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Over the last few years as the twilight of her life approaches Lydia related bits and pieces of the terrible events she experienced during WWII and of the beautiful life she had before. I am proud to be the person she trusted enough to finally let her story be written.
Lydia is not Jewish. She was a young Catholic teenager from Czechoslovakia, when she was brutally abducted from a private, parochial school for girls in Vienna, raped and forced into slave labor. After escaping her Nazi tormentors, she sought refuge with her aunt in Switzerland. Then not having heard from her family, she decided to make a dangerous journey home to Prague. During her travels she was befriended by a dog, a guardian angel, that helped her make the arduous trip back home, only to lose the dog near the journeys end and find that her family was devastated.
Her family had been very wealthy and influential, friendly with the popular Czech President Mazaryk. Her terrible experiences left her vulnerable to men and she learned of the double standard facing a woman in her society. She was forced to leave Prague when the ruthless Stalinist communist came to liberate Prague (which was in actuality a takeover). Back in Switzerland her aunt tried to secure a future for her and she had a nervous breakdown. Finally, she married an American so she get could start fresh in the amazing land she had traversed in a train as a child.
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