Krysia: A Polish Girl's Stolen Childhood During World War II

Krysia: A Polish Girl's Stolen Childhood During World War II

Krysia: A Polish Girl's Stolen Childhood During World War II

Krysia: A Polish Girl's Stolen Childhood During World War II


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As German troops and bombs descended upon Poland, Krysia struggled to make sense of the wailing sirens, hushed adult conversations, and tearful faces of everyone around her. Within just days, the peaceful childhood she had known would disappear forever.

Krysia tells the story of one Polish girl's harrowing experiences during World War II as her beloved father was forced into hiding, a Soviet soldier's family took over her house, and finally as she and her mother and brother were forced at gunpoint from their once happy home and deported to a remote Soviet work farm in Kazakhstan.

Through vivid and stirring recollections Mihulka details their deplorable conditions—often near freezing in their barrack buried under mounds of snow, enduring starvation and illness, and witnessing death. But she also recalls moments of hope and tenderness as she, her mother, her brother, and other deportees drew close together, helped one another, and even held small celebrations in captivity. Throughout, the strength, courage, and kindness of Krysia's mother, Zofia, saw them through until they finally found freedom. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613734414
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/01/2017
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 10 - 18 Years

About the Author

Born in 1930, Krystyna Mihulka was deported from Poland to a remote village in Kazakhstan in 1940, where she lived as a political prisoner under Communist rule for nearly two years. After several years in refugee camps in Iran and Africa, she settled in Zambia, where she married and had three children. In 1969 she and her family migrated to the United States. She lives in Pleasant Hill, California, under her married name, Christine Tomerson. 

Krystyna Poray Goddu is the author of A Girl Called Vincent and Dollmakers and Their Stories, among others. She has contributed to American Girl magazine, the New York Times Book ReviewPublishers Weekly, and other publications. She lives in New York City. 

Table of Contents

Map: Krysia's Journey (1940-1942) ix

A Polish Pronunciation and Vocabulary Guide xi

Author's Note xv

Prologue 1

Part I The End of Life as We Knew It

1 Hints of Impending War 7

2 The Last Autumn of Peace 13

3 Strangers in the Sky 19

4 Life Under Russian Occupation 29

5 Shadows in the Night 41

Part II Journey into Captivity

6 Traveling by Cattle Car 53

7 Traveling by Oxcart 63

Part III Life in Captivity

8 Settling In 71

9 Strange Happenings at Night 79

10 Enduring the Winter 89

11 Spring and Summer Surprises 101

Part IV Flight to Freedom

12 Reunion and Departure 113

13 A Seemingly Endless Wait 121

14 The Trans-Siberian Train Journey 129

15 Tragedy Strikes Home 139

16 Setting Sail for Freedom at Last 151

Afterword 161

Epilogue 163

A Guide to Geographical Names 167

Acknowledgments 169

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