Journey into the Whirlwind | Study Guide

Eugenia Ginzburg

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Journey into the Whirlwind | Characters

Character Description
Genia Ginzburg Born in 1904, Genia Ginzburg, whose full name is Eugenia (or Evgenia; Yevgenia) Semyonovna Ginzburg, is a loyal Communist Party member falsely accused of political crimes and imprisoned for 18 years. Read More
Paul Aksyonov Paul Aksyonov, whose full name is Paul (Pavel) Vasilyevich Aksyonov, is Genia Ginzburg's husband and the father of one of Genia Ginzburg's sons. Read More
Avdotya Vasilyevna Aksyonova Uneducated but wise, Avdotya Vasilyevna Aksyonova is Paul Aksyonov's mother and Genia Ginzburg's mother-in-law. Read More
Julia Karepova Julia Karepova is the young woman with whom Genia Ginzburg shares a solitary confinement cell at the Yaroslavl prison. Read More
Bari Abdullin Bari Abdullin is a second secretary of the Party regional committee who is imprisoned in the cellars at Black Lake. Previously friends with Genia Ginzburg, he treats her harshly shortly before her expulsion from the Party.
Zinaida Abramova Zinaida "Zina" Abramova is the wife of a high-ranking official of the soviet Tartar Republic. A new arrival in the prison in Krasin Street, she fears that associating with Genia Ginzburg will result in harm to her.
Ahmet The head chef in the men's canteen in the Magadan camp, he protects Genia Ginzburg from the advances of other men in the canteen but becomes enraged when she refuses his advances.
Alyosha Aksyonov Born in 1926, Alyosha (Alexei) Aksyonov is Genia Ginzburg's elder son.
Vaska Aksyonov Born in 1932 Vaska (Vasily) Aksyonov is Genia Ginzburg's younger son.
Alexandra Alexandrovna A typist at the Red Tartary office, Alexandra Alexandrovna advises Genia Ginzburg to admit her guilt regarding her lack of action about Nikolay Elvov and to apologize so as to avoid worse punishment.
Big Anna Big Anna, a non-Communist, is one of Genia's cellmates at the prison in Krasin Street.
Little Anna Little Anna, a Communist Party activist, shares a cell with Genia at the prison in Krasin Street.
Julia Annenkova Julia Annenkova shares a cell with Genia Ginzburg in Butyrki prison. A devout Communist Party member, she attributes current troubles to Party members who are guilty of treason and faults Genia for being critical of Stalin.
Anya Atabayeva Anya Atabayeva, a prisoner on the steamer Dzhurma, takes control of the unruly criminal prisoners and brings order to the women's section.
Comrade Beylin Comrade Beylin, the chairman of the bureau of Party political control, is Genia Ginzburg's first interrogator.
Biktashev A former student of Genia Ginzburg's when she was a new lecturer, Biktashev is a district committee secretary in 1937. He presides uneasily over a session in which Genia is expelled from the Communist Party.
Brigand The man known as "the Brigand" is the main officer in charge of Car Number 7.
Corridor lodgers The corridor lodgers are a group of men in the guesthouse at the Magadan camp who have completed their sentences and are awaiting transport. They befriend Genia Ginzburg, and she does small errands for them.
Nadezhda Derkovskaya A Social Revolutionary member, Nadezhda Derkovskaya is one of Genia Ginzburg's cellmates at the prison in Krasin Street.
Dikovitsky Dikovitsky is an old friend of Genia Ginzburg's who meets her in Moscow where both have gone to plead their cases to Communist Party investigators.
Marya Dogadkina Marya Dogadkina is the kindhearted, maternal prisoner in charge of the hut at the state farm at Elgen.
Volodya Dyakonov A writer who worked with Genia Ginzburg at the Red Tartary, Volodya Dyakonov reluctantly signs a statement incriminating Genia for being a member of a terrorist group.
Professor Elvov Professor Elvov (Nikolay Naumovich) is a Communist Party member, professor at the Teachers Training Institute of Kazan University, and an elected member of the Party's regional committee municipal board. His editing of a chapter on the events of 1905 in the History of the All-Union Communist Party leads to the accusation that he misrepresented Stalin's views on the theory of permanent revolution.
Rimma Faridova A historian and prisoner whose case is being tried by a military tribunal in Moscow, Rimma Faridova cooperates with interrogators in exchange for privileges.
Father Father is Genia Ginzburg's father. Once very close, they have grown apart, as he disapproves of some of her choices.
Fima Fima is the family nurse who cares for Genia Ginzburg's children.
Galya Galya is Genia Ginzburg's tree-felling partner at the state farm at Elgen.
