Margaret Werner Tobien

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Margaret Werner Tobien (1921-1997) was an American woman who survived imprisonment in a Gulag, a Siberian death camp of Stalinist Russia,[1] and the mother of Karl Tobien, who wrote Dancing Under the Red Star about her experience.

Early life[edit]

Margaret was born in 1921 near Detroit, Michigan, and her father worked for Ford Motor Company. When Margaret was 10, Ford moved its location to Russia, and Margaret's father was transferred along with some 450 employees from 1930 to 1932.

At 17, Margaret's father was arrested and imprisoned in Russia after being convicted on trumped-up charges of treason.[citation needed] Left to survive in the Soviet regime, Margaret and her mother faced years of poverty and near starvation.

Imprisonment[edit]

In 1943 Margaret herself was accused of espionage and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in Stalin's Gulag.[2]

Personal life[edit]

After her release from prison, Margaret married Gunter Tobien, and changed her last name. Their son Karl Tobien, was born in 1956 just outside the Gulag. He was five years old when he, his mother and his grandmother returned to the US. In 1991 Margaret converted to evangelical Christianity. Karl wrote a book about his mother's life and imprisonment titled Dancing Under the Red Star.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Account of American Woman's Gulag Survival Truly Remarkable". Crosswalk.com. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  2. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Dancing Under the Red Star: The Extraordinary Story of Margaret Werner, the Only American Woman to Survive Stalin's Gulag by Karl Tobien, Author Waterbrook Press $14.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4000-7078-7". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  3. ^ Tobien, Karl (2010-04-07). Dancing Under the Red Star: The Extraordinary Story of Margaret Werner, the Only American Woman to Survive Stalin's Gulag. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307550637.