading. I have never been so deeply moved by any book. I couldn't put it down.’
- Donald Wilson
‘If books are important, this is one of the most important. To have lost it would have been a tragedy. ’
‘The Long Bridge is a wonderful book, much more than another retelling of the horrors of the gulag. It is, of course, a historical document, but it is also a psychological study, a development of a philosophy, and an inspiration.’
- Irene Tomaszewski, recipient of the Lech Walesa Media Award 2011.
‘The Long Bridge is a wonderful, and dreadful, insight into conditions in the gulag. And what an inspiring and beautiful character your grandmother was. I hope she becomes as well known as Anne Frank. ’
-Sister Maria Edith, diocesan hermit of the diocese of Argyll and the Isles.
‘The book is an absolute gem, not only for telling the story of what went on in Stalin's Russia but also and primarily for showing how Urszula coped with it all. And not only coped with it but seemed to have come out of it with true wisdom and spiritual insight.’