Ten days before the beginning of the Second World War in Russia, a five-member family is awakened at night and sent away from home without any explanation. We follow them on their way to the strange place where they will live from now on. “Vasja, Dein Opa” is a story like millions of other stories in the Soviet Union, where almost every second family has personally experienced what gulag and exile mean.
This impressive documentary graphic novel tells the story of Vasja, the grandfather of the author Anna Rakhmanko. It is based on an interview with his little sister Lyubov, with whom he travelled as a child from former Romania (Bukovina) to the distant Arctic Circle region of the Soviet Union, where both had to live with the label “enemy” for many years. For the interview, journalist Anna Rakhmanko traveled to the far north of Russia to talk to Lyubov, the only remaining member of her exiled family, about why her family ended up living so remotely in the middle of nowhere in Siberia. Her words are accompanied by the light and, at the same time, atmospherically dense drawings of her husband, the Danish comic artist Mikkel Sommer.
A part of the proceeds from the book sale will go to support “The Last Address” organization in Russia, which works to raise awareness about those oppressed during the Soviet era (for more information: www.poslednyadres.ru).
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