Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead.
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Tuesday, 27 March 2007

He Escaped The Holocaust, Escaped the Gulag, And Managed to Live a Good Life. His Story is Captured in a New Documentary Film

A true and harrowing story, Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead is a valuable legacy of historical fact, available to all as both book and film. This site has been set up to provide information on this new independent documentary film based on the life of Garri S. Urban, an extraordinary man who experienced extreme hardships in the gulags of Stalin's Russia. He wrote in his own words from his own memories about his experiences in a vital, fascinating and enthralling book, which is almost impossible to put down. From the first invasion of the German forces into his homeland in 1939, the story follows Garri's courage in the face of adversity, torture, separation from his loved ones, imprisonment and finally, one of the most daring escapes ever to be documented.

His story illustrates the struggle against the oppression of Stalin's Soviet state at the height of its powers and the will to survive that is so often found in mankind, even at the very darkest times.

The film encapsulates the life of a remarkable man and provides an opportunity for the lessons he learnt to be shared. In addition to providing information about Garri Urban and the life he lived, we will in parallel be chronicling the journey of this documentary. Garri left a massive and important legacy that thanks to his own memoirs and his son's film, will never be forgotten. When he died in 2004, Garri's passing was noted by the world's media, a significant testament to the important role that he played in the lives of not only his loved ones, but also in the broader historical sense.

We would love your input, your views, your own family memories and experiences. You can help to develop the film. To say thank you we will provide you with the inside track on the film's development, pre-release clips, interviews, tickets and the chance to win some mementoes from the film.


Briony Adams said...

I wait with anticipation the final film on this mans life. I am very interested in anyone who has managed to escape from this kind of life as it relates to my family history. My Great Aunt escaped from East Germany although much later in the 1960s but life in East Germany was still very scary and tough. She only remained in East Germany for so long as she was hoping that her missing husband would return home. She felt if she left he would be unable to find her. Eventually she left leaving her whole life and all her belongings behind knowing she would never be able to return to her home and her old life.

I am very interested in this side of history.

I also had family in the French Resistance and again to me this topic is most interesting.

Please keep making these documentaries stories such as these should be told. I have no way of finding out the true extent of the suffering and courage of my family and this is the clearest insight I can get.

Thank you

lydia said...

Hello.I'mwaiting forward to see the dokumentary you filming.This subject is very hot for me as I grew up in komunist Bulgaria.My grand dad which I never had the chance to see couldn't manage to escape though.He had a famyly with 5 kids and was send to Belene camp in Bulgaria just because he aws a royal cavalry officer.

Ben from the Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead team said...

Hi Lydia - I am so sorry to hear that your family has been touched by the events that we have discussed on this website. I hope you do get to see the documentary - are you in the UK? I hope that we will be able to provide you with a list of sites that will be showing the film....

Ben from the Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead team said...

Hi Briony - Thanks for your comments.
It is amazing that so many people who have viewed this site have been so directly affected by the events in Russia and Germany, but then with so many million suffering at the time maybe I shouldn't be so shocked....
I am sure that all those that experienced the horrors of the gulags, the concentration camps and oppression at the hands of Stalin and Hitler showed bravery and courage - I can't imagine that there would have been any other way to cope.
Shuld you want any further information, or feel that a screening of the film at a local school / hall etc would be of use, please let us know and I will see what we can do.
Take care.

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