9 days interrogation in Moscow’s notorious Lubyanka prison

A clean-shaven, smartly-dressed guard smelt heavily of aftershave. He read out the prison rules and instructions, even though they were clearly displayed on the inside of the door. The folded metal bunk against the wall was to be up at all times, until the cell lights dimmed twice in the evening. When I was called out I had to stand facing the wall with my hands behind my back. There was no talking and all guards and officers had to be addressed as “citizens”. I looked around the cell. It was whitewashed, and had a very small window near the ceiling, caged on the outside, so only a small slit of the sky could be seen from the inside. I remember it was about midday and outside was sunny with masses of cumulus clouds. I watched them hurry by with great envy, wondering which way they were going. After a while, by the position of the sun, I figured out they were heading west and suddenly I felt very lonely and vulnerable. All afternoon I walked up and down the length of the cell. By now my chafed legs were very painful, so I took off my trousers.

Eventually the short winter day came to a close and I could no longer see the sun from the window. A small low-wattage protected bulb above the door dimmed twice, so I dropped my bunk down and lay
exhausted. The complete silence got on my nerves but I didn’t have long to worry about it. Within an hour of the lights dipping, I had been called out, and was being escorted through a number of long corridors and into the room of my interrogator, which was both huge and incredibly clean. The floors were highly polished with beeswax and behind a very large, carved oak desk sat a Robin NKVD Colonel. He was smartly dressed and had charcoal black hair with dark eyes to match his complexion. He started by asking questions about my personal details, checking the answers with my papers in front of him.

Eventually he leaned back in his chair and, holding my very dirty diary in one hand, asked me, “And what is this? Well Galubczyk, I want to know the truth about this. Why are there so many names in it? Who gave you a pencil and notebook? Who were you going to give it to?”

When I didn’t reply, he said in a very quiet and rather cultured voice, “You do know that we shoot spies, don't you.” “Yes, I know”, I replied. “I’ve seen enough men shot.” He asked me where and under what