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A Prince in Prison

167 pages2 hours


The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Account of His Incarceration in Stalinist Russia in 1927.

It was the author, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch, who spearheaded the underground Jewish resistance to Stalin’s ideological Final Solution — and paid for it by brutal incarceration and a capital sentence from which he was miraculously liberated.

In this unparalleled historic first-person description (the Hebrew original of which is entitled Reshimas HaMaasar) the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe graphically documents the cold truth behind the cynical Stalinist facade of religious tolerance — midnight arrest, intimidation and interrogation, incarceration without trial, the humiliation of prison routine, the torture of dissidents, and so on.

An invaluable companion volume to the above document is Defiance and Devotion (Kehot, N.Y., 1996), selected discourses delivered by the same illustrious author during the period of his arrest and liberation. Fearlessly, he called on his chassidim to defy the mighty Soviet regime, even at the cost of literal self-sacrifice, in order to secure the survival of meaningful Jewish life.

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Part III of the present work concludes by appending the colorful Chronicles of the First Three Generations of Chabad Chassidism. Part IV consists of the heartwarming and often whimsical Recollections of the Author’s Childhood Between the Ages of Six and Eleven, when he was being groomed by his father to succeed him as Lubavitcher Rebbe.

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