This is the story of a Jewish child from Krakow as the Germans invade Poland in 1939. Two-year-old Rita Blattberg and her parents flee the German advance only to be deported deep into the heart of the Soviet Union. After six years of hardship and starvation in a war-torn Russia populated by a colorful cast of characters - Polish deportees, Russian evacuees, native Mari, Udmurt and Tatars, mysterious 'higher-ups' from Moscow - they return to a hometown inhabited by ghosts. Almost every relative in the extended Blattberg and Schreiber families has been murdered. A few, including an uncle who was saved by the Japanese consul to Lithuania, have survived through a succession of miracles large and small and remain scattered to the four winds. In 1948 young Rita leaves the city of her birth, where her ancestors had dwelled for 500 years. The Blattbergs take with them a bit of earth from a grandmother's grave and move on to start a new life in the West, away from post-war Poland, with its communist regime and its pervasive anti-Semitism." Understated yet lyrical, the story is told through the eyes of a small child. The facts are buttressed by the testimony of adults as well as a unique set of documents, namely postcards sent by Rita's grandmothers in 1940 and 1941, from occupied Poland. These postcards provide a valuable glimpse into the life of the more than one million Polish citizens deported to the USSR following the 1939 annexation by the Soviets of the eastern half of Poland - and the contacts that existed between the deportees and those left behind in occupied Poland, under the Germans and under the Soviets.
Blattberg Blumstein Rita
232 x 152 mm
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