In a quiet northern England village, thirteen-year-old Iris moves into the household of a strict uncle following the illness and loss of her mother. Farther away across the English Channel, a mountainous storm is brewing. Fifteen-year-old Ian leaves home with his family on a horse-drawn carriage to escape impending Nazi invasion only to face yet more danger and peril from another invader. So begins a fascinating journey that leads Ian on a quest to liberate his beloved Poland from both German and Russian occupation. His quest will cross through Europe’s vast mountain ranges and captivating cities, leading to friendships, forced labor, capture, escape, and unexpected encounters around every corner. A front-row seat encompassing World War II’s broad canvas, from his brother Stefan’s desperation in the hinterlands of Siberia to the promise of a resurging Polish Army in Italy. When an Allied agreement surfaces and Polish soldiers of Anders’ Army face the grim reality that there will be no liberation of their homeland, Ian is sent to Scotland, unaware that a spirited young lady in England’s Lake District awaits him.
This spellbinding story captures the power of freedom and the enduring strength of family. A son’s discovery of his father’s long-hidden story comes alive, before it is gone and lost forever. A true story personalized with vintage photographs and documents that continues to unlock secrets that further bind the family, from both the past and the present.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
From heart-felt victories to many touching personal anecdotes, Captured in Liberation is such an inspiring story that I actually went back to reread it a second time. Book clubs, WW II buffs, historians and everyday readers will delight in this captivating true tale that shares vivid experiences of a Polish family during the German and Russian invasion and occupation of Poland in WWII. Much of the book is framed through the eyes of Ian, a young resourceful Pole who refuses to allow Germany and Russia to define the destiny of his family and his country during the war. The accounts of his internments, adventurous travels, and fortuitous luck take the reader on an unbelievable journey through a fragile time in Eastern European history. Thoughtfully and tenderly written, the author, Ian's son Andrew Bajda, shares first hand stories of his father and mother's lives and encounters. With an easy to read style, he produces clear imagery of the people, surroundings and emotions of the times. As I read the book, it immediately reminded of the Diaries of Anne Frank and her stories of the WWII as seen through the eyes of a young person. Captured in Liberation shares similar stories of hope and bravery during times of war: neighbors helping neighbors and strangers taking risks to protect the innocent. Equally as meaningful as the story itself is the underlying motivation for the book. The author researched and documented this story for one main reason, to ensure future generations can recount the heritage and strength of their lineage. This becomes clear after reading his personal notes in the Prologue and Epilogue, which are as fulfilling as the book itself.
An amazing account of an amazing family told with such love and honesty. The courage, devotion and love of this family, their friends and supporters comes out in full. Anyone who reads this must be moved to work for freedom of all people, to love our neighbors, and reach out to help those in need.