Displaced Person: A Girl's Life in Russia, Germany, and Americaby Ella E. Schneider Hilton
Though told with charm and humor, Ella's life reads like a
In her moving and deeply personal memoir, Ella E. Schneider Hilton chronicles her remarkable childhoodone that took her from the purges of Stalinist Russia to the refugee camps of Nazi and postwar Germany to the cotton fields of Jim Crow Mississippi before granting her access to the American dream.
Though told with charm and humor, Ella's life reads like a suspense novel. On the day that Germany invades Russia, Ella's father is arrested in Kiev by Soviet authorities, never to be heard from again. Fluent in German, her mother provides for her two children and mother-in-law by assisting the occupying forces. When the city is about to return to Russian hands, the family flees to Germany by freight train. Food is scarce and Allied bombings take her grandmother, but young Ella retains her indomitably inquisitive spirit. Her mother marries a widower to survive, and the family immigrates to the United States as the indentured servants of a "host family" in Mississippi, where they pick cotton and live in poverty. Puzzled by segregation, Ella learns about the Holocaust and realizes that her father was probably Jewish. Throughout her ordeals, she never relinquishes hope or sight of her goal of education.
Poignantly and freshly rendered, this is a tale of determination. It is the story of a girl caught up first in the maelstrom of World War II and then in the complexities of southern culture, adjusting to events beyond her control with resiliency as she searches for faith, knowledge, and a place in the world.
- Louisiana State University Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 9.04(h) x 1.05(d)
Meet the Author
Ella E. Schneider Hilton lives in Virginia. Now retired, she was a teacher and worked for the U.S. Department of the Army for eighteen years.
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