A True Story

A True Story

In 1932 I was living in Leningrad, and there I discovered the existence of clinical psychiatry when a person very dear to me was struck down by mental illness. Those were dark times, of shortages in the cities and famine in the villages, of terror, secret murders, and persecution of spetsy (technical specialists), peasants, true believers, and those opposed to the regime. I belonged to the last category, which meant that at night, even in the depths of sleep, I never ceased to listen for the noises on the staircase, for the ascending footsteps heralding my arrest …

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