For 30 years, I have been reading memoirs and histories about Poles who survived the atrocities imposed on them by the Russians and the Germans in World War II. I have read about the Poles who were terrorized in their home country, and I have read about Poles who were taken to Germany and to Siberia as slave laborers. These books have told me about lives shattered and hopes buried along the side of the road.
Donna Urbikas's memoir of her mother and sister's experiences in Siberia may be the best of these books.
She has a gift for conveying not only what happened to her mother and sister, but also how they felt about the things that were happening to them. As I read this book, at times, I felt I was sitting at a table with Ms. Urbikas's mother listening to her stories of what happened when the Russians came and what it was like in Siberia and how difficult it was getting out of the trap the Soviets created and what it was like when the family finally came to America.
Ms. Urbikas not only was able to make me feel all of this, she also was able to make me experience through her eyes what it was like being the child of a mother who experienced the terror and the outrage that Donna Urbikas's mother experienced.
As I read this book, I felt almost like I was a part of Ms. Urbikas's family.
As a child myself of parents who suffered not only under the Germans and the Soviets, I have to say that this is the one book every person who wants to know what it was like to be a victim of the Germans or the Russians in World War II must read.
To read more about Donna Urbikas's book, click here.