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ILYA EHRENBURG (1891-1967), born to a Jewish family in Kiev, became involved in the Bolshevik movement as early as 1905, in the wake of the first Russian Revolution. After his arrest and brief imprisonment by the Tsarist Okhrana in 1908, he was exiled to Paris, where he continued his political work and began his literary career as a poet and journalist in Montparnasse. Upon returning to Russia after the October Revolution, he grew temporarily disillusioned with the Bolshevik cause, put off by the violence he saw around him. He eventually reconciled with the regime, but preferred to spend his time abroad as a “cultural ambassador.” His lasting literary contributions are the pessimistic satirical novels he wrote in the early 1920s, most notably The Extraordinary Adventures of Julia Jurenito and his Disciples (1922). He will also be remembered for his work – alongside Vasily Grossman and members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee – on the Black Book, one of the first documents to chronicle the horrors of the Holocaust, and for his novel The Thaw (1954), which lent its name to the period of liberalization that followed Stalin’s death.