It was the middle of the night. Vanya had been thinking of ways to escape. He tried to undo the side of the crib, but it was fixed tight. He grabbed the metal bars and tried to pull them apart with all the strength of his puny body. Finally, he collapsed exhausted on the bare mattress. He became aware how cold it was. They had taken away his clothes and he had no blanket . . .
The Boy from Baby House 10
It seemed as if Vanya had slipped into a lower circle of hell where his humanity was slowly stripped away. First his hair was brutally shaved off so he looked like a prisoner. Next, with no one to talk to, his fluent speech deteriorated and his voice was reduced to a whisper. Then, as he was living amid the most distressing scenes of abuse and neglect, he lost his poise and confidence. Finally, his hands began to shake uncontrollably from the drugs he was given to sedate him. He was in free fall towards the depths where a person stops being a member of the human race and reaches a point where he cannot be dragged back.
is the story of a frail little boy with a big spirit triumphing over a callous bureaucracy.
It tells how Vanya, aged only six, alone and incarcerated in a mental asylum, managed to survive the abusive and neglectful care of the Russian state and make his way to start a new life in America.
But more than that, it reveals for the first time the reality of the child care institutions which are truly Russia's last Gulag - a system established by Stalin which exists to this day.
This is a book which looks behind the glossy façade of modern Russia. Tens of thousands of children have been adopted from Russia to the US, Britain and other European countries. This book shows the unvarnished truth about the institutions they come from.
to find out what happened next to Vanya.