Published: 28/06/2014
ISBN: 9781783064434
eISBN: 9781784627508
Format: Paperback/eBook



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Kazia Myers was born in Palestine, then under the British mandate. Her Polish parents were refugees and survivors of Stalin's labour camps. They settled in England after the war. Kazia is a retired t... read more

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The Journey
by Kazia Myers

The Journey is a story of survival, of human endurance, of an indomitable spirit that stands up to evil.

It is a story of love and sacrifice, a story of friendships forged forever by tragedies experienced collectively with fellow deportees.

In February 1940 Poland is in the grip of two invading powers – Hitler’s and Stalin’s. Julian Kalinski (29), his wife Anastazia (26) and their baby are taken by force in the middle of the night, packed onto a cattle train with hundreds of innocent civilians and sent to Siberia.

Thus begins their epic journey that will take them to the remotest Russian taigas, to Kazakhstan, to the deserts of Uzbekistan and finally to freedom in Persia, but not before they have suffered the most appalling conditions in Stalin’s labour camps, endured diseases, survived starvation, and witnessed daily the deaths of their closest friends.

In freedom their journey continues: Julian’s as a soldier of the 2nd Corps in the Italian campaign, and Anastazia’s as a mother to their newly-born daughter in Palestine. The end of the war does not bring them the longed-for return to their native country, for Poland has been sacrificed at the Treaty of Yalta to appease Stalin. Their reunion in England is brief and devastating. Years later, their daughter Julia attempts to piece together her parents’ tragic past. With Miro’s support she embarks upon a journey to Poland, in 1962, still under Soviet regime. Her quest is rewarded with answers to her questions, but above all, with a miraculous discovery that will change her life for ever. She is left with the bitter-sweet legacy of her parents’ journey.

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Many readers of my book 'Stolen Years' have asked me what happened next to the characters in that novel.
They will be pleased to catch up with them in 'The Journey'.
Though this is not a sequel, the characters of both novels come together in the third part of 'The Journey'.
This reflects their life in the post war years, when, as refugees in England, they were placed in ex-army camps, forming close-knit communities.
Anyone brought up in that environment, or anyone with Polish connections, will find particular affinity with that part of the story.

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I've just started to read the book. It tells the story of what happened to hundreds of thousands of Poles after the Soviets began deporting Poles from eastern Poland to Siberia and other parts of the then Soviet Union. It's a story I'm familiar with because it is what my parents experienced and told me about. I hope younger British Poles read it.

My only criticism is that Polish spellings of surnames are changed for the benefit of the English reader, for example W is substituted with a V which does not exist in Polish. It's a shame because to a person of Polish extraction the names look Russian. This ought to have been explained in an introduction.

by Zdzislaw Matusiewicz


Thank You for the truth! I was glued from start to finish! I was spared the war years, but my parents and family weren't. Not all could talk about it and to have such a record is excellent for future generations!
Thank You!!

by Gaba Kobic


Recently, I have read Stolen Years and The Journey- fantastic books. I have learnt so much more about the German invasion of Poland.
The Journey is the same story that my husband's family took. Taken from Poland to Siberia and the hardships they suffered.
My husband's father and two of his sisters died in Siberia through hunger and disease.
My daughter and grand-daughter are going to read these books and learn so much about their ancestors.
Beautifully written but oh so tragic.
Very grateful reader. Thank you Ann Cieslicki

by Ann Cieslicki


 

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