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Igor Gouzenko’s wife and family lived in fear

The Story

Igor Gouzenko's wife Svetlana, still hiding her identity, says her family has lived in fear for 50 years. After her husband's defection, her family in Russia ended up either in the Gulag or in front of a firing squad and, in Canada, there were several attempts on Igor Gouzenko's life. The Gouzenko family is forever cautious around strangers. Evelyn Gouzenko, the eldest daughter, says it was a profound shock when the children learned in high school who they really were.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: May 3, 1996
Guests: Svetlana Gouzenko, Evelyn Gouzenko
Host: Hana Gartner
Reporter: Dan Bjarnason
Duration: 9:46

Did You know?

• In 1989 Svetlana Gouzenko learned that her aunt and her daughter had survived and were living in Siberia. They were angry and sad about what Igor had done.
• Debate continues over what motivated Igor Gouzenko's defection. His family says it was a desire to help his adoptive country and to expose Soviet wrongdoing. Others say it was greed, or a desire for the good life in Canada.
• There are ongoing disputes between the Gouzenkos and the RCMP over money and identification documents that Svetlana Gouzenko says they never received.


The Gouzenko Affair more