UPDATE: A reader writes:
Durbin is of Lithuanian descent. I don't know whether he's first generation ... or whether his grandparents arrived during the World War I wave. Durbin spent great energy courting the Lithuanian community in Chicago. Many Lithuanians fell under his spell and, for the first time, voted Democratic (those who emigrated in the late 1940s and early 1950s often voted Republican because they perceived that party as more anti-Communist).
I suspect Durbin's comparison of Gitmo to the Gulag and Concentration Camps tastes particularly sour to this community, which was pinched on one side by the Russians and on the other by the Germans. My dad--who rushed to Kroch's & Brentano's in Chicago when the first bootleg Russian copies of The Gulag Archipelago became available in this country--must have rolled over in his grave. My mother, whose best friend's husband froze to death during a seventeen-year stint in Siberia, is still spitting.