It was a stunning story to read.
How can one person endure 18 years of prison in some of the harshest conditions imaginable? First in a fledgling Russian system, then in a cut out ice cave at the edges of a banished Siberia.
The story is of Victor Herman. An American prisoner of Russia during the years of Stalin and WWII. He began as a boy with a relentless drive- one that would have earned him heroic fame had he remained in the US- who became a man within the walls a hopeless Russian prison system.
It was abysmal. Reading about the conditions that he endured. A system that was purposely designed to eventually kill each of its inhabitants. One where the work was unrelenting and mind numbing. Where the food was non-existent and the daily grind was made to drive a person to insanity.
Yet, Victor Herman lived to tell his story of perseverance. Of endurance. Of survival.
Herman survived because he always believed that he would. He built, in his mind, an unshakable sense of invincibility. One where he would systematically execute each and every task required of him. No doubts, no questions. Just work.
He only thought of the future. He only focused on what needed to be done.
Every. Single. Day.