Stalin's Witnesses

Stalin's Witnesses

4.08 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


Vilna, the Russian Empire, 1905. En route to deliver a secret pamphlet entrusted to him by his elder brothers, a young boy falls into the clutches of the Czar’s secret police. Another decade will pass before the Crown gives way, not to liberally-minded revolutionaries like Vladimir Romm, the boy now a young man, but to the pitiless disciples of an embittered lawyer named Lenin. For the next three-quarters of a century, Marxism in its cruelest form will rule over Russia. Returning to Vilna during the winter of 1918 for the first time since his youth, Romm finds it occupied by Polish troops. He takes charge of a Communist militia and leads the Red Army to a small yet significant win for the fledgling Soviet state. As World War I yields to an uneasy peace, Romm joins Soviet intelligence. He is posted under various guises to Germany, France, Japan and Geneva. In 1934 Romm is named Izvestia‘s inaugural correspondent to Washington where he is given orders to bring key Americans to the Soviet side. But as his career reaches its zenith, Romm is suddenly recalled, arrested and forced to serve with four others as ‘witnesses’ at the notorious 1937 Moscow show trial. Stalin’s Witnesses is a novel. While it sticks closely to the historical record, the witnesses speak in their own voices, guiding our journey through a tangle of fascinating events to tease out the underlying truths. It’s their story, and it helped set the stage for our own. show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 404 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 30.48mm | 680.39g
  • Knox Robinson Publishing Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint ed.
  • 1908483385
  • 9781908483386
  • 1,621,965

Review quote

"Wachtel's lively fictional account offers a fresh look at the cruelty of Stalin's repression from the vantage point of one of its victims, an honest communist official and spy cast in the role of witness to sabotage at one of the three show trials of the Great Terror. The fascinating life story of Vladimir Romm encapsulates much of the Soviet experience, and the reader's natural sympathy with this attractive figure gives his cruel fate added poignancy. A powerful indictment of Stalinism and a great read besides!" --Peter H. Solomon, Jr., Professor of Political Science and Criminology, University of Toronto, author of "Soviet Criminal Justice under Stalin (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies Series)" and "Courts And Transition In Russia: The Challenge Of Judicial Reform"show more

About Julius Wachtel

Julius (Jay) Wachtel was born in Italy. A decade later he and his parents, both Holocaust survivors, moved to the United States and settled in Los Angeles. After serving in Vietnam, he embarked on a career in federal law enforcement. He holds a PhD in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany and now lectures in criminal justice at California State University more

Rating details

12 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 42% (5)
4 25% (3)
3 33% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

Why did the victims confess at the 1937 show trials? This fascinating book supplies answers. An illuminating read where Julius Wachtel recaptures a world that has since passed but sustains interest as the characters, places and events come alive!show more
by Christopher Edwards
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X