Crater's Edge: A Family's Epic Journey Through Wartime Russia

Overview

A remarkable true story of survival during World War II, eloquently told, sparkling with moments of humor and optimism that shine all the brighter for the surrounding darkness

In September 1939, as a 10-year-old boy, Michal Giedroyc watched the Russian security police seize his home in Eastern Poland. His father, a senator and judge, was imprisoned while his mother, with Michal and his two sisters, were left on the streets of the local town to fend for themselves. Later ...

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Crater's Edge: A Family's Epic Journey Through Wartime Russia

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Overview

A remarkable true story of survival during World War II, eloquently told, sparkling with moments of humor and optimism that shine all the brighter for the surrounding darkness

In September 1939, as a 10-year-old boy, Michal Giedroyc watched the Russian security police seize his home in Eastern Poland. His father, a senator and judge, was imprisoned while his mother, with Michal and his two sisters, were left on the streets of the local town to fend for themselves. Later they were transported in cattle trucks to the wastes of Soviet Siberia, with hundreds of thousands of other deportees. "Here, by the will of the rulers of the Soviet Empire, we were to toil and die." Eighteen months of deprivation and hunger on a collective farm brought them to the brink of extinction. Exhausted, half starved, and ill, Michal's mother and her children set off on a second grueling journey that would take them across Central Asia to Persia, the Middle East, and finally England. In one dramatic incident their survival hinged remarkably on the just two simple objects—a potato and a penknife. Woven into the narrative are memories of a gentler prewar period when the Giedroyc family revived a failing country estate and enjoyed an idyllic way of life that vanished forever in 1939.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There are very few survivors of World War II who can match his breadth of knowledge, or produce an account of such class." —Norman Davies, author, Vanished Kingdoms

"Extremely vivid: events observed by a bright little boy, recollected and given their true significance by a mature historian. It is peopled by magnificant characters." —Tablet

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781903071564
  • Publisher: Bene Factum Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2014
  • Pages: 208

Meet the Author

Michal Giedroyc was born into an aristocratic family in what is today Belarus, and after an extraordinary five years of survival against the odds, built a successful post-­war career as an international aircraft designer, industrial consultant, and finally settling in Oxford as an academic. Norman Davies is a prominent historian whose books include Europe: A History, No Simple Victory, and Vanished Kingdoms.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

A guide to Polish pronunciation xii

1 Peril 1

2 Lobzów 13

3 Dereczyn to Slonim 31

4 Into Siberia 46

5 Hope 65

6 Ania 80

7 Tadzio 87

8 Beyond the Oxus 97

9 Twenty Happy Years 110

10 The City of the Pomegranate 125

11 Martial Arts 142

12 Ad Mare Nostrum 168

Postscript 183

Acknowledgements 189

Genealogical Tables 190

Index 193

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