Greta Greta, a German woman, shares a cell with Genia Ginzburg at Butyrki prison.
Helmut Helmut is a German dishwasher who is deaf. Genia Ginzburg's coworker in the men's canteen at the Magadan camp, he rescues Genia when Ahmet attempts to force her to have sex with him.
Sergey Kirov Comrade Sergey Kirov is Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. His assassination triggers the Great Terror of 1936–38.
Klara One of Genia Ginzburg's cellmates at the Butyrki prison, Klara is a German woman who was tortured by the Gestapo and the NKVD.
Dr. Angelina Klimenko Wife of an NKVD investigator, Dr. Angelina Klimenko befriends Genia Ginzburg and helps her regain her health in the Magadan camp infirmary. She brings Genia food from her own home to help her heal.
Kogan An editor at Red Tartary, Kogan successfully pushes for charges against Genia Ginzburg for her involvement with Nikolay Elvov. He is later arrested for subversive acts and kills himself rather than endure imprisonment.
Fisa Korkodinova Fisa Korkodinova is the starosta, or person in charge, of Car Number 7.
Nadya Korolyova Nadya Korolyova is a fellow prisoner in Car Number 7.
Nalya Kozlova Nalya Kozlova is a friend and former colleague of Genia Ginzburg's at the Red Tartary. A witness at Genia's trial, she eagerly signs a statement claiming Genia is a member of a terrorist group.
Krivitsky Krivitsky, an imprisoned doctor on the Dzhurma, manages to get Genia Ginzburg into the ship's sick ward and watches out for her.
Rudolf Kruminsh Rudolf Kruminsh, one of the "corridor lodgers" in the Magadan camp guesthouse, rescues Genia Ginzburg when other men attempt to have sex with her.
Nikita Khrushchev Succeeding Stalin as leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev denounced his predecessor and eased restrictions.
Lepa A Communist Party member since 1913 and regional committee secretary, Lepa informs Genia Ginzburg and her colleagues of Sergei Kirov's murder on December 1, 1934.
Interrogator Livanov Interrogator Livanov questions Genia Ginzburg at the Black Lake Street offices. Instead of recording her answers accurately, he adds words that show wrongdoing.
Ivan Lukich Ivan Lukich is a man who signs a petition in support of Tanya Stankovskaya and is sent to a labor camp as a result. Tanya wants to live long enough to give him a message.
Musya Lyubinskaya Musya Lyubinskaya, a doctor, is a prisoner in Car Number 7.
Makarova Sharing a first-class carriage with Genia Ginzburg on the way to Moscow, Makarova, a children's doctor, prevents Genia from jumping out of the moving train.
Malyuta Malyuta is one of Genia Ginzburg's earliest interrogators and plays the role of "bad cop." He pairs with Comrade Beylin in 1935 and questions Genia for several months.
Yefrem Medvedyev Yefrem Medvedyev is a postgraduate student with whom Genia Ginzburg talks in the Black Maria transport truck on her way to the Krasin Street prison.
Lydia Mentzinger A German Seventh-day Adventist, Lydia Georgievna Mentzinger shares a cell with Genia Ginzburg at the Krasin Street prison.
Mother Mother is Genia Ginzburg's mother. Arrested and briefly detained, she sends Genia letters and parcels in prison.
Nabob "The Nabob" is the nickname given to the unnamed sadistic and strictly by-the-book senior block warder at the Yaroslavl prison.
Maria Nimtsevitskaya Fellow Kazan resident Maria Nimtsevitskaya meets Genia Ginzburg in the Magadan camp and gives her a wool coat that enables Genia to get softer work assignments.
Nushik Nushik is Genia Ginzburg's cellmate during her first night in the Butyrki prison in Moscow. They have known each other since their postgraduate studies.
Olga Orlovskaya A former journalist and loyal Stalinist, Olga Orlovskaya has the adjacent cell to Genia Ginzburg and Julia Karepova at the Yaroslavl prison.
Dr. Vasily Petukhov Dr. Vasily Petukhov is a prisoner-doctor at the state farm at Elgen who arranges for Genia Ginzburg to become a medical attendant in a children's home.
Dr. Pickwick Dr. Pickwick, a physician in the Yaroslavl prison, treats Genia Ginzburg when she is ill.
Pitkovskaya Pitkovskaya (only called by her surname) is a loyal Communist Party member who commits suicide after she is accused of associating with an enemy of the Party.
Eugenia Podolskaya Eugenia Podolskaya bore witness against many innocent people because she believed it was for the benefit of the state. Now imprisoned, she realizes she was duped into being a stool pigeon and tries to kill herself.
Anka Polozova Anka Polozova, the guesthouse team leader in the Magadan camp, serves as an intermediary between Genia and the "corridor lodgers."
