Letter to My Family

Letter to My Family

by Janina Dreslius Zdanys


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Letter to My Family is a memoir of the life of Janina Dreslius Zdanys (1927-2018), discovered at the bottom of a desk drawer after her death. The book is divided into two parts. The first is a detailed accounting of life in Lithuania during the Great Depression of the 1930s; the effects of the invasion of Lithuania first by the Soviets, then by the Nazis, then by the Soviets again in the 1940s; and the story of her life in a refugee camp sponsored by the United Nations after the second world war. The second part of her book is the story of coming to America in 1949 to work as a farm laborer, as a factory worker, and eventually as a small business owner. It is the story of a life rich with hardship and struggle but also marked by a deep love for her family that enabled Janina not just to survive the many challenges that faced her but to triumph and to find joy in the face of adversity. This is not just the story of a woman and her family. It is a paradigm for the lives of immigrants to America who come here looking not for handouts but for opportunities, not to take anything away from anyone else but to give something back to the country that invited them in and provided avenues for contribution.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733888202
Publisher: Grey Willow Press
Publication date: 05/20/2019
Pages: 138
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

Janina Zdanys was born on December 9, 1927, in Kaunas, Lithuania. During the Second World War, she and her family escaped the Russian occupation of Lithuania and lived for nearly five years in a refugee camp in Seligenstadt, Germany, under the sponsorship of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. It was there that she met her husband Alfonsas, to whom she was married for seventy years. They came to the United States in August 1949, settling first in Vermont as part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture refugee resettlement program, and in 1950 moved to New Britain, where she raised her children and worked in local manufacturing. In 1969, she and Alfonsas bought the Maple Motel in Newington, which they owned and operated until retiring in 1985. Letter to My Family was discovered in a desk drawer after her death.

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