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BORDERS, BOMBS, AND... TWO RIGHT SHOES.WWII through the Eyes of a Ukrainian Child Refugee SurvivorThe Author writes in the Introduction: "In my memoir, many brief scenes of the reality that I had to face during WWII demonstrate once again how some of our human species are capable of bringing utter devastation to others of our own kind. Still, at the same time, there are also examples proving that we can manage to survive even great adversities. Yet, in order to survive a life-threatening journey, it usually takes a helping hand from others, who thus prove their own humanity."A CHILD'S JOURNEY THROUGH WWIIWWII shaped the Author's daily life from the age of 4 through 11. In 1939, a communist/Russian invasion of Western Ukraine took place, and with it not just the beginning of war, but the horrors it had brought to the family and friends, causing the death of her grandfather, a Ukrainian Greco-Catholic priest. In 1941, a day before a Nazi invasion, the Author witnessed charred bodies of victims of a Russian massacre of Ukrainian political prisoners in her city of Stryi. Soon, the Nazis replaced the communists: their ideology introduced ghettos for the Jewish population, threatening all others with the severest punishment for sheltering any Jews. The little girl and her mother took great risk when they agreed to help a Jewish girl, and later also sheltered a young Jewish woman. Many of the family's friends acted similarly, providing shelter to Jewish neighbors and strangers, including important rabbis (such as The Great Rabbi Robeach of Belz, whom Raoul Wallenberg came to visit, while the Rabbi was in hiding). In 1944, the Soviets were again at the city's doorstep, and for many Ukrainians that meant renewed arrests, executions, or exile to Siberia. The Author's family became refugees, passing through Poland, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany, including a stay in a German internment camp, and later working on a farm and at a railroad yard. After the war ended, a new threat faced most the 2.5 to 3 million East European Ostarbeiter (slave workers) and refugees in Germany: Russia demanded that all the refugees whose country it invaded even for two years, were to be forcibly "repatriated", although not to their own patria, but to the labor camps in Siberia. Finally, over 200,000 Ukrainian refugees found haven in Displaced Persons camps for various nationalities. During 1945-1948, these camps had a substitute town infrastructure, including schools, theaters, choirs, publications, and chapels for various denominations. They also provided training for new occupations in overseas countries that were ready to take in these refugees.As a child, the Author survived interrogations, three execution attempts, daily bombardments, and extensive nomadic wanderings, mostly in freight trains. Yet, her family survived, mostly by chance, and through the kindness of friends and several complete strangers. The Author provides other examples about WWII events experienced by her and some of her friends or acquaintances. In order to help the reader place the depicted events within a historical framework, the book includes historical maps and timelines of events that had influenced her life as well as that of her ancestors. There is also a timeline, illustrating how historical events kept being repeated and continued to affect her people throughout the 20th century. Another timeline refers to the family's odyssey during WWII. Information is also included about the Author's maternal ancestors, the Shankovskys, who represented 16 generations of Ukrainian Greco-Catholic priests. Many of the historical events affecting the Author's family, took place in Ukraine for over a millennium, in the vicinity of the thousand year-old Svitovyd statue, on the banks of the Zbruch River. For centuries, this river served as the border between the East and the West. The books has 5 maps, 78 photos and documents, a glossary of terms, and an index of names.
Product Details :
|Author||: Larissa Onyshkevych|
|File||: 238 Pages|