Porter A porter who works at Kazan University informs Genia Ginzburg of Nikolay Elvov's arrest.
Garey Sagidullin Garey Sagidullin is a Leninist housed in the cell next to Genia Ginzburg in the cellars at Black Lake. They communicate by tapping, and he broadens her knowledge about the current political situation.
Pava Samoylova Pava Samoylova, better known as Pavochka, is a prisoner in Car Number 7.
Sasha Sasha is a rural committee secretary and Genia Ginzburg's fellow prisoner at the prison in Krasin Street.
Lyama Shepel Lyama Shepel is a 22-year-old Russian woman who shares a cell with Genia Ginzburg in the cellars at Black Lake.
Katya Shirokova Katya Shirokova is an 18-year-old Communist Party member whom Genia Ginzburg meets during processing at the Butyrki prison in Moscow. Genia subtly advises Katya against being an informant.
Polya Shvyrkova Polya Shvyrkova is a prisoner in Car Number 7.
Sidorov Sidorov is one of the Moscow Party members who reviews Genia Ginzburg's appeal and is instrumental in having her sentence temporarily reduced.
Slepkov Slepkov is a university professor who supplied names of more than 150 "recruits" (but innocent people) in the hopes of sparing his own life.
Sonya the Assyrian A nurse in the Magadan camp infirmary, Sonya the Assyrian gives Genia food in exchange for needlework.
Joseph Stalin A Communist Party leader, then dictator of the Soviet Union from 1924–53, Joseph Stalin is responsible for the Great Purge (also known as the Great Terror) of 1932–39, which imposed massive repression and the imprisonment, exile, or death of millions perceived as enemies of the state.
Tanya Stankovskaya Tanya Stankovskaya is a prisoner in Car Number 7. Gravely ill, she dies within days of arriving at the transit camp.
Natasha Stolyarova A Communist Party member, Natasha Stolyarova is one of Genia Ginzburg's cellmates in Butyrki prison.
Tamara A team leader in the transit camp, Tamara treats Genia Ginzburg with hostility.
Allochka Tokareva A prisoner in the transit labor camp who works outside the camp, Allochka Tokareva takes Genia under her wing when she first arrives in the camp.
State Security Lieutenant Tsarevsky State Security Lieutenant Tsarevsky is a sadistic man who interrogates Genia Ginzburg at the Black Lake Street offices.
Tukhachevsky Head of a regional command, Tukhachevsky is arrested in 1937.
Tamara Varazashvili Tamara Varazashvili is a haughty prisoner in Car Number 7.
Verka Team leader at the Magadan camp, Verka assigns Genia Ginzburg softer work assignments in exchange for bribes.
Captain Vevers Captain Vevers is the head of the NKVD department of special political affairs, located on Black Lake Street in Kazan. He informs Genia Ginzburg that she is under arrest.
Vulturidze The newly arrived head of the Yaroslavl prison, Vulturidze, whose real name is not known, gets this name from a villainous film character.
Major Weinstock Major Weinstock is the first of two prison governors during Ginzberg's two-year prison stay.
Yemelyan Yaroslavsky Yemelyan Yaroslavsky is the editor of the History of the All-Union Communist Party. He overrules the reversal of Genia Ginzburg's initial sentence and adds new charges.
Yaroslavsky Yaroslavsky is a kindhearted and lenient warder at the Yaroslavl prison. He brings books for Genia Ginzburg and Julia Karepova and passes along information.
Ira Yegereva Ira Yegereva is a young, self-centered prisoner with a postgraduate degree in hydrobiology. She is one of Genia Ginzburg's cellmates at the prisons in Black Lake and in Krasin Street.
Major Yelshin Major Yelshin interrogates Genia Ginzburg at the Black Lake Street offices. He offers her a "carrot," or way out, by suggesting she admit she inadvertently associated with the wrong people because of her youth and emotional, impulsive nature as a writer.
Nina Yeremenko Nina Yeremenko is a non-Communist and blabber who shares a cell with Genia Ginzburg at the prison in Krasin Street.
Yestafyev Yestafyev, a Communist Party member since before the 1917 Revolution, is the director of the Marxist Institute and Genia Ginzburg's friend.
Nikolay Yezhov Nikolay Yezhov is a Party leader who becomes the head of the NKVD in 1936. Many people believe he is responsible for ordering the arrests of Communist Party leaders and members of the intelligentsia, but he, too, is later arrested.
Anna Zhilinskaya Anna Zhilinskaya is one of Genia Ginzburg's cellmates at Pugachev Tower. She passes on the story of Eugenia Podolskaya so Genia, when freed, can tell Eugenia's daughter what happened to her.